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When to start admissions prep?

tringo335tringo335 Alum Member

I am about a third of the way done with the CC and plan on taking the LSAT in February 2018 (unless I'm not ready in which case, I will push back to June). I have fully subscribed to JY's notion of taking the test when ready not necessarily by a deadline so am in no rush. That being said, when would be a good time to start admissions prep? I have not thought much about it as I am more focused on mastering the test but I also don't want to be surprised and then have to scramble to throw together a (hopefully) good admissions packet. I feel like it shouldn't even be on my radar now but I have heard from other people that they spend part of their study time on admissions prep. Is there ever a time when it's too early to start ... or too late?

Comments

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    I don't think it's ever too early to every begin admissions prep.

    My reasoning is that it took me somewhere on the order of 20+ edits over 2 months before I had a personal statement completed that I was happy with. Not to mention that I wrote probably 6 different versions before deciding on one, lol.

    And honestly, I still find myself making edits every now and then. Same thing with my DS and other addenda I need to write.

    I figure it is best to work on these types of things while you have the down time rather than wait until right before, or right after the LSAT when you are scrambling to get your apps in.

    Spend a couple hours a week on it and by the time your LSAT rolls around you will be in good shape!

  • Daniel.SieradzkiDaniel.Sieradzki Legacy Member Sage
    edited May 2017 2301 karma

    I totally agree with @"Alex Divine". It is never too early to start on admissions. Depending on how many schools you apply to, there may be a great number of essays to write. First, there are the personal statement and diversity statement. You want those to be among the best essays you have ever written, which means months of editing and rewrites. Second, you will want to write Why X essays for the schools you really want to attend. Ideally, you want to do serious research (not just a glance at their website) and even plan a visit to the school to write a really strong letter to express your interest. Third, you want to make sure your transcripts and LOR requests are sent out. This can take time, both to be sent out and to be processed by LSAC. Fourth, you may need to write essays for scholarships (some schools have public interest scholarships that require an essay). Fifth, you will want to make sure your resume is up to date and is in the format that law schools want for a resume. Finally, you want to fill out each application carefully and make sure to follow the instructions page given by each law school. The applications have places for you to list all of your extracurriculars, honors, and community service. Even though it may be just a feather on the scale, you should still spend the time listing everything you have done.

    As you can see, this is a lot of work. Get it done way before you take the LSAT so that you can just focus on the test and hit send on apps as soon as scores come out. Good luck!

  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    3679 karma

    @"Alex Divine" @"Daniel.Sieradzki" Man I had no idea I should already be prepping for this! Thanks for the tips. Any thoughts on how to narrow down your favorite schools? I am aiming really for any T14 school and while I have my favorites based on a few soft factors, looking through all their websites, they all seem to blend together. I am interested in either Labor and Employment Law or Public Service but am open to other avenues so narrowing down by those factors helps a little but not much since I"m not 100% sure what path I want to take. Have you guys narrowed down your favorites? Can you share what caused you to choose those?

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    If you're extremely busy with work and prep, you can put it on the back burner for a while. It isn't dire by any stretch of the imagination. So don't worry, haha. Just use whatever down time you have, even a couple hours a week brainstorming and writing some rough edits.

    What sort of public interest work do you want?

    It varies a lot between Legal Aid, the ACLU, groups like Public Citizen, and public-interest law firms. Many of which are hard to land outside of HYS. Specific career goals are important in PI careers. Without more info, I'd recommend NYU which has several PI scholarships and a significant number of students looking for PI positions attend there. If you want to do PI you should minimize debt (and also go to a school with a great LRAP program, like NYU) Do note however that PI requires serious commitment and many times one must work unpaid after graduation. So minimize debt!

    What are some of the things that interest you in employment law? Many different types here as well. The better the school, the better your chances at landing a gig like this will be. Like any other job I suppose.

    Yeah, I've narrowed down my favorites. The process for me was just a matter of calculating my career goals, debt, and prestige/employment.

  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    edited May 2017 3679 karma

    What sort of public interest work do you want?

    I should have been more specific; public service - government work. I'm guessing that would be constitutional law? GREAT reminder on minimizing debt; thanks for that.

    What are some of the things that interest you in employment law?

    I worked in HR for 7 years and saw a lot of stupid HR people do a lot of illegal things. I would either like to work for a firm representing wrongfully termed individuals or in a corporate office making sure the HR department doesn't get sued.

    Yeah, I've narrowed down my favorites. The process for me was just a matter of calculating my career goals, debt, and prestige/employment.
    This is helpful. I've narrowed it down so far by debt prestige/employment; so I will do more research on which are best for my career goals. So far for employment law, it looks like NYU, Cornell and Chicago are best in the T14 list. I'm unsure for public service though.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    Yeah seems like you've got some interesting choices ahead of you. The good news is any top school will help you on the road to your goals!

    I don't think you'll be starting off doing Con Law ... Probably one of the hardest public interest jobs to get because of the deluge of HYS grads who often clerk and then follow a career path such as the ACLU.

