LAW SCHOOL RESOURCE GUIDE 2017.2018
your GUIDE TO resourceS AND EVENTS
“When I realized that I had a passion for advocacy, I knew Wayne Law was the ideal place to unlock my potential. I look forward to a bright future as a litigator, thanks to the training and alumni support that I’ve received here.” Rachel L. McDuffie
Third-year Wayne Law student University of Michigan, M.P.H, ‘02
4 reasons to start your future at Wayne Law: 1. Jobs: Our Career Services Office is here to help you through every step of your job search. 10 months post-graduation, the class of 2016 was employed at a rate of 90.1 percent. 2. Financing a legal education: Wayne Law has been recognized as a Best Value Law School by The National Jurist and preLaw magazine for 2014, 2015 and 2016. 3. Detroit’s historic resurgence: Wayne Law is located in the heart of Midtown Detroit, a city that is infused with opportunity and alive with transformative change. 4. Clinics and externships: Receive hands-on training through seven clinics and a multitude of externship opportunities.
CONTENTS 2 Wayne State Law of Contents / 3 Table Regent University Law 4 Applying to Law School Career 5 University Center’s Law Day
NATHAN GUPTA COVER DESIGN
ADRIANNA KUSMIERCZYK PUBLICATION DESIGN
Day 6-7 Law Participating Schools School 8 Law Personal Statement of 9 Letters Recommendation
Practice Ready. Purpose Driven.
2017-2018 10-11 Pre-Law Programs
12 Professionalism 13
University Career Center Clothes Closet / Brooklyn Law
Should You 14-15 Where Apply?
16 Considering Law School
Regent’s award-winning law program delivers extraordinary results. Our rigorous curriculum and top-rated faculty, educated at Harvard, Duke, the University of Chicago and other noted institutions, produce top-performing purposeful lawyers. JD: 3-Yr., Part-Time, Accelerated | LL.M. | M.A. in Law
learn.regent.edu | 877.267.5072 The American Bar Association (ABA) fully approves the School of Law. LAW171107
APPLYING TO LAW SCHOOL SUGGESTED APPLICATION TIMELINE
* This timeline is available on the University Career Center’s website (Resources --> Pre-Law Resources) and includes links to the highlighted text *
Summer of Your Application Cycle • • • • • • • • •
Decide when to apply (this year vs. in the future) Look into fee waivers if applicable Register for/take the LSAT Register with the Law School Admission Council’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Approach your writers to discuss and obtain letters of reference Investigate schools and decide where to apply Consult with a pre-law advisor in LSA and/or your school or college Start working on your main application essay and schedule a review Mark your calendar now for the UM Law Day on September 29, 2017
September through December of Your Application Cycle • Register for/take the LSAT if applicable • Send your official transcripts to CAS • Gather and send reference letters • Fine-tune your list of schools based on your GPA, LSAT scores and other factors important to you • Write multiple, tailored application essays • Have your essays reviewed by multiple parties for feedback • Complete and submit law school applications • Monitor your applications after submission for completeness
January and beyond of Your Application Cycle • Await results • File your FAFSA • If waitlisted, consider sending an application update • Manage admission offers • Pay deposit and send final transcript * You may also find helpful to peruse the LSAC application checklist.
