Should You Attend Law School?
Law schools in the US usually offer three-year programs that result in a Juris Doctor degree in law. Graduates of law schools go on to pursue a variety of career paths, but most enter with the intent of practicing law. If you’re considering law school, speak with both current law school students and people who have graduated to learn more about the experience. Generally, you will have the best chances of admission and a satisfactory outcome if you first do the legwork to make sure law school is right for you.
Prepare for Law School
There are several things you can do to better prepare yourself for law school and the application process. Aside from speaking with MIT alumni who have pursued this career path and maintaining a strong academic track record, take courses and seek opportunities where you can do more writing. It’s good preparation for law school and law school admissions officers are looking for an aptitude for writing. Communication intensive courses and senior thesis are good ways to get more writing through your coursework.
For your application, you will need to submit two to three academic recommendations. Begin cultivating relationships with relevant professors. You may want to also consider taking law related classes at MIT or cross-registering for law related classes at Harvard or Wellesley.
When to Apply for Law School
Admissions officers across law schools agree that you should wait until you can put forth your best application before you apply. That said, admissions for law schools are typically rolling. This means there are more empty seats to fill earlier in the process. It’s a delicate balance between applying as early as possible in the admissions cycle and waiting until you’re ready.
Research and Select Law Schools
As you’re selecting law schools to apply for, keep in mind a few things. Review our recommendations for selecting graduate schools. Know that rankings aren’t everything, but given the struggle some law school graduates have in finding employment, they’re worth considering. Finally, consider the location where you hope to eventually practice. Most law school graduates end up working quite close to where they went to school, so location is more important than you might think.
Take the LSAT
The LSAT is the standardized test you will need to take in order to apply for law school. There are official practice tests you can take as well preparation courses through test prep companies. Choose whatever works best for you. Taking the test in June will allow you to submit an earlier application, but you can choose to wait until October and still apply that year. One important thing to note: It’s ideal to only take the test once. So, don’t take the test until you’re ready.