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Law School Applications in the Time of Corona

  • by M Hope Echales
  • Apr 01, 2020
  • Law School, Law School Advice, Legal Jobs

You know what might help you stop looking at COVID stats for a few minutes? Thinking about law school applications! Hooray?

Okay, look, I get it. It’s hard to focus when, well, [gestures at everything].  And in times like these, there’s no one correct way to cope.  But on the off-chance that your particular brand of oh-god-oh-hell-what-are-we-going-to-do anxiety manifests in an action-oriented direction, let’s talk about some things you can actually do during quarantine to help your law school applications.  After all, even post-apocalyptic wastelands will need lawyers, right?

1. Remember your frenemy, the LSAT

I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear this, but one of the most effective things you can do to boost your law school applications is to slay the LSAT. The immediate time range of when LSAT testing will resume is still up in the air—the March test was canceled, and we won’t hear about April’s exam until around the 10th—but sooner or later the exam will be back.  

Okay, that’s nice, but how am I supposed to study during a global freaking pandemic?

Oh, thanks for the question, rhetorical device. I’m glad you asked.

The New York Times recently ran a piece about adjusting to working (or studying) from home.  The tl;dr version: make a schedule.  Keeping track of time when days merge and blend into each other feels a bit impossible.  One thing that can help is setting a timer.  An afternoon can slip into, I dunno, maybe Tuesday?  But a 40-minute timer is 40 minutes long, no matter when you set it. Setting three 40-minute tasks to accomplish a day feels a lot more doable than “study at some point.”  

Some things that could take about 40 minutes: 

– Comb through recent practice tests to create a list of the types of questions that you want to spend more individual time practicing with.

– Create a set of flashcards — lists of terms that indicate necessary or sufficient conditions or conclusions and premises might be a good place to start.  (If you use one of your 40-minute slots to decorate your flashcards instead of studying them, I won’t tell.)

– Take and score one full practice section.

Make a list of all of the logical fallacies that you can find while scrolling Twitter.

– Stare blankly at your prep book because some days it just won’t come together.

2. Have you thought about your personal statement lately?

What better time to really ruminate on what makes you uniquely you than a period of enforced isolation?  A lot of the usual activities that law school hopefuls rush to fit onto their résumés before applications go in are going to be pretty impossible while social distancing.  Luckily, navel-gazing is an activity that’s exceptionally well-suited to “pantslessness” long periods of uninterrupted thinking time.  

Try to work in a few brainstorming sessions while you’re commuting around the apartment.  Start easing into a first draft while you rock out to your personal ‘rona playlist.  Do a digital home workout with Chris Hemsworth.  That won’t help with your personal statement, but it might help brighten your afternoon, and don’t we all deserve one nice thing?

Side note: Adcoms will probably see a lot of law school applications and personal statements that start with “How Surviving Coronavirus Changed My Life.” You’ve been warned.

3. Get involved in your community

In order to be a good lawyer… okay, you don’t need to be a good person to be a good lawyer, but wouldn’t the world be a better place if that were true?  The country, and the world, are in crisis. Do something good for the people around you. See if a nearby hospital is accepting homemade masks or other personal protective equipmentDonate blood.  Send money to your local food bank — or better yet, sign up to volunteer with them (provided that you can do so safely).  Put a drawing of a rainbow in your window and connect with people across the world who are trying to spread cheer and keep kids entertained.  

At heart, lawyers are advocates.  And what are we meant to advocate for if not the betterment of our world?  Right now, that means this.

There are a lot of things that are outside of individual control right now.  We can’t control politicians’ decisions, whether or not our parents are breaking quarantine, or if we’re going to be taking Torts and Contracts from self-isolation.  So we take action where we can.  Stay safe. Stay home. And in the meantime, we at Blueprint will be here for your study needs, be they online classes, individual (online) tutoring, or the humble offerings of this very blog.

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