UNIVERSITY CAREER CENTER’S LAW DAY Friday, September 29, 2017 / 10:00 AM-1:00 PM / Michigan Union 2nd floor
aw Day is a great way to connect with a large number of law schools right here on campus. Law Day offers something to everyone:
JUNIORS / SENIORS / RECENT GRADS
• Learn about specific programs from law school representatives • Collect application and financial aid information • Get tips on personal statements, applications and reference letters
FIRST YEAR STUDENTS / SOPHOMORES
• Ask questions about undergraduate coursework and co-curricular activities • Explore law school options • Build networks for the future
• Registration is on-site the day of the event. No registration fee... just bring your UM ID
TIPS FOR MAKING THE MOST OF LAW DAY
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Come! Law Day is a fun event and a great place for chatting with law schools. Prioritize your list of schools in advance to make effective use of your time. No need for a suit, however, give some thought to what you wear. “Business casual” doesn’t mean “classroom casual”. Bring your questions about the schools and be prepared to answer questions about yourself. No need to bring a resume. Look beyond the rankings and visit with familiar and not-so familiar schools… Multiple perspectives are always helpful and you may find new possibilities. 5
LAW DAY PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS American University Washington College of Law Arizona State University Ave Maria School of Law Baylor Law School Boston College Law School Boston University School of Law Brooklyn Law School Cardozo School of Law Case Western Reserve University Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law Chapman University City University of New York School of Law Colorado Law Columbia Law School Cornell Law School DePaul University Duke University School of Law Emory Law School Florida Coastal School of Law Florida State University College of Law Office of Admissions Fordham University School of Law George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School George Washington University Jacob Burns Law Library Georgia State University College of Law Golden Gate University School of Law Hofstra University, Maurice A. Deane School of Law Howard University School of Law IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Lewis & Clark Law School Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Loyola University Chicago School of Law Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Marine Corps Officer Programs Ann Arbor Marquette University :Law School McGeorge School of Law MSU College of Law New England Law | Boston New York Law School New York University School of Law Northeastern University School of Law Northern Illinois University College of Law Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Ohio Northern University College of Law Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Penn State Dickinson Law Penn State Law PowerScore Test Preparation Quinnipiac University School of Law Regent University Roger Williams University School of Law Rutgers Law School, Newark S.J. Quinney College of Law Samford University, Cumberland School of Law 6
Attendee list as of 8/28/17
Seattle University School of Law Seton Hall Law School SMU Dedman School of Law St. Johnâ€™s University - School of Law St. Thomas University School of Law Stanford University, Law School Syracuse University College of Law Temple University Beasley School of Law TestMasters The John Marshall Law School The University of Akron School of Law The University of Arizona The University of Chicago Law School Tulane University Law School UB - University at Buffalo, The State University of New York UC Davis Law School UCLA School of Law University of California Hastings College of the Law University of California, Berkeley University of California, Irvine School of Law University of Cincinnati College of Law University of Detroit Mercy University of Georgia University of Houston Law Center University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - College of Law University of Iowa College of Law University of Louisville University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law University of Miami University of Michigan Law School University of Minnesota Law School University of Nevada, Las Vegas University of New Hampshire School of Law University of North Carolina School of Law University of Notre Dame Law School University of Pennsylvania Law School University of Pittsburgh University of Richmond School of Law University of San Diego School of Law University of San Francisco School of Law University of South Carolina School of Law University of Southern California, Gould School of Law University of Texas School of Law University of Toledo College of Law, The University of Washington School of Law University of Wisconsin Law School Valparaiso University Law School Vanderbilt Law School Vermont Law School Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Wake Forest University School of Law Wayne State University Law Western Michigan University - Cooley Law School Western State College of Law Widener University Commonwealth Law School William & Mary Law School
THE LAW SCHOOL PERSONAL STATEMENT A SELF-REFLECTION EXERCISE
n effective personal statement is based on sound self-assessment. To help you reflect on some of your accomplishments, interests, personal traits and goals, ask yourself:
• What’s your background, your values? (First generation college student, parents’ occupation, role models, spirituality, social justice, etc.) • If applicable, reflect on the diversity/uniqueness that you bring (culture, age, major, special life experiences and perspectives.) • How would you describe yourself? How would your professors, employers, family members, classmates and friends describe you? • What are you passionate about? • What kind of learner are you? • What do you want the law schools to know about you?
• Think of your proudest moment. Why was that accomplishment particularly meaningful to you? • What skills are you learning in your classes, research experiences, and other academic endeavors that are relevant to the legal profession? • What are you learning about yourself through your experiences inside and outside of the classroom? • Reflect on your experiences: remember critical incident moments, “ah-ha” (i.e., discovery) moments, episodes that altered your pre-existing views, etc. • What kind of hurdles did you have to overcome in your life? • What experiences have enabled you to interact with people of different backgrounds and cultures?
