This post kicks off a 10-part series of posts on the Top Ten Mistakes That Law School Applicants Make.
I’ve been teaching this popular workshop at universities for years, but since many of you aren’t able to attend in person, I wanted to share my top ten tips with you through my blog. We’re going to start with the 10th most common mistake and move our way up.
Now, this mistake makes me very sad because it causes suffering and bad applications from thousands of prelaw students every year.
The #10 Top Ten Mistake That Law School Applicants Make every year is…
THEY DON’T ASK FOR HELP.
They try to apply to law schools on their own. This is a HUGE mistake.
Because you don’t have the time or energy to keep up with all the latest law school application tips and procedures. You’re too busy going to school, studying, working, interning, volunteering, and living your life.
Don’t go through this complex and stressful process by yourself. Get help!
The good news is it’s easy to get help these days. It’s not like the old days. When I was applying to graduate schools back in 1993 (hello, I’m old), the only places I could turn to for application advice was the library and calling or writing to people. I know this will sound archaic to you, but yes, I actually had to get up and go to the library to read application books or pick up the phone or write a letter to get information. Amazon did not exist. Email was not common. The World Wide Web was practically non-existent.
Aren’t you glad you’re a law school applicant right now? You have so many prelaw resources right at your fingertips!
Where can you turn to for help?
- Prelaw advisers at your college or university: most schools have one adviser and larger schools often have two or three. Check your school’s academic advising site or career services site to find out how to meet with a prelaw adviser. Also, these advisers often meet with alumni too; so even if you’ve graduated, you can still meet with them. Use them. They are there to help you. (Don’t have a prelaw adviser? Then follow Diane Curtis, the amazing Director of Prelaw Advising at U Mass Amherst, and read her helpful articles here.)
- Law school admissions officers: the most underutilized prelaw resource in my opinion! If you have specific law schools in mind that you want to apply to, thoroughly read the admissions sites for each school, then sign up for their mailing list, and follow them on Twitter. You can then tweet, email, or call the admissions officers with questions that aren’t answered on their site. You can also meet them and ask questions at local law fairs and forums. Use them. They are there to help you. (Want application tips straight from admissions deans? Check out AdmissionsDean.com and their interviews with law school admissions deans here. )
- Law school admissions experts: valuable, online resources right at your fingertips! When I started doing prelaw advising at the University of Washington in 2004, there weren’t many good online resources. Over the last 12 years, things have changed 180 degrees! Now, you can find many great online sources for prelaw information, answers, and advice. Here are some of the folks that I follow: PowerScore LSAT, Dave Killoran, LawSchooli.com, Most Strongly Supported LSAT Blog, Ms. JD, and UMass Amherst Prelaw. (Want to find more prelaw resources? Check out my prelaw Twitter list.)
- Peg Cheng the Prelaw Guru: it goes without saying that you should follow me @prelawguru. If you have any prelaw questions, tweet or DM me, or post your questions on any of my blog posts and I’ll respond. I’m here to help.
Applying to law school can be complex and stressful. Again, don’t do this alone. Ask for help and the process will be less stressful, more straightforward, and maybe even fun.