Looking Back on Applying to Law School

The law school admissions process can be daunting. Everyone has different suggestions regarding what you should and shouldn’t do in approaching this task. Now that I am in my first year of law school and applications are a seemingly distant memory, I thought I would share my top 3 recommendations for those who may be looking to apply.

Start with the law school rankings list, but consider this a tool of convenience, not a means to an end. I relied heavily on this list when researching law schools simply because it compiled all the law schools in a simple list. However, just because U.S. News decides a school is number one and another is number one hundred, doesn’t mean you must feel the same. We all are looking for different things in pursuing law school and a legal career. You’ll find your number one, but it’ll take some searching.

Ask yourself where you would be willing to live. When I was sorting through law schools, the list of schools of interest seemed to be growing like crazy. Because these were all law schools that had the general concentrations I was interested in, I began sorting through them based on where I could reasonably see myself living. Schools quickly came off the list simply because I could not envision myself living in certain cities. Consider whether you want to be east, west, north, south, in a large or small community, in an urban or rural setting. There are plenty of law schools to fit each bill. I found this method particularly helpful (and a good, honest way to keep your application costs down! Why pay to apply where you would never consider living?).

Set an early deadline for yourself. Applications seem to open early in the scope of the admissions cycle. However, setting an early (dream) deadline for yourself can prevent problems later in the game. Realistically, you will likely encounter delays somewhere along the way. I hoped to submit my applications in late September or early October. This pushed me to get materials underway promptly (there are plenty of things to prepare). It also came in handy when one of my letter of recommendation writers notified me that she was delayed on other projects and would not be able to get my recommendation done for another month. If I had waited until late in the admission cycle and encountered this delay, it would have caused even more stress than it did. Additionally, I found that I had some polishing work to do on my personal statement. Setting an early deadline allowed for wiggle room when these delays arose.

In retrospect, these three approaches to law school applications served me well. In the end, I applied relatively early in the cycle, I am happy to be living in Boston, and I certainly found my personal #1 school: Boston University School of Law.

One Comment

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