• How have you formed your own opinion/perception of the nature of legal practice and the daily demands placed upon lawyers and their families? • What kind of lawyer would you like to be and why? • What impact do you want to have on your community? In what ways have you already started this process? • What are your goals for the future, both personally and professionally?
BOTTOM-LINE POINTS • Why do you want to become a lawyer? Be as sincere as you can • What experiences have confirmed your career choice? Be as specific as you can • What do you want law schools to know about you beyond what is stated in your application?
FIVE TIPS FOR WRITING A LAW SCHOOL PERSONAL STATEMENT
1. Follow the prompts provided by each school. Make sure your statement addresses the question(s). 2. Don’t repeat your resume. Focus on the “why” of the experience(s) rather than the “what” 3. Start by recording or blogging your thoughts rather than trying to write THE statement 4. Write the stories you want to tell rather than second-guessing what the admissions committee wants to hear. 5. Seek feedback from multiple people; however, make sure the final draft is your statement.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION This information is available in greater detail on The Newnan Academic Advising Center’s website (http://tinyurl.com/PreLawLOR) and includes links to the highlighted text.
etters of recommendation (LORs) can be quite influential in admissions’ decisions. We encourage you to consider the following:
Whom should you ask to write your LORs?
• Request a minimum of two academic references from instructors or GSIs. • Choose someone who knows you well. The prestige of the letter writer will have little influence if the letter is superficial. • Additional letters of reference from employers/supervisors will help to round out your application (check with each school to verfiy the number of letters accepted)
How should you ask him or her?
• If possible, ask to meet with the letter writer in person. • Bring relevant materials such as a resume, brief statement explaining why you are interested in law school and a writing sample, if available. • Politely ask if he/she is able to write a strong recommendation for you. • Be sure to discuss a specific deadline for submitting the letter.
The characteristics of a “good” LOR
• The letter should assess the student’s academic achievement and potential, particularly research skills, capacity for analytical thinking and effective written and oral communication. Additional comments that reflect on the candidate’s maturity, insight, organization etc. are also valuable. • Whenever possible, the letter should include concrete examples.
How should the letters be sent?
• Most law schools require that applicants use the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) to process all aspects of the application.
PRE-LAW FALL & WINTER 2017-2018 PROGRAMS
tudents at all levels are encouraged to attend as many events as possible. For more details visit: https://lsa.umich.edu/advising/plan-your-path/pre-law.html and https://careercenter.umich.edu/content/events
PROCTORED LSAT PRACTICE TEST
Evaluate your performance under exam conditions! We will be using Official LSAT exams administered within the past 5 years. Registration required! • Friday, August 18th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Angel Hall Aud C, • Register at: https://sessions.studentlife.umich.edu/track/event/session/4579 • Thursday, November 2nd, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM, 1427 Mason Hall • Register at: https://sessions.studentlife.umich.edu/track/event/session/4599
PERSONAL STATEMENT WORKSHOPS
Learn what law schools are looking for in your personal statement and participate in writing exercises designed to help you write a strong and inspired essay. Each of these sessions will be held in the Newnan Advising Conference room., G243 Angell Hall. • Monday, September 11th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM • Tuesday, October 3rd, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM • Wednesday, November 8th, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
PRELAW READING GROUP
Our group will be reading and discussing a selection of short works related to civil rights in the United States. All those interested in reflecting on the Civil Rights Movement and social justice advocacy, in general, are welcome to attend. Registration required! • Wednesday, September 20th, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, 1330 Mason Hall (the Honors Program office) • Register at: https://sessions.studentlife.umich.edu/track/event/session/4660
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL INFORMATION SESSION
Visiting admissions officers from Harvard Law School will host an admissions information session for all University of Michigan students interested in applying to Harvard Law. The session will include a short presentation and Q&A/discussion about Harvard’s new programs, such as the acceptance of the GRE and the expansion of the Junior Deferral Program (JDP). • September 21 st, 10:00 AM (date and time tentative) - 4448 East Hall (Colloquium Room)
APPLYING TO LAW SCHOOL 101
