13 Ways to Prepare for Law School
- Apr 07, 2022
- Admissions, General LSAT Advice, Law School, Law School Admissions, LSAT
After making the initial decision to pursue a law degree, you may be wondering “what’s next?” Law school is a three-year commitment that can lead to a successful and fulfilling (and, let’s be real, potentially pretty lucrative) career path. Given how attractive the legal field is, it’s no wonder that law schools have plenty of applicants – and, in turn, it follows that preparing for law school has become quite a lengthy and elaborate process. How lengthy a process it is depends on the person, though. Some applicants start preparing for law school as early as high school; others don’t realize that the law is their True Calling until they’ve spent decades in the corporate world. Don’t worry: there are many different paths to pursuing law. Whether you’re planning to apply right after receiving your bachelor’s degree, or are approaching this decision as an adult professional, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare for law school.
Steps to take as an undergrad:
Maintain a competitive GPA
Taking challenging classes and doing well in them is an important way to prepare for your law school journey. For one, it’ll help you get used to putting in the huge amount of work it takes to succeed in law school. But on a more immediate level, maintaining a good GPA is a great way to appear attractive to law school admissions committees.
Take pre-law classes
Though there are a variety of bachelor’s degrees that are compatible with pursuing law, it may be worthwhile to talk to your academic advisor about which classes would be most helpful to you. For example, many students find classes in philosophy, criminal justice, sociology, government, and political science (to name a few) useful as preparation for studying law.
Join a pre-law organization
You may want to think about signing up for a pre-law organization or club on your college campus. These groups can provide resources to assist with your applications, help you research different law schools, and give you general information about the law school experience. Plus, it’s sort of a built-in study group of LSAT prep study buddies. If your school doesn’t have a pre-law organization to join, you can always grab some (legally-minded) friends and start your own!
Find an internship
Internships in law offices can be extremely valuable for students and can be found as early as high school. Internships provide an opportunity for hands-on learning within the field. There’s really no better way to learn about the way a law office functions and what is expected of working lawyers on a day-to-day basis than to actually spend some time getting your hands dirty.
Obtain your undergraduate degree
Before you can officially apply for law school, you must have graduated or plan to graduate from university within the year. Law school admissions require your transcripts, which should include either your final grades or expected graduation date. This is also where maintaining a high GPA will pay off!
Useful ideas for anyone at any age:
Improve your “soft skills”
Law schools are known for prioritizing both hard AND soft skills. Students should master soft skills in particular because they provide the foundation for successful law study in and out of the classroom. It is normal to be a little unsure of what soft skills entail, so here are a few:
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
- Public speaking
- Research skills
- Active listening
- Analytical thinking
- Reading comprehension
If any of these skills are weak points for you, try to find a way to practice them in your academic or professional life. If public speaking makes you nervous, consider enrolling in a public speaking course. On the other hand, if you’ve spent the last five years as a legal assistant proofreading documents for partners – great! Be sure to hype those skills in your application.
Speak with a lawyer. Or several.
Another way to prepare for law school is to speak with a practicing lawyer. Ideally, you would interview lawyers of various specialties (e.g. family law, criminal law, civil law) in order to get an idea of the exact path you would like to take. Getting an idea of what being a lawyer is truly like can only help you in your application process and education path.
Prioritize your physical and mental health
Ideally, this is something you’re already doing, but if it helps to think about keeping healthy as part of your law school journey, you have our permission. Building a foundation of healthy habits will not only make your immediate reality better, but it’ll help you to make better decisions during this incredibly stressful time in your life. Besides, law school itself is more of a marathon than a sprint—developing consistency, keeping focused and organized, and prioritizing rest can only give you an advantage in your journey ahead.
Essential law school application prep:
Research law schools
You can’t go to law school if you don’t even know which law schools you’re applying to. As you start your research, think about your career aspirations and academic goals so you can use that knowledge to help you make an informed decision. Like people, different schools have different strengths and weaknesses, so keep that in mind when you’re developing your list of prospective schools.
Attend a law school forum
After you’ve done a little bit of baseline research into different law schools, it may be helpful to attend a law school forum. Across the country, many schools attend these events with the express purpose of answering questions about preparing, applying, and succeeding in law school, as well as giving some key insights into what benefits particular schools are bringing to the table. Law school reps at these fora can also give you information about the general law school experience, which can help you get a better idea of what your future holds.
Visit law schools
After getting your shortlist of prospective law schools together, the next step is visiting them! There is only so much information you can glean from brochures and websites; experiencing campuses firsthand can help you narrow down your choices. There’s just no replacement for speaking with current students and professors on the campus of a school you are interested in. (Pro tip: Wait for a school to host a prospective student weekend where there are scheduled tours and other events to give you a better idea of what the school is all about.)
Prepare for the LSAT
This step may be pretty far down on our list of prep tips, but LSAT prep is arguably one of the most important things you can do to help you get into law school. The LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, is an exam taken by prospective law school students. It’s meant to measure potential incoming students’ abilities in general reasoning and reading comprehension skills to see if they’ll be up for the rigors of law school. The LSAT is a notoriously difficult test, and it’s weighted very heavily by admissions committees. Thankfully, Blueprint Prep has got your back when it comes to resources to help you feel confident going into the exam. Tutoring, online courses, and practice exams , along with a tailored study plan and various LSTA tips, can set you up for LSAT success.
Submit your applications
Of course, the last step of law school prep is getting your applications together. Keep in mind that there’s a lot that goes into the application process, and some pieces may take more time than others. Pulling together your letters of recommendation and personal statement will involve some planning. Don’t panic though! There’s plenty of resources that law school applicants can consult to make this whole process easier and less stressful.
It’s no secret that the law school application process is pretty daunting, but don’t let that stand in your way. There are plenty of resources available to aspiring lawyers, and, thankfully, you are not the first or the only law student to begin on this path. Here at Most Strongly Supported, we’ve got your back. Get out there and start prepping.
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