    But I'm sure you'll find what right for you! :) Who knows you may end up hating con law and take an interest in torts... Keep an open mind this far out!

    Good luck!

  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    3679 karma

    Thanks @"Alex Divine" ! You da best

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited July 2017 23929 karma

    @tringo335 said:
    Thanks @"Alex Divine" ! You da best

  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    edited July 2017 3679 karma

    -

  • keepcalmandneuronkeepcalmandneuron Alum Member
    470 karma

    Hey @tringo335, @"Daniel.Sieradzki", and @"Alex Divine" ! Thank you guys for sharing great information about when to start admissions. I definitely needed some insight on this...

    I just recently started prepping for the LSAT to aim for the September score. I come from a neuroscience/startup/business background and have a really hard time combining all my experiences together for my PS. Do you know if people from science mostly focus on IP law? What are some of the most popular paths applicants from BSc take? I honestly have no one to ask around me as all my friends are aiming for med and clinical research...Your input would be appreciated.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @jinnyrox said:
    Hey @tringo335, @"Daniel.Sieradzki", and @"Alex Divine" ! Thank you guys for sharing great information about when to start admissions. I definitely needed some insight on this...

    I just recently started prepping for the LSAT to aim for the September score. I come from a neuroscience/startup/business background and have a really hard time combining all my experiences together for my PS. Do you know if people from science mostly focus on IP law? What are some of the most popular paths applicants from BSc take? I honestly have no one to ask around me as all my friends are aiming for med and clinical research...Your input would be appreciated.

    Very interesting background ranging from start up to neuroscience!

    I wouldn't say people with science backgrounds necessarily focus on IP law, though, those who do focus on IP law do have science backgrounds. I honestly don't know the most popular paths people specifically with BScs take, but there are people with science backgrounds working in all sectors of the legal market. So the good news is you can pretty much follow your passion to pursue whatever area of law you'd like to practice. If that's IP you may need a Masters or Doctorate.

  • vanessa fishervanessa fisher Alum Member
    1084 karma

    @jinnyrox If you are interested in the science/medical arena, you could look at areas specializing in medical malpractice suits where you need that science knowledge or perhaps environmental law. Just a couple thoughts

  • Mellow_ZMellow_Z Alum Member
    edited July 2017 1997 karma

    @"Alex Divine" said:

    @jinnyrox said:
    Hey @tringo335, @"Daniel.Sieradzki", and @"Alex Divine" ! Thank you guys for sharing great information about when to start admissions. I definitely needed some insight on this...

    I just recently started prepping for the LSAT to aim for the September score. I come from a neuroscience/startup/business background and have a really hard time combining all my experiences together for my PS. Do you know if people from science mostly focus on IP law? What are some of the most popular paths applicants from BSc take? I honestly have no one to ask around me as all my friends are aiming for med and clinical research...Your input would be appreciated.

    Very interesting background ranging from start up to neuroscience!

    I wouldn't say people with science backgrounds necessarily focus on IP law, though, those who do focus on IP law do have science backgrounds. I honestly don't know the most popular paths people specifically with BScs take, but there are people with science backgrounds working in all sectors of the legal market. So the good news is you can pretty much follow your passion to pursue whatever area of law you'd like to practice. If that's IP you may need a Masters or Doctorate.

    The masters or phd requirement for IP law is largely variant upon which field you come from. Electrical Engineers/Computer Science type fields can typically get by just fine with a bachelors. If you were from biomed/pharma/chemistry/physics, then a phd is likely more of a "soft" requirement.

    @jinnyrox I have a STEM background - if you have any questions feel free to ask! But as Alex said, you aren't required to do IP. It's just an exclusive door that we have the option of taking. If you'd prefer to do corporate law, or M&A, or health care, your science degree won't get in the way of that.

  • masterthelsatmasterthelsat Member
    82 karma

    @Mellow_Z said:

    @"Alex Divine" said:

    @jinnyrox said:
    Hey @tringo335, @"Daniel.Sieradzki", and @"Alex Divine" ! Thank you guys for sharing great information about when to start admissions. I definitely needed some insight on this...

    I just recently started prepping for the LSAT to aim for the September score. I come from a neuroscience/startup/business background and have a really hard time combining all my experiences together for my PS. Do you know if people from science mostly focus on IP law? What are some of the most popular paths applicants from BSc take? I honestly have no one to ask around me as all my friends are aiming for med and clinical research...Your input would be appreciated.

    Very interesting background ranging from start up to neuroscience!

    I wouldn't say people with science backgrounds necessarily focus on IP law, though, those who do focus on IP law do have science backgrounds. I honestly don't know the most popular paths people specifically with BScs take, but there are people with science backgrounds working in all sectors of the legal market. So the good news is you can pretty much follow your passion to pursue whatever area of law you'd like to practice. If that's IP you may need a Masters or Doctorate.

