How to Set Yourself Up for a Good Academic Experience

Apply for Jobs & Internships: https://webapp.stthomas.edu/careerdevelopment/joblistings/index.htm

Volunteer
Meet with Dr. Winters, our Pre-Law Advisor, wint4786@stthomas.edu
Check out other clubs that help highlight what you like to do & what is important to you

Thinking About Law School

Financial Planning:

Make sure you consider the financial implications of law school & plan accordingly. The LSAT itself costs $175 and many people choose to take the test twice. That doesn’t include prep books and courses that are necessary for many people to achieve the score they want. Then the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), which is required by some law school applications, costs $175. Then there are individual law school application fees. Although there are some fee waivers for cases of extreme need, be sure to be preparing financially for the next step. Many students choose to take some time off to help save up for law school, so considering that option might be beneficial. Ultimately, knowing what is best for you/what works for your career goals and how much debt (if any) you are willing to take on is an important part of preparing for law school.

Some questions you might need to ask (You might need to have this conversation with your parents or whoever helps you, it may be an awkward conversation, but embrace it! It might save you down the road!):

1)     Do I have any undergraduate student loans? If so, how much will the interest accrue while I am in law school? Are they public or private?
2)     How much do I have saved for law school? Can I cut some expenses to save some money?
3)     Who is going to pay for your law degree? If your parents helped you out in undergrad, will they continue to help in law school? If so, how much?
4)     What fields of law am I interested in? What is the expected salary in that field?
5)     What is the average salary of law students at that particular school? According to that metric, how long will it take you to pay off your debt?
6)     Are there loan forgiveness opportunities or scholarships you could look into?
7)     Will debt hold me back from future life choices I might what to make? (Becoming a parent/staying at home with kids, traveling, running for political office, home ownership, owning a business, etc.)

4 Ways to Pick a Cost Effective Law School: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/articles/2015/01/22/4-ways-to-pick-a-cost-efficient-law-school

Preparing for the Cost of Law School: http://www.wikihow.com/Pay-for-Law-School

10 Ways to Get Financially Ready for Law School: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/slideshows/10-ways-to-get-financially-ready-for-law-school?page=1

Law School Criteria- Preparing for Your Dream Law School:

UGPA & LSAT Score Search- Compare your GPA & LSAT Score to 2015 admission data to give you a good idea as to what you need to get and if you need to improve your GPA. This also can help you create a law school list.

https://officialguide.lsac.org/release/ugpalsat/ugpalsat.aspx

 

How to Network as a Pre-Law Student

  • Attend our events, specifically our Attorney Networking Event & Law Student Forum
  • Sign-up for our Attorney Mentoring Program
  • Find a mentor
  • Use resources like Linkedin
  • Connect with professors, write thank you notes to ones you enjoy
  • Job shadow
  • Develop your elevator pitch
  • Follow up

Preparing for the LSAT

Pre-Law Students should aim to take the June LSAT after their Junior Year this allows you to apply early to Law Schools (which is beneficial because most Law Schools accept on a rolling basis). This is also the only exam that is offered in the afternoon, all of the other dates are on Saturday mornings at 8 am. If needed, you can retake the exam in the fall. If you do not take the June LSAT, try to take the September/October exam, which still allows you to retake the test in December if you do poorly. Taking the February LSAT and applying for admission for the same year is hard because many schools will not accept a February LSAT, so it is a last resort.

For some students, self-studying is a valid option, however, for others a prep course might be the best way to hold yourself accountable. Knowing your budget, your plans for Law School, and how you study best is key to getting a good LSAT score. It isn’t as intimidating as you think!

About the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT): http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/about-the-lsat

Preparing for the LSAT: http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/preparing-for-the-lsat

LSAT Dates & Deadlines: http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/test-dates-deadlines

LSAT Lessons from Legally Blonde (really!): https://uniontestprep.com/lsat/blog/lsat-lessons-from-legally-blonde-really

Self-study LSAT Study Schedules (There are multiple time frames ranging from 1-month to the LSAT to 7-months): http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/p/month-lsat-study-schedules-plans.html

Self-Studying Podcast: http://www.thinkinglsat.com/blog/

Kaplan Prep Course: https://www.kaptest.com/lsat

As a Pre-Law Society member, you are eligible for the club discount, but always check to see if there is a better option. Many times Kaplan has offers that are even better than our club discount, like on Black Friday.

Applying for Law School

Components of a Law School Application:

a. Application
b. LSAT Score
c. Transcript
http://www.lsac.org/jd/applying-to-law-school/cas/requesting-transcripts
https://www.stthomas.edu/registrar/student/forms/transcriptrequest/

d. Letters of Recommendation
http://www.lsac.org/jd/applying-to-law-school/cas/lor-evaluations

e. Resume

How to Create a Resume for Law School Applications: http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/get-in-law-school/2010/08/09/rsum-writing-for-law-school-applications-

Five Keys to a Great Law School Resume: https://blueprintlsat.com/lsatblog/law-school-admissions/five-keys-to-a-great-law-school-resume/

How to Create Your Best Resume Sample Before & After: http://thegirlsguidetolawschool.com/07/how-to-create-your-best-law-school-application-resume-sample-before-and-after/

Tips:

-        Stay consistent in format

-        Have someone review your resume

-        Include education, work, activities, and personal

-        In your work section focus on what you learned, not what you did

-        Recognize the difference between a work resume & an academic resume, they are different

-        Keep it to one page

Sample Resumes:

      http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/2008/11/resume2.pdf

      http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/2008/11/resume3.pdf

      http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/2008/11/golitely-resume.pdf

  1. Personal Statement

Tips:

-        Don’t state what can be found elsewhere in your application

-        Don’t right about why you want a law degree, about another person, a trip, how you want to save the world, or an excuse

-        Don’t reference high school

-        Don’t use a quote

-        Don’t reference a TV show or movie

-        Do write more than one Personal Statement

-        Do check for typos

-        Do have as many people read it as possible

-        Do keep your message upbeat

-        Do start with a hook

-        Do try to play against type i.e. an environmentalist who is business savy or a lab rat with people skills

-        Do try to right about an inflection point or life-changing moment

-        Do try to right about a tough decision

-        Do right about your passions

Personal Statement Theme Advice: http://lawschoolnumbers.com/application-prep/personal-statement-theme-advice

Do’s and Don’ts: https://careercenter.georgetown.edu/graduate-law-school/law-school-application/law-school-personal-statement-tips.html

Tips for Your Personal Statement: https://www.princetonreview.com/law-school-advice/personal-statement

Personal Statement Examples: http://www.top-law-schools.com/personal-statement-examples.html