Once you hit “submit” on the LSAC website, you begin yet another challenging part of the law school application process.
Welcome to the waiting room… It’s easy to obsess over checking your emails constantly and viewing the law schools’ “online status checkers.” We know - it’s a good idea to check these online status checkers periodically to make sure your application has been received by a law school, to determine if there’s anything missing from your file, and confirm your application is complete. But don’t get carried away and make a full time job of it!
Once you confirm your application is complete at all the schools you’ve applied to, here’s some tips for what to do while you wait:
1. Assume with confidence you’ll gain admission to some of your top choice schools. If you’ve done your research carefully, and used the appropriate LSAT/GPA precentile data provided by law schools, you should receive some good news.
2. Assume you may not get into all the schools you’ve applied to. If you’ve applied to a range of schools (and you should have), there’s a good chance that one of those ”reach” schools may pass on you. No worries; there will be good options for you.
3. At some point soon, you’ll be making some tough choices about which school to choose. That’s when the shoe is on the other foot and YOU get to decide! So now is the time to find out as much as possible about which school is right for you.
- Consider all the key factors, including location, cost, reputation, type of facilities, available financial aid, quality of faculty, composition of student body, atmosphere. Focus on what’s most important to you before you start hearing back.
- Talk to those (students and recent law grads) who have gone to law school before you. Straight from the horse’s mouth and all.
- Plan to visit a few of your top choices once you’ve been admitted. You’ll want to meet with students, admissions and financial aid representatives and you should try to sit in on some classes!
4. Don’t call the admissions office every day, every other day or every third day. As we heard from the Dean of Admissions at one top law school, “it’s a good idea to keep in mind that the admissions committees now have as large a job going through the applications as the students did in filling them out.”
5. We know you’ve heard it before, but it’s really important. Get your financial house in order now. Pay off (or reduce) as much consumer debt as possible before you go to law school. Save money wherever and whenever ou can. Live now like a well-disciplined student – borrow as little as possible.
6. If you haven’t done so already, it’s a good time to complete the applications necessary for financial aid consideration, include the FAFSA, and sometimes additional forms at particular law schools. Do your homework now and find out what the requirements are for receipt of financial aid. You can’t get too much of this type of info.
7. Think long and hard about why you really want to go to law school. Is it really the best next step for you? Consider carefully how this investment in your future really fits with your specific career goals.
While you do all these things, remember to work out, listen to music, make the most of whatever you’re doing now (finishing college, working, enjoying your family), and maybe master “Words with Friends.” That’s also the stuff that will carry you right through to success as a 1L.