How Law School Applicants Can Discuss Extracurriculars

According to an old wives’ tale, law school applications rise and fall with the applicant’s LSAT score and GPA, marginally aided by a personal statement. However, work experience is becoming increasingly important when applying to law school, with some schools openly stating that they prefer applicants a few years removed from college.

Yet, some applicants prefer not to wait and apply to law school while still in college. So how does such a student leverage their extracurricular activities to compete with applicants coming in with a few years of work experience under their belts? Here are a few tips.

Think outside the box. Intuitively, one might seek to highlight law-related activities when applying to law school , such as moot court, debate team or a prelaw society. While these all look good on your application, do not exclude other activities just because they’re not directly connected to the legal realm.

Remember: Law schools do not expect you to come in knowing much about the legal system. They evaluate your application based on the traits you’ve shown more than on any actual knowledge gained during those activities. Being the captain of a varsity team or the president of a sorority or fraternity all show skill, ambition and social involvement that schools love to see on the application.

Show depth, not breadth. Some applicants tend to overcompensate for a lack of work experience by including dozens of extracurricular activities on their resume. First, the admissions committee doesn’t really care that you won third prize in your school chili cook-off. Ask yourself if that activity showcases qualities that the law school would value in a student – culinary acumen probably isn’t one of them.

Second, by listing a plethora of activities you run the risk of the committee skimming over all of them rather than focusing on the important ones. Treat your extracurriculars like jobs. Just like you wouldn’t list 15 different positions on your professional resume, limit yourself to the most significant activities, preferably the ones which you’ve been involved in for a long time.

Leverage all parts of the application. A resume doesn’t […]