For the pre-law students at SHSU, there are some tough questions to ask as they prepare for law school. What should I include in the personal statement? Who should I ask for letters of recommendation? What should those letters say? What schools should I apply to, given my GPA and LSAT score? When should I take the LSAT?
Those questions were answered last week at the LEAP Center’s “Law-School Information Session,” featuring a visit by Katherine Sims, of Texas A&M University School of Law. Ms. Sims is the Admissions Coordinator at TAMU Law, and she put her knowledge on full display, to the benefit of the students.
- Take the LSAT the year prior to your enrollment in law school. The LSAT is offered in February, June, October, and December. For students interested in going to law school in the Fall of 2016, for example, students should probably shoot for a June, October, or December LSAT. In a pinch, a February LSAT might work, but that’s typically after law schools begin making enrollment decisions.
- The best people to ask for a letter are people who know you and your skills, particularly in the areas of writing, critical thinking, and communication. Typically, these are professors, but a letter from an employer or intern supervisor can also work.
- For the personal statement, students should try to be themselves while, of course, putting their best foot forward. Ms. Sims resisted describing a “typical successful” essay, because the essays should be appropriate for the individual applicant—and the applicants all have different experiences, strengths, and reasons for wanting to go to law school. Of course, apart from the content of the statement, the applicant’s writing skills are closely scrutinized.
- To know which schools to apply to, students should research where their LSAT and GPA fit into the rankings, and then to examine specific aspects of the schools and their cultures to find a good fit. For TAMU, the median LSAT is 154, and the median GPA is 3.21, but Ms. Sims emphasized that all applications were examined, and encouraged all the students to apply (no application fee is charged!)
The LEAP Center Advisory Board students would like to thank Ms. Sims for her information presentation, and the 25 pre-law students who attended to learn more about law school—and their future!