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How to Prepare for Law School

While Political Science, History and English are the most common among those who apply for law school, you should only declare those majors if you enjoy them. The skills essential for law school preparation can be attained with any major. Therefore, you will actually increase your chances of admission into law school if you choose a major in which you are interested. Studying a subject you enjoy will help you acquire a higher GPA than if you were to take a major that you were not as interested in. The American Bar Association identified the following skills as essential:

  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Critical reading skills
  • Writing skills
  • Oral communication and listening abilities
  • General research skills
  • Task organization and management skills
  • Value serving others and promoting justice

Assessing your chances of gaining admission to any particular law school requires a review of the most current admission's data available. There are several resources to help you:

  • ABA/LSAC Official Guide To ABA-Approved Law Schools This book [located in 135 Johnston Hall or online at www.lsac.org] includes facts and information on all ABA-approved law schools in the country. Data such as admission results for prior applicants are helpful to see how others with your GPA and LSAT scores fared last year.
  • Boston College Law School Range Finder
  • Princeton Review Advanced Law School Search
  • Law school catalogs Some law schools don't print all of their admission results in the ABA/LSAC Official Guide To ABA-Approved Law Schools; therefore, you can obtain an application booklet and/or catalog by contacting the law schools that you are interested in and requesting information. Many schools do have this available online.

What are "REACH", "TARGET", and "SAFETY" schools?

It is rare that an applicant will gain admission to all of the laws schools they apply to. Therefore, it is helpful to make educated guesses based on three categories of prospects.

  • REACH This is a law school where about 20% or less of the applicants with your GPA and LSAT scores were recently admitted. Your "REACH" applications should be your dream schools. Work hard to make your application one of the 4 they might accept.
  • TARGET This is a law school where your GPA and LSAT scores are approximately the same as the medians for last year's entering class. "TARGET" schools present at least a 50/50 chance.
  • SAFETY This is a law school where at least 80% of the applicants with your GPA and LSAT scores were admitted last year. Include several "SAFETY" schools on your list due to the accelerating applicant pools in terms of quality. What may have been a "SAFETY" school last year may have suddenly become a "TARGET" school instead.

 


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