Students sometimes struggle through their first semester of law school or college. However, if you find yourself frustrated with the environment or resources offered at your school then consider other options. Transferring can stir up a lot of anxiety. Traci Cosby, third year law student, was unsure about her decision to transfer but ultimately found a great fit at Widener Law. See her story on YouTube: Traci Cosby Talks About Transferring to Widener Law.
The Admissions office is bustling with activity as we fill our incoming class. If you are still thinking about applying, it’s not too late! Our application deadline is May 15 and yes, we do accept June LSAT scores. Just list your registered test date in the LSAT portion of our application and the Admissions office will review your file upon receiving your score.
For those who already applied, congratulations, you’ve accomplished an arduous task and it’s commendable. As decisions roll into your mailbox (or inbox from Widener Law), I hope you find yourself challenged with selecting a school. Consider your options carefully, there’s more to a school than its price tag or ranking. Do some serious self-reflection; your choice will impact your future.
Research the faculty. Does anyone stand out? Align with your interests? What classes are offered? Are they accessible and helpful? Faculty have a profound influence on your education, networking and training. Widener Law’s faculty ranges from judges to CEOs with strong ties to Pennsylvania and Delaware legal communities. What do you want to do and how can the faculty help you achieve that?
Consider the school’s location. Is that where you want to practice? What are the internship and clinical opportunities? Will you be able to network and build your career while in law school? Widener Law is optimally located in the epicenter of major cities (Philadelphia, New York City, DC) offering a wealth of opportunities. We are also uniquely able to offer an education in an urban/suburban or more rural setting with the Harrisburg and Wilmington campuses. Where do you feel most comfortable?
Review the programs. Along with specialties, what core courses are required to graduate? Talk to students and alumni, how do they feel about their preparation? Widener Law prides itself in a practical orientation that prepares students to pass the bar and fully integrate in a professional setting upon graduation.
Ask. Research. Review. Do not rely solely on rankings or publications to make your decision. Visit law schools and sit in on classes. Talk to professors, lawyers, students, alumni and anyone else associated with the law. Your intuition will tell you which school will best prepare you for your path. Choose wisely!
December LSAT results were released recently, how did you score? I received several calls from applicants disappointed with their scores. Hopefully, you conquered each question but here are some suggestions for those who fell short:
- A low LSAT score is not the end of the world. Passion, drive and dedication can get you places – so think positive.
- Reflect on your preparation. Did you take the time to adequately prepare for the LSAT? We advise preparing at least 3 months in advance and timing yourself once you start taking full prep tests. If you prepared solo, would a class help? If you took a class, was your teacher effective? Maybe a tutor would give the personal attention you need?
- Reflect on your health. How did you feel mentally and physically during the test? Were you blanking out? Anxious? Consider seeking a counselor that can develop skills to counteract test anxiety. It is completely natural to feel pressured with this test, it means a lot to your future. But if your anxiety is overwhelming and affecting your score then it’s time to take action, find someone who can give you coping mechanisms. Illness, not getting enough sleep, hunger, headaches and lack of concentration can all affect your score – keep healthy.
- What’s your next step? You can apply with your current score or retake the test. Keeping your score can be an option if it lies close to the median for the entering class. Academic records, personal statements and letters of recommendation can influence the Admissions Committee’s decision, so beef those up! Some schools, like Widener, also offer trial admission programs for applicants with slightly lower scores but otherwise excellent applications. If you feel that your score could increase, then retaking is a good option. Consider your timing, the LSAT is only offered four times per year so you may need to wait another year to start law school. Also consider your likelihood of increasing your score. If you felt healthy, confident and thoroughly prepared then scores rarely increase more than a point or so (although there are always exceptions).
I hope this offers some advice to those of you grappling with a tough decision. If you’re still unsure, feel free to email me at email@example.com with questions.
And happy 2011!