We will review the law school admission process and provide tips on how to submit a strong application. Each of these sessions will be held in the Newnan Advising Conference room., G243 Angell Hall. Wednesday, September 27th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Wednesday, October 4th (Transfer Students), 4:00 – 5:00 PM Tuesday, October 24th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 10
BEHIND THE LAW ADMISSIONS CURTAIN: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU HIT SUBMIT
Find out how an Admissions Committee considers your law school application – whether it’s at your “stretch school” or your “safety school”. Come hear from Admission Representatives from Boston College Law School; Notre Dame Law School; University of Richmond School of Law and Widener University Commonwealth Law School. • Thursday, September 28th, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM, Anderson room, Michigan Union • Sponsored by the UM University Career Center with DGPhi and KAPi
Meet with representatives from over 100 law schools. See list at: https://umich.joinhandshake.com/ career_fairs/1978/student_preview. Students at all levels are encouraged to attend. • Friday, September 29th, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, second floor, Michigan Union • Sponsored by the UM University Career Center
MOCK LAW CLASS & LUNCH WITH TWICE MICHIGAN ALUM, PROF. LARRY DUBIN
Come get a feel for a law school class led by UDMercy Professor Larry Dubin. Pre-registration required with firstname.lastname@example.org to receive reading materials in advance and facilitate food order. • Friday, October 20th, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM, Michigan Union Pond Room • Sponsored by the UM University Career Center and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
TIPS FROM THE PROS: HOW TO BE A COMPETITIVE LAW SCHOOL APPLICANT
Come hear from admission representatives from Northwestern, UC Berkeley, NYU, U Texas, and USC how you can best prepare for and apply to law school. After some initial remarks, there will be ample time for Q&A. • Tuesday, October 24th, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Pendleton room, Michigan Union • Sponsored by the UM University Career Center with DGPhi, MPLS and KAPi
DOUBLE WOLVERINE PANEL
Attend a panel discussion with current Michigan Law students who were UM undergrad. They will talk about what changed and what didn’t from undergraduate to law student, and what made them choose to stay in A2. • November 14th, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM, The University of Michigan Law School, 1225 South Hall, 701 South State Street
FINANCING LAW SCHOOL WORKSHOP
Lindsey Stetson, UM Law School’s Director of Financial Aid, presents information on financing your legal education with a focus on minimizing your debt. • November 16th, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM - G243 Angell Hall, Newnan Advising Center
he core competencies expected of all lawyers include essential qualities associated with professionalism. Keep the following characteristics of a mature professional in mind as you prepare your application and interact with law school representatives.
Read instructions and school websites carefully before contacting law schools with questions. Write clearly and concisely and carefully edit all materials submitted. Do not use a placeholder in your essays or written correspondence (e.g a blank space or phrase like blah, blah, blah). You may forget to replace it. Avoid cute or off-color comments even if you feel you are on friendly terms with a law school representative. All written and verbal communication with admission staff should be respectful and use the appropriate titles of the person you are addressing (e.g. Dear Ms. or Mr. or Dean etc.). If you are emailing a generic admissions email address you could address your message to â€œDear Admission Officerâ€?. Correspondence should include your full name and contact information. Use a business appropriate email address (usually some abbreviation of your name). If you meet a law school representative in person, make eye contact and introduce yourself. Be prepared with informed and thoughtful questions. When visiting schools or attending information sessions, completely silence your cell phone and avoid texting or other signs of inattentiveness during meetings. Maintain a mature and professional attitude even if you receive disappointing news. Law school admissions staff members know each other and you do not want to make a negative impression on anyone. Dress in business appropriate attire. The University Career Center Clothes Closet provides business professional and business casual clothing for FREE! 12
UNIVERSITY CAREER CENTER CLOTHES CLOSET Clothing Closet Open House
September 13th / 5pm-8pm September 18th / 6:30pm-9:30pm The University Career Center 3200 Student Activities Building Whether you’re preparing for Law Day, interviewing for an on-campus job, or building a work-appropriate wardrobe, looking and feeling your best is important! Come shop the University Career Center’s Clothes Closet for business professional and business casual clothing for free! Visit the “Events” tab on umich.joinhandshake.com to learn more!
