pegcheng

The Ins & Outs of Choosing Law Schools

Choosing law schools is like choosing your favorite candy when you're a bona fide sugar fiend. So much to choose from! Everything looks good. How do you even decide? Never fear. I've compiled some common questions and answers below to help you get started with choosing schools. Q: When is the best time to choose law schools? A: The best time is when you have your LSAC GPA and final LSAT score in hand. With these two key numbers, and your own personal likes and dislikes, you have all you need to start compiling a list of potential schools. But…

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pegcheng

Choosing Law Schools

Choosing which law schools to apply to can be difficult. There are so many great choices. How do you even begin narrowing it all down? In this post, I hope to shed some light on how to choose law schools that will be a good match for you. HOW MANY SCHOOLS SHOULD I APPLY TO? I recommend applying to 6-8 law schools. You could apply to fewer or more, but if you’re applying to more than ten schools, you should take a close look at whether you are serious about attending every one of your schools or if you’re just…

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Do You Need a Diversity Statement?

Do you need to write a diversity statement for your law school application? Diversity factors include, but are not limited to, the following: Ethnic minority Low-income childhood Low-income existence now First generation in your family to graduate from college GLBTQ Non-traditional student (i.e., older student) Single parent while attending college Learning or physical disabilities Immigrant Grew up in an unusual neighborhood, town/city or country Grew up with unusual circumstances, unusual parent(s) and/or unusual sibling(s) Foster child in the past Diversity is important to all law schools. Why? Because law schools want to foster a rich learning environment. You cannot have…

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How to Get Great Letters of Recommendation

Along with a stellar personal statement and resume, great letters of recommendation (LORs) can help tip the scales in your favor when your law school application is "on the bubble"--not quite in but also not quite out. Never underestimate the power of a great recommendation. WHO SHOULD YOU ASK FOR LORS? If you are a current student, focus on securing all your LORs from professors and teaching assistants (TAs). If you graduated college two or more years ago, and are no longer in touch with your professors and TAs, ask for LORs from your supervisors and/or professional mentors. HOW MANY…

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Should You Write a Law School Addendum?

Have some weaknesses in your law school application? You're not alone! So many people do. But there's something you can do about it. Weaknesses or discrepancies in your law school application can be explained in a short, one-page essay called an addendum. Addenda can be written for many reasons, including but not limited to: Low grades Low LSAT score Withdrawal from classes Leave of absence in college Academic misconduct Disciplinary action in college Criminal record Just because an addendum can be written, should it be written? In the case of reasons #3-#7, yes, you should write an addendum. In the…

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Key Tips for Writing the Law School Resume

I've learned a lot over the years about writing a great resume for law school. One thing I know for sure -- turning in a boring, generic resume with your law school application will do nothing to improve your chances for admission. But show admissions officers a well-written, concise and engaging resume, and they will not only be impressed, they will remember you. That’s the name of the application game: being remembered!   KEY TIPS FOR YOUR RESUME: Thoroughly describe your college education, jobs, internships, study abroad experiences, research positions, volunteer positions, leadership positions, awards, skills and more. At the…

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Law School Personal Statements (Part 4): Revise, Revise, Revise!

All good writers know, "Writing is rewriting." Sometimes you read your personal statement draft and you realize, this is not the story I want to tell. It sucks but it happens a lot. You're definitely not alone. Sometimes you can rewrite what you have but other times you need to scrap the whole thing and go back to the drawing board. Are you telling one story or two or three? I've read many drafts where the author tried to shove too many stories into one essay. It was a mish-mash and there was no cohesion to the essay. Remember what…

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Law School Personal Statements (Part 3): The First Draft

Before you write the first draft of your law school personal statement, you need to first understand the anatomy of a personal statement. If you haven't already, read my post, Law School Personal Statements (Part 1): Reading Comes First. After you've read all seven personal statements in the Personal Statement Packet, come back to this post. Let's go over the four parts of a personal statement: the introduction, the second paragraph, the middle and the conclusion. THE INTRODUCTION Each statement begins with an introductory paragraph that “hooks” you into the story. You must get your reader’s attention right away. There…

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Law School Personal Statements (Part 2): Finding Great Topics

Law schools are looking for four elements in your personal statement: Your VALUES, your INTERESTS, your PERSONALITY, and your POINT-OF-VIEW. How do you find great essay topics that will reveal those four elements? Unlike the advice given by many prelaw professionals, I don't believe in tackling the personal statement topic head-on. That doesn't work for 90% of the law school applicants out there. Go ahead and ask yourself: "What's an important topic or event from my life that I can write about that will represent who I am in 2-3 pages?" No pressure, huh? Trying to answer this kind of…

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pegcheng

Law School Personal Statements (Part 1): Reading Comes First

Every person has a story to tell. Many stories, in fact. The personal statement for law school is a vehicle for you to tell one of your stories to a committee of strangers. No biggie, right? Wrong! It takes a lot of time, introspection, and hard work to write a great personal statement. Not a mediocre or good statement, but a great one. In the law school application process, you are nothing but ink on paper. Just like I mention in the video above, when your GPA and LSAT score are equal with hundreds or thousands of other applicants, a…

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