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6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Applied to Law School

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Being a first-generation student, I had no family support or advice on the application process for law school; however, I eventually mastered the application process successfully. I’m now the assistant dean for admissions and financial aid at the UC Davis School of Law, King Hall, and I am awestruck by my job.

But, I also consider what I wish I had known when I first applied to law school. Let me present my list, without a specific order, of the six points you must know based on my personal and professional experiences.

1. The importance of diversity in the classroom is paramount.

Many law students study in the humanities and social sciences law professions and law schools, requirements engineering, science, technology, and mathematics majors (STEM). Students from various disciplines can enhance classroom discussions, and certain legal areas, such as intellectual property, usually require a scientific and technical background. Tech companies and the law firms they represent are actively seeking law students with STEM degrees such as electrical engineering, computer science, and life sciences. Whatever your field of study, make sure you take courses that will help you improve your research, writing, and analytical thinking skills, which leads to my next point. ….

2. Concentrate on developing abilities rather than having a specific understanding base

Some graduate programs require students to understand the subject before beginning, but law schools don’t. A well-written writer with analysis and communication abilities makes the perfect law student. No matter how you acquired these abilities through your studies of English literature, music composition, or even your human genome study, you will be a great candidate for law school and a lawyer. If you’re aware that your writing skills require improvement, use the campus tools like the University Writing Program courses.

3. Activities are not always the best.

In contrast to the undergraduate admissions process at many universities, the law schools are not looking at the number of work experiences, internships, and other interests that applicants have as much as the content of the experiences. Choose your passions and commit your free time to those three or two things. Long-term investment can be more appealing than a long list of specific actions. Also, it is possible to extend beyond the legal realm. Learning opportunities may be found in a variety of contexts. Be curious and challenging -These are the qualities that attract law schools when it comes to the process of applying. If you require assistance finding opportunities, consult on-campus resources, such as those at the Internship and Career Center, and legal advice from the Student Academic Success Center.

4. Lawyers on TV do not represent the vast array of opportunities available

A tiny part of the legal profession is on screen and in movies. Most lawyers don’t have their day in courtrooms or an expensive lawyer’s conference room. Find out about the wide range of settings and the various legal areas. Find out more information through conversations with Aggies who practice as lawyers by joining The UC Davis Aggie Student Alumni Association. Find opportunities for shadowing and internships via the Internship and Career Center, and be involved in pre-law student organizations like The Pre-Law Association at UC Davis and the La Raza Pre-Law Association or the Black Pre-Law Student Association at UC Davis.

Keep an eye out for special events, and free activities law schools typically offer prospective law students. You will learn about the legal practice of law from practicing lawyer professors, faculty members, and law students currently in the program.

5. Your GPA and LSAT scores are crucial.

Your university GPA and your Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score are two of the two most vital aspects of your legal school applications. The LSAT is administered at least six times (beginning in 2018) and will be administered through the Law School Admission Council. When you begin an application, your GPA will likely be fairly set. However, the LSAT could be a means to increase your chances of being accepted even if your GPA doesn’t reflect the potential you have.

However, LSAT success requires serious preparation and a minimum of three months of intense preparation. Remember that there’s an application fee.

Many students enroll in commercial law school prep courses (they’re expensive; however, you can inquire with the instructors about discounts during law school info fairs). You can also design an effective self-study course by using test prep books that are commercially available or online resources for free and practice tests provided by the Law School Admission Council.

Conduct your research thoroughly and select a few schools with admissions rates ranging from extremely good to those with less of a chance of being accepted. For this, you must study the grids located at the bottom of the majority of individual pages of law schools within the LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools. These grids show the number of students with LSAT scores and GPAs similar to yours who were admitted during this year’s most current admission year.

6. Make a schedule for implementing

Like all projects, planning is essential in the process of applying. You should plan to dedicate 6-8 months, which includes time to research and take the LSAT. Prepare your resume and statement, ask for recommendations, tour schools, and take part in seminars on law schools as well as other activities. A longer timeline will allow you to spread out your tasks while still leaving time to enjoy your future life. Making time management a priority and balancing work and play within your daily routine will make it much simpler to be a lawyer and law student. Lawyer!

In addition, we advise students to apply for this school. UC Davis School of Law before January. 10th. We review and accept applications through mid-August when the academic year begins.

Brian Santiago

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