Every year, thousands of aspiring lawyers try their best to get accepted
into selective law schools, but getting in is no simple feat. The highest
rated law schools in the nation have extremely low acceptance rates. To
get into these schools, students need to have excellent grades and high
test scores. For example, Yale Law School had an acceptance rate below
8.4% in fall 2017. The median undergraduate GPA was 3.91 on a 4.0 scale,
and the median LSAT score for students entering law school was 173 out
of a maximum of 180.
U.S. News and World Report asked Thomas Simeone and other attorneys about the best ways to get accepted
into a top law school. Below, we tell you about a few key attributes that
successful law school applicants tend to have.
Exceptional Academic Credentials
Without good grades, it is very hard to get into a competitive law school.
Speaking about the importance of having stellar grades, attorney Thomas
Simeone, says, “Having activities is helpful when applying to law
school because they show a well-rounded approach to life. However, top
law schools need to determine whether you can succeed while there and
afterwards, and good undergraduate grades are the best indicator of that.
Schools have no way of knowing how challenging or beneficial your activities
were, but good grades indicate that someone did what it took to succeed,
despite the challenges of being a student.”
Aspiring attorneys should wait until they have finished college to start
applying to law schools. This is because J.D. admissions officers place
high value on work experience. Attorney Simeone says that his pre-law
adviser convinced him to hold off his applications until after college.
"He advised me that working makes a person an entirely different
candidate. Not only are you older and more mature, but working allows
you to bring real-world experiences to law school," said Simeone.
Detailed Letter of Endorsement
A strong letter of recommendation can really make a law school application
stand out among the rest. Schools will receive thousands of letters of
recommendation, but the letters that recruiters remember are the ones
that present the applicant’s best qualities, rather than a general
endorsement of their skills.
A Strong Argument for Pursuing Law School
Only a handful of applicants ever tell a comprehensive story about their
reasons for wanting to go to law school. When an applicant tells a consistent
story in their application, they are much more likely to get admitted
into the college they want. Write a compelling statement that presets
your interests and reasoning in an engaging manner.
Academic Projects & Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities that demonstrate community service, leadership,
or athleticism can also help applicants compete in the J.D. admissions
process. Taking rigorous undergraduate courses and completing interesting
academic projects, such as an honors thesis will also give applicants
a significant edge during the admissions process.
Do you have more questions about pursuing law school? Contact our team of Washington DC personal injury lawyers
to set up a free consultation today.