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Law School Requirements | The Complete Guide

Today, we will talk about Law school requirements. This is to help future students know the necessary things that will be required of them before commencing with applications to their various schools of choice.

Overview

The law profession remains an attractive occupation today.  It provides an opportunity to help people with their legal issues while offering financial benefits and social status for the lawyer. 

In order to become an attorney, the first step is to go to law school. There are currently 204 law schools in the United States that the American Bar Association nationally accredits.

law schools come in all shapes and sizes. Practically every law school is strong in one or more areas, including available programs, experiential learning opportunities, affordability, flexibility on how to obtain a degree, job and marketing opportunities, bar passage rate, and student-to-faculty ratio.

There is indeed a “best fit” for each prospective law school student, but it is not always easy to find it.

Here are the Law School Requirements

1. The GRE Exam for Law School

Although the LSAT remains the standard for most law schools, many also accept the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) as an alternative in applications.

The GRE tests all of the knowledge a college student gains as an undergraduate. In addition to the general GRE, there are also several specialized GREs, which some programs also require.

The general GRE assesses the student’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking.

Questions in the exam’s six sections deal with everything from geometry and algebra to vocabulary and logic.

The analytical writing section tasks students with writing two essays in a limited amount of time.

For the issue essay, test takers must explain a complex concept. In the argument essay, writers must persuade their readers to accept a proposal.

That might sound fairly easy. After all, most people wrote essays like that during their freshman semester. But here, test takers must write effective essays without the aid of programs to check grammar or spelling.

The verbal or quantitative sections are no easier. Each section is timed for 30 – 35 minutes and consists of 20 questions each.

These sections challenge students to finish sentences, make analogies, complete mathematical problems, and interpret data sets.

2. GPA Requirements

With just one glance at a law school application, you can see that schools look at many aspects of potential students. Schools put a lot of emphasis on letters of recommendation and standardized test scores.

With all of the law school requirements, an undergraduate GPA is necessary.

Notwithstanding that letters of recommendation and the essay speak to your character as a person and standardized test scores indicate your understanding of a subject, grades are still the best indicator of your qualities as a student.

If a school sees that an applicant has lots of high grades, they can assume that they take their studies seriously and work hard.

Conversely, low grades suggest a student who doesn’t apply themselves to their studies and isn’t serious about school.

For that reason, average GPAs from schools aren’t indicators of the intelligence of a student body, but rather their work ethic.

Take a look at the average GPAs of the top 100 law schools in the United States. They range from 2.95 to 3.76 on the low end.

In the top six law schools (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, and NYU), students average a GPA between 3.56 and 3.97.

These numbers give potential students an idea of their ability to cope with the demands of law school.

If you have a GPA over 3.0, you can probably handle the workload expected in law school. If your GPA is 3.5 or higher, you likely fit among the students in the top schools.

For that reason, applicants must keep their GPAs in context. A strong GPA isn’t an automatic in with a particular school, nor is a low GPA an automatic out.

Rather than simply relying on your GPA one way or another, you should use letters of recommendation, personal essays, and interviews to explain your relationship to your grades.

If they’re strong, point to them as evidence of your abilities as a good student. If they’re low, explain why you still belong, despite the lackluster grades.

 3. LSAT Requirements

 At the most basic level, most law schools require applicants to submit their scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

The LSAT is a standardized test that assesses an applicant’s reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and verbal proficiency.

It consists of five parts, four of which consist of four multiple-choice sections and an unscored writing section.

The final score is calculated by converting raw scores to a scaled score with a high of 180, a low of 120, and a median score of 150. The score helps admission committees predict a candidate’s success in law school.

Test takers have 35 minutes to complete each of the four multiple-choice sections. Although the sections look the same to the test taker, one of the four multiple-choice sections is an unscored experimental section.

The experimental section helps disrupt a test taker’s familiarity with the LSAT, making it harder to cheat or guess answers.

The LSAT examines aspects of logical reasoning and reading comprehension within its questions.

For these questions, test-takers read a short argument and set of facts, then identify its essential elements.

These elements include the argument’s assumption, an alternate conclusion, any logical errors or omissions, another argument with parallel reasoning, or a statement that strengthens or weakens the argument.

To test reading comprehension, the LSAT features a section of four short passages. After reading the passages, the test taker identifies the main idea, identifies specific information, draws inferences based on the reading, or identifies their structure.

In the writing section, test takers are given a prompt that features a problem and two criteria for making a decision. In the essay they write, the test taker must argue for one of the options over the other.

The prompt rarely deals with controversial issues, thus forcing the test taker to construct an argument about a topic they have no strong opinion on.

LSATs are given at universities and testing centers around the world, but only at certain times. The test is only given seven times a year, and it takes a half-day to complete.

4). Essay

While test scores are certainly important, the personal statement essay might be the most critical part of the application.

In the personal statement essay, students write a short, one or two page explanation of their qualifications and goals. It exists to help admission committees see the person behind the numbers.

A solid personal statement essay makes an argument to the committee. That argument should be that you belong in law school, both that the school will make you a better lawyer and that you’ll bring certain qualities to the school.

That sounds scary, to be sure. A personal statement essay asks you to do a lot of explaining in just a few pages.

But the good news is that despite its high stakes, the personal statement essay is really just a grown-up version of the old five-paragraph essay you wrote in high school.

You need a clear opening with a catchy hook, a few body paragraphs to flesh out your ideas, and a conclusion that wraps everything up.

Now you might be wanting to object here, saying that a law school personal statement can’t be about the same stuff you wrote about in high school. That’s true. This essay needs to have excellent content, which is in you.

Although you will mention the teachers and mentors who influenced you, and you certainly should tell the reader why this particular law school matters. But the essay should tell your story.

After reading the essay, the admission committee should be able to see your abilities and weaknesses, your moral center, and the qualities that make you a great future lawyer.

In fact, you should treat the essay like your closing statements in a case. You need to convince the reader that you belong in that school, so make factual claims and provide convincing evidence.

If you emphasize on yourself and follow basic composition principles, your essay will be a great chance to make your case.

5. Internships

In an internship, students get a short-term, part-time job within a field to learn the ropes.

While no law schools require an internship in their applications, they can differentiate between a mediocre applicant and a shoo-in.

Of course, the best possible internship for law school would be in a law firm. Even getting coffee and making copies can expose you to the standards and practices within the legal trade.

After that, a business-related internship would be the next best, as you’ll learn the professionalism and communication techniques used in a law office.

However, every internship can teach you the skills that law schools expect to see in their applicants. Future lawyers can gain leadership abilities, time management skills, and customer service skills in nearly every job.

Conclusion

This is the end of the article. Was it helpful to you? You can drop your response in the comment session.

Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by Admin

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