“Keep your GPA up, and raise your LSAT score.”
That’s the advice most people ‘in the know’ will give you when asked how to improve your chances at getting into the law school of your dreams. And, for the most part, it’s true.
While the Letters of Recommendation, Personal Statement, and Résumé are all important factors in the admissions decision, they really don’t come into play unless you have the GPA and LSAT score to be considered in the first place.
Some law schools take a more holistic approach and will look at your application even if you don’t hit their numbers; these schools are usually just putting off rejecting you for a little while. It’s not that they don’t care about your background. It’s just that there are very few things a college-age person can have done in their life to warrant reconsideration.
Last week, I wrote about the benefits of getting some work experience before law school. It’s one of the few ‘soft’ (i.e. non-number) factors that will substantially improve your shot at law school, and it’s becoming more important.
This week, I’m going to talk about a specific type of experience that has the largest impact on law school admissions committees: military service.
Outside of curing cancer or winning a Nobel prize (or winning the Nobel Prize for curing cancer), military service is probably the biggest boost to a law school application.
First, law schools know that veterans have the discipline necessary for both legal studies and the long hours of work after graduation.
Second, they are the most employable law school grads. Employers love a military man/woman because they’re disciplined, follow orders well, and work unbelievably hard.
Third, they usually have kickass personal statements.
So should you sign up for the military if law school is in your future?
Entering the Armed Services is a decision that should be made for one reason and one reason alone: You want to go into the Armed Services. If you go in with other motives, you won’t survive.
However, if you’re ending your time in service to our country, and you want to head to law school next, definitely highlight that in your application package. Write your law school Personal Statement about your service. Get a Letter from a commanding officer. Get in touch with the veteran’s group at your top choice law school (they can and will help you through the admissions process).
And, above all, thank you for your service.
To show our appreciation, for a limited time Blueprint is offering free personal statement evaluations to any member of the military. The offer will remain open for seven days, or until the first 10 servicemen or servicewomen redeem. If you’re interested and can provide a proper military ID, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will examine the first 10 submissions and get back to the writers with my thoughts on each essay’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as provide detailed advice on how to improve it.
If you have any questions, ask in the comments section.