    The masters or phd requirement for IP law is largely variant upon which field you come from. Electrical Engineers/Computer Science type fields can typically get by just fine with a bachelors. If you were from biomed/pharma/chemistry/physics, then a phd is likely more of a "soft" requirement.

    @jinnyrox I have a STEM background - if you have any questions feel free to ask! But as Alex said, you aren't required to do IP. It's just an exclusive door that we have the option of taking. If you'd prefer to do corporate law, or M&A, or health care, your science degree won't get in the way of that.

    @Mellow_Z
    I also have a STEM background and I'm having a hard time bringing my experiences together to form my PS. How should stem majors go about writing a personal statement, combining the stem background with law without mentioning IP law?

  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    3679 karma

    @jinnyrox said:
    Hey @tringo335, @"Daniel.Sieradzki", and @"Alex Divine" ! Thank you guys for sharing great information about when to start admissions. I definitely needed some insight on this...

    I just recently started prepping for the LSAT to aim for the September score. I come from a neuroscience/startup/business background and have a really hard time combining all my experiences together for my PS. Do you know if people from science mostly focus on IP law? What are some of the most popular paths applicants from BSc take? I honestly have no one to ask around me as all my friends are aiming for med and clinical research...Your input would be appreciated.

    Glad you found the thread helpful. I acctualy accidentally posted in this last night and it got resurrected lol.

    Anywho, I would suggest doing some research and narrowing down what type(s) of law interest you the most but remain flexible. I am most interested in Labor and Employment law but once I begin classes the exposure my change my mind completely. Another good thing to remember is some advice David B. The admissions guru gave me: applying to school with a less popular field will make you stand out and could give you a better chance of getting in. So while I have multiple law interests, my PS statement will note my passion for labor and employment because it's a rare field of law.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @tringo335 said:

    @jinnyrox said:
    Hey @tringo335, @"Daniel.Sieradzki", and @"Alex Divine" ! Thank you guys for sharing great information about when to start admissions. I definitely needed some insight on this...

    I just recently started prepping for the LSAT to aim for the September score. I come from a neuroscience/startup/business background and have a really hard time combining all my experiences together for my PS. Do you know if people from science mostly focus on IP law? What are some of the most popular paths applicants from BSc take? I honestly have no one to ask around me as all my friends are aiming for med and clinical research...Your input would be appreciated.

    Glad you found the thread helpful. I acctualy accidentally posted in this last night and it got resurrected lol.

    Anywho, I would suggest doing some research and narrowing down what type(s) of law interest you the most but remain flexible. I am most interested in Labor and Employment law but once I begin classes the exposure my change my mind completely. Another good thing to remember is some advice David B. The admissions guru gave me: applying to school with a less popular field will make you stand out and could give you a better chance of getting in. So while I have multiple law interests, my PS statement will note my passion for labor and employment because it's a rare field of law.

    Yeah, this is some good advice. I really like David Busis's advice about standing out!

  • Mellow_ZMellow_Z Alum Member
    1997 karma

    @masterthelsat said:

    @Mellow_Z said:

    @"Alex Divine" said:

    @jinnyrox said:
    Hey @tringo335, @"Daniel.Sieradzki", and @"Alex Divine" ! Thank you guys for sharing great information about when to start admissions. I definitely needed some insight on this...

    I just recently started prepping for the LSAT to aim for the September score. I come from a neuroscience/startup/business background and have a really hard time combining all my experiences together for my PS. Do you know if people from science mostly focus on IP law? What are some of the most popular paths applicants from BSc take? I honestly have no one to ask around me as all my friends are aiming for med and clinical research...Your input would be appreciated.

    Very interesting background ranging from start up to neuroscience!

    I wouldn't say people with science backgrounds necessarily focus on IP law, though, those who do focus on IP law do have science backgrounds. I honestly don't know the most popular paths people specifically with BScs take, but there are people with science backgrounds working in all sectors of the legal market. So the good news is you can pretty much follow your passion to pursue whatever area of law you'd like to practice. If that's IP you may need a Masters or Doctorate.

    The masters or phd requirement for IP law is largely variant upon which field you come from. Electrical Engineers/Computer Science type fields can typically get by just fine with a bachelors. If you were from biomed/pharma/chemistry/physics, then a phd is likely more of a "soft" requirement.

    @jinnyrox I have a STEM background - if you have any questions feel free to ask! But as Alex said, you aren't required to do IP. It's just an exclusive door that we have the option of taking. If you'd prefer to do corporate law, or M&A, or health care, your science degree won't get in the way of that.

    @Mellow_Z
    I also have a STEM background and I'm having a hard time bringing my experiences together to form my PS. How should stem majors go about writing a personal statement, combining the stem background with law without mentioning IP law?

    It's tough. I haven't figured out how I want to write my PS. I've been back and forth on if I want to include engineering as my motivator for LS, but I haven't found a way to word it in a way that I like, yet. I'll shoot you a PM and we can brainstorm though.

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