What to do when you don’t get in.
Law school admission is a tough battle. For some, classes and tests come easy and law schools welcome students with these natural academic skills. Others work hard to reach their dreams and simply need the opportunity to show their work ethic in a legal setting. For these aspiring lawyers, getting into law school can be a greater challenge. If your GPA is less than stellar and your standardized test taking skills need some work, then consider these steps to improve your chances:
- Prepare for the LSAT. Take as many practice tests as you can and time yourself in the process! I frequently meet applicants who study for the LSAT but never timed themselves. Guess what? They felt rushed and pressured when they actually took the test. Don’t be one of these applicants; take a prep class if you feel it’s appropriate. In addition, search online, contact your pre-law advisor or career development center or ask local colleges if they offer weekend prep courses. Yes, they are expensive but so is law school. In the end you might save more money with a scholarship if you score well on the LSAT. Widener Law offer mock LSAT administration every year. We invite prospective students to take the LSAT under simulated testing center standards. This is free and typically offered one week before the actual test.
- Ignore the naysayers. There’s a lot of gripe about law school out there. First, yes, it is important to know that you definitely want to pursue law as a career. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into (this is a topic for another blog). If you know it, you can do it. I believe there is a right law school for almost everyone. Do your research and find out when law schools begin accepting applications. Widener Law has a fairly open application season. We begin accepting application in late August and continue accepting applications through May 15. However, we continue accepting applications through the summer if space is available. So if you didn’t get in early, try for different options. Sometimes schools you never considered are a diamond in the rough, check out JD programs for what they offer rather than just what you heard.
- Contact the Admissions office to ask about your file. If you were not successful this time around, we can help improve your chances next time around. Remember that the LSAT and GPA are important criteria for admission. The Admissions Committee generally looks for applicants close to the incoming class median. Widener Law’s medians are typically around a 151 LSAT and above a 3.0 GPA. However, every applicant is review holistically and your personal statement, letters of recommendation, work experience and additional accolades can sway the committee’s decision.
Still not sure where to go from here? I’d be happy to help, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.