• Flexible 2-, 3-, and 4-year J.D. options • Guaranteed housing for first-year students • Campus located in the heart of Brooklyn — within walking distance to federal, state, and city courts • Ranked in the Top 20 law schools nationally for public service careers
WHERE SHOULD YOU APPLY? A quick list of things to consider
he application process and law school are costly so take the time to carefully research schools. Create a table to help you evaluate all of the information you gather.
For greater detail, visit The Newnan Academic Advising Center’s website https://lsa.umich.edu/advising/plan-your-path/pre-law/
During the 2014-2015 application cycle, the average number of applications per applicants was approximately 6.” with “During the 2015-2016 application cycle, UM students and alumni applied on average to 8 law schools.
DO NOT APPLY TO A SCHOOL UNLESS YOU WOULD BE HAPPY TO ATTEND. Create your initial list by considering multiple criteria:
• availability of specific programs • student run publications and organizations • career services • employment statistics • location • etc. Narrow the list by considering GPA and LSAT score data reported for each school. The American Bar Association (ABA) provides this data in their online Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools.
YOUR EDITED LIST SHOULD INCLUDE:
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Target schools: your LSAT & GPA overlap the middle 50% of LSAT and GPA scores reported for the school. Reach schools: your LSAT & GPA overlap the bottom 25% of LSAT and GPA scores reported for the school. Safety schools: your LSAT & GPA overlap the upper 25% of LSAT and GPA scores reported for the school.
THREE KEY SOURCES OF DATA FOR RESEARCHING LAW SCHOOLS:
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The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) - lists ABA approved schools by state and region and links to the online application known as the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Law school websites. The ABA provides admission statistics (mean GPA/LSAT scores), bar passage rates and employment statistics on recent graduates.
BEFORE ACCEPTING AN OFFER OF ADMISSION, WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO VISIT THE SCHOOL.
eek Advice! All prelaw students are encouraged to make a prelaw advising appointment by calling 734-764-0332. LSA Honors students should call 734-764-6274 and ask to meet with the Honors prelaw advisor. 15
CONSIDERING LAW SCHOOL? IS LAW SCHOOL RIGHT FOR ME?
• How deep is my interest in the law? Why am I thinking about becoming a lawyer? • What does it mean to “practice law”? • Is a legal education necessary for my professional ambitions? • How are my writing and analytical skills? Do I like to read, write, and research? • Is it worth it to me to take on a sizeable amount of financial debt?
WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING AS A FRESHMAN OR SOPHOMORE?
• Focus on doing well in your classes. GPA is an important part of your law school application, so striving to perform well in challenging coursework is essential. • Build rapport with your professors and instructors. Establishing close relationships with faculty is important, as you will be turning to them for letters of recommendation for your law school applications. REMEMBER: name-recognition is only impressive if the writer knows you well. • Explore majors and subjects that interest you; play to your strengths. There is no magical “pre-law” major that law school admissions officers look for; students with fine arts, drama, engineering, and classics backgrounds are just as qualified to go to law school as English and political science majors. However, reading, writing, and analytical thinking are core skills required to succeed in the legal field – make sure you are taking courses that will foster these skills. • Explore the legal field: Think about why you want to be a lawyer. Conduct informational interviews and shadow attorneys and law students where possible; volunteer or intern in legal settings (don’t limit yourself to law firms); talk to attorneys and other non-practicing professionals with J.D.’s about their background and the necessity of a law degree in their profession; visit a law school campus and contact the admissions office about sitting in on a law class. • Take a practice LSAT to get a sense of the skills you will need to hone for the test. • Visit live court proceedings at your local courthouse. • Attend pre-law events sponsored by the University Career Center, and by the Newnan Advising Office.
REASONS NOT TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL • You like to argue. • You love TV shows and movies about the legal field. • You want to make a lot of money. • You just want job security. • You don’t know what else to do. • Someone else wants you to.