Following is a Guest Post.
It should come as no surprise that the United States is facing serious economic challenges and uncertainties.
The May jobs report was underwhelming, to say the least, as employers added a mere 69,000 jobs and the unemployment rate spiked up to 8.2 percent, according to ABC News. The May jobs report marks a continuation of a slow, anemic employment recovery in the US.
According to Bloomberg, economists had projected that 150,000 new jobs would be created in May and that the unemployment rate would remain at 8.1 percent. These expectations clearly did not come to fruition.
As we live in difficult economic times, more and more Americans are turning to graduate schools to brace the recession and hopefully come out of it stronger in terms of ultimately facing better job prospects in a specialized field.
Many Americans of all ages have contemplated or made the decision to apply to and attend law school. There have been a record number of law school applicants over the last three years as a result of this economic climate.
If you are interested in attending a highly ranked law school, it is important that you understand the most important factors that will impact your admission prospects.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is by far the most important determinant of which law school you can realistically gain entrance to.
This crucial exam consists of five multiple-choice sections and one essay portion that is administered as the final section of the test. Only four of the multiple-choice sections will count toward your final score, which can range from 120 to 180.
While the writing section will not count toward your final score, you will want to try your best and put forth a strong effort since law schools you apply to will have access to this section. The scored multiple choice sections will test your critical reading skills, logical reasoning abilities and spatial reasoning skills.
There are over 60 real LSAT practices tests available for you to study from, as well as a host of other preparation material.
You will want to complete the most recent ten LSAT practice tests available to gain familiarity with this all important exam. To have a realistic chance
at a top-14 law school, you will want to aim for an LSAT score of at least 168. You may also want to consider enrolling in an LSAT prep course.
After your LSAT score, your undergraduate GPA (UGPA) will be the next most important determinant of which law school you can realistically gain admission to. Law schools do not place as much weight on the UGPA in comparison to the LSAT because the UGPA is not a standardized measure.
Several factors can easily impact a potential law school candidate’s UGPA, including his or her major as well as the undergraduate university he or she attended. Some law schools may take grade trends into consideration when evaluating a candidate’s application.
Employment, Work Experience and Volunteering
Have you held any employment, internship or volunteering position in the legal sector? If so, you can really use this to your advantage by clearly highlighting it in your resume and law school application. You should, of course, include all your work experience within your application.
Law schools may look favorably upon your work experience. However, if you do not have any work experience, you should not worry. Law schools do not actually expect candidates to have a wealth of work experience.
Letters of Recommendation
You will want to obtain letters of recommendation from professors or employers who truly know you and understand your skills and talents. He or she should be able to convey your positive features in a very concise and eloquent manner.
If you performed amazingly well in your Constitutional law class, you may want to ask the professor who taught the course to write you a letter of recommendation.
While all these factors will collectively determine which law school you can attend, your LSAT score will reign supreme in determining your fate. This is the only standardized portion of your application and the single measure law schools will use to compare candidates. Hit the books hard and take as many LSAT practice tests as you can.
William Reynolds is an LSAT tutor, online legal instructor for The College City. William understands the importance of preparation when it comes to performing well on the LSAT.