This section will discuss how to answer questions on a typical law school application. Filling out your application is one of the most important steps when applying to law school.
Before you get underway, it is important to have all necessary documents. The essential documents include LSAT scores, LSDAS report, Transcripts, Letters of recommendation, Personal Statement, Dean's Appraisal (only when requested), Resume (often optional), and Addendum (optional). Click Here for Checklist
Important Rules for Filling out Your Application
You should make sure that anything you state is complete and accurate because you don't want to find yourself in the position of having to explain to a prospective school why you left out or mischaracterized information in your application. Such a situation will most likely dramatically hurt your chances of being accepted. You should also double and triple check your application so you don't leave out important information and to make sure your application is free of grammar or typing errors.
Filling Out Your Application
Be sure to complete every question asked on any application. Most schools utilize online applications that can be saved and completed at a later date so don't try to tackle it all in one day. Thoroughness is better than speed in this case.
This section discusses questions that appear on almost every law school application. You may not know the answer or may not know how to answer one of these questions. It is important to remember to find a way to turn a negative into a positive.
- Have you ever been in trouble at any learning institution or with any licensing board for any reason?
- Have you ever been court-martialed?
- Have you ever been arrested, given a written warning, taken into custody, whether rightfully or wrongfully accused?
- Where did you hear about this law school?
How to Deal with These Questions
Adopt a mindset of disclosure (i.e. explain the situation on a typed page). It is better to report problems and explain them (most likely in an Addendum), rather than being the in the position of having to explain why you may be trying to hide negative information. It's ok to show remorse for the mistake. Errors in judgment are common in the transition to college and adulthood. Finally, make it clear you've learned from your mistake.
When asked how you heard about the law school, your could simply check the "Internet" box, or you could do a little research to discover some of the school's publicized initiatives. Compare it to learning about a new boyfriend or girlfriend. Find something complementary about the school that you can discuss in a paragraph or two that will give you and opening to let the school get to know you.
For specific examples of how to answer these questions please refer to the Addendum Page.