Top 10 Law School Admissions Tips From Reddit Everyone Should Read
Reddit can be a great place to find honest, unfiltered advice. This article lists the top tips for law school admissions.
Getting accepted into a top law school can be an arduous process, and there are no guarantees whatsoever. But if you're interested in learning more about the admissions process and getting advice from experts, the law school admissions Reddit forum provides some invaluable information.
Here are the top 10 pieces of advice from the r/lawschooladmissions subreddit.
1. Employment and pay rate information may not be entirely accurate
As you're comparing law schools, one factor to consider is how successful each school is at getting its graduates into jobs with high pay rates.
But according to user IHeartLSAT, who used to be a law school admissions officer for a top-tier school, some schools may gather that information through self-reporting rather than more detailed research.
In other words, law schools rely on their graduates to help them determine these numbers, and if a large portion of their former students doesn't report, you're dealing with incomplete information.
So consider asking each school how the data is gathered so you have a better idea of their legitimacy.
2. Put in the work on the LSAT
Whether or not you're a good test-taker, the LSAT is crucial to your success in getting admitted to the law school of your choice. In one post, user paleselan1 shared their frustration with getting the same score every time they took the practice test for seven weeks.
"Can you imagine how terrible I felt? I would sit down and spend 12 hours studying over the course of the week, only to sit down and score the same amount as the week before," they wrote.
But in the end, they didn't stop studying, and their diligence paid off. They managed to increase their official LSAT score from 165 to 175.
3. Consider getting some work experience before you apply
There's no right or wrong answer for when you should apply for law school. But user Sixers83 shared that people who jump straight from their undergraduate degree to law school could be at a disadvantage:
"Law schools care about their ranking, and weighed into that ranking are employment statistics. Admissions teams are much more confident that an applicant who has gained WE and then applies to law school has a better grasp on their future goals and is more likely to pursue legal employment than someone straight out of undergrad who has yet to explore different career options out in the workforce."
4. Research your chances
It can be difficult to know what your chances are of getting into a particular school with your GPA and LSAT score. But fortunately, there's an easy way to get an idea of your odds of admission.
Each law school that's accredited by the American Bar Association publishes a 509 report annually, wrote user EaglesThankYou.
"These reports are freely available online and will list a school's incoming class 25th 50th and 75th percentile GPA and LSAT scores," they wrote. "To be a competitive applicant you ideally want to find yourself around the 50th percentile for both GPA and LSAT."
5. Don't overestimate the value of your 'softs'
As you peruse the law school admissions Reddit forum, you'll likely come across the term "softs" fairly often. This refers to soft factors in the admissions process, or factors that don't have as much of an impact as your LSAT score and GPA.
Softs include work experience, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, student diversity and your personal statement (and essays).
While these can help — and some are more valuable than others — don't think that they'll make up for subpar test scores. You can read more about the impact of soft factors in this post.
6. Don't rely too heavily on your GPA and LSAT score
While these indicators are heavily weighted, user lawschool3L2k19 recommended not putting all of your eggs in one basket:
"In application, care about every portion of it not just your LSAT/GPA. Put thought into your letters of recommendation people and your personal statement. We have people at our law school and their only job is to review those things."
7. Engage with each school
In one post, user YourEssayWasBoring shared a wealth of information as a former law school admissions officer.
One of their top tips was to personalize your application to each law school: "I was never impressed when applicants didn't even mention the school or why they were applying to our school specifically somewhere in the app. It's really obvious when you've just sent the same thing to 20+ schools."
They also recommended that applicants visit the campus, especially if their application isn't as strong as others.
8. Go straight to the source for advice
Many law schools have admissions blogs and FAQs to help applicants with the process. One post by user overheadSPIDERS shares a few examples, but if your top schools aren't listed, check the law school's website to see if it has resources for you.
9. Don't let acceptances or rejections define you
User YouTubeLawyer1 offered several tips in one post. But the most important may be how you handle acceptances and rejections:
"You should not define yourself by your stats or by your acceptances/lack thereof during this upcoming, or any, cycle. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't be proud of your acceptances, and it doesn't mean that you're not allowed to feel sad because a school didn't accept you. What it does mean is that you shouldn't let either of these define or impact your self-worth. Just because x school didn't accept you doesn't mean that you're a failure. Likewise, just because some prestigious school, or any school/center really, accepted you doesn't mean that you're intrinsically better than those who weren't as fortunate."
10. Join r/lawschooladmissions
The law school admissions Reddit forum offers access to vital information and resources for law school candidates. If you have any questions or want to share your own experience, join the subreddit and start engaging with the community to better understand your path forward to law school.
Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer based in Salt Lake City, UT. He loves helping people better understand their finances. When he's not traveling, Ben enjoys spending time with his kids, hiking, and watching films. His work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, MarketWatch, Fox Business, and many other publications.
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