Some students go straight into the workforce after high school. Others attend community college or a four-year university to earn their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. Still, within those who obtain a bachelor’s, there are a select few who continue their education and earn a master’s, Ph.D., or some type of professional degree. If you’re interested in becoming a lawyer or working in the legal field, this is a necessary step. Read this short guide on what to know before applying to law school to help you get started.
Take the LSAT
Once you finish your bachelor’s degree, the next step in your education pathway before going to law school is taking the LSAT exam. The LSAT—which stands for Law School Admission Test—is mandatory for most accredited law schools in the country. It costs about $500 and is composed of analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, writing sample, and reading comprehension portions. It may also help to have an LSAT consultant tutor you through your studies to better prepare you for the day of the exam. Otherwise, study with friends or alone well in advance of the testing date to stay focused.
Work in a Legal Office
While not required for law school admissions, gaining some type of law firm employment makes you stand out in your application. Whether you’re completing your bachelor’s education or you’re in the gap years before your law school application, try to work in various legal organizations to gain masterful experience. While it obviously helps to work in a law firm for hands-on experience, you can find sufficient legal practice in other fields as well, like communications management or business.
Understand Different Types of Law
Again, although not needed, it also helps to have an avenue of law you’re passionate about. Law is similar to any field in that there are various subfields to go into. Health law, family law, immigration law, environmental law, entertainment law, civil rights law, labor law, and personal injury law are just some of the most common fields to focus on. Wherever your interests lie, there is a legal subsect related to them. Still, it’s perfectly okay to not have this in your mind yet. Most law students come in without knowing which type of law they’ll focus on. Having it in the back of your mind nevertheless helps you focus on your studies and career.
Obtain Good Letters of Recommendation
With everything else, obtaining good recommendation letters is one of the most important tips to know before applying to law school. As a type of post-graduate career-building education, law schools require letters of recommendation to understand the type of student you are. It’s safe to submit three letters of recommendation from former professors, colleagues, employers, or others who know a lot about you. Letters of recommendation aren’t focused solely on your academic successes either. Having a diverse selection of recommendation letters shows law schools your academic and personal achievements for potential admittance into their institution.