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6 Steps To A Successful Law School Application

"For those prospective applicants who are still at least a few months away from starting on their law school applications, it can seem like the days of early fall are far off. However it is not too early to start planning ahead," says Senior Consultant Laura Dauchy, JD.

"Many law schools start processing applications in mid-September. That may not leave you as much time to prepare for the application process as you thought you had. Though it is not necessary to submit your application the very day that the admissions cycle begins – for example, HLS 'opens' on September 15 – it is a good idea to be ready to finalize your applications starting then.

"Hopefully, the three months of summer will provide you with a bit of a respite from your hectic schedule. During this time you should consider taking the following six actions:

"One – Research your targeted schools. Find out what courses they offer, what makes them unique (e.g. the appeal of Stanford's small size vs. HLS' vastness), and what appeals to you – the intangibles like location, culture, etc.

"Two – Define your goals. Decide what you hope to accomplish in law school and in your legal career. This exercise may prove beneficial to crafting your personal statement and/or other miscellaneous essays.

"Three – Identify your recommenders and/or discuss your plans with them. Who do you want to write your letters of recommendation? What information do they need from you to provide you with the best possible support?

"Four – Develop your resume. What are the high points of your academic and professional experiences? How are you going to keep that information to 2 pages (at the most)?

"Five – Plan for campus visits. What schools can you visit? When will you be able to make these treks? Remember, most schools will have their travel and on-campus visitation schedules ready by mid- to late August.

"Six – Relax! The fall is going to be hectic and stressful. Now is the time to work through the above steps methodically while giving yourself the chance to catch your breath and be as thoughtful about your admissions strategy as possible – which will ultimately lead to a more effective application!"

– Contributed by Senior Consultant Laura Dauchy, JD. Laura was the Associate Director of Admissions at Seton Hall Law School.

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