If you are thinking of applying to law school, you may believe that your major, minor, and extracurricular activities will be a factor in setting you apart from the rest and ensuring your admission. However, what most people do not know is that law school admissions boards do not give these factors much weight. In fact, they are not very important at all in terms of gaining admission to law school. Law school admissions boards have two main interests: your LSAT score and your GPA.
The LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, truly lives up to its name. It is the single most important factor in determining to which schools you have a chance of being accepted. The LSAT is a standardized test that assesses prospective law students' reading comprehension, logical reasoning skills, and verbal reasoning abilities. Raw scores are calculated on a scale from 120-180, where 180 is the highest achievable score.
Preparing for the LSAT
Take the LSAT one to two years prior to your planned entry to law school. This will give you ample time to retake the test if absolutely necessary! Also, buy an LSAT study book and treat it like a job. Work through parts of the LSAT study book every day, and take as many of the practice exams as you can in preparation for the LSAT.
Join your university's pre-law group, and make some friends. Use these resources to talk through practice exam questions and concepts in order to get a deeper understanding of the technicalities of the questions. Remember, practice makes perfect!
The second most important factor an admissions board considers is your GPA. Couple a very high LSAT with a very high GPA and you are set to go to any school you want. If your GPA is low, but you score very well on the LSAT, you still have a good chance to get into a lower tier-1/tier-2 school. Use the remaining semesters to focus on your grades and bring your GPA up. This will raise your chance of getting into a better school and obtaining a scholarship.
Ask your professor, boss, or someone else in good civil standing to author you a letter of recommendation. This helps present you as a real person in good standing with the community.
Most schools require different topics for your personal statement, so be sure to read each prompt carefully. When preparing your personal statement, do not talk about why you want to be a lawyer or why you will be the best lawyer in the world (unless the prompt asks you to). Instead, focus on some significant life experience that sets you apart from the rest (lived/worked in another country for six months, traveled abroad, or overcame significant hardship). Be creative and try to stand out from the rest.
As stated previously, law schools are not worried about your major or minor. X could be a Dance Major and Black Studies minor, and Y could be an Economics major and Political Science minor, but to an admissions board both these students look the same. Law schools also do not care that you spent a summer working for your uncle's law firm.
LSAT + GPA is the magic formula for getting into law school. Focus your time on these two factors for the greatest chance of being accepted to law school and receiving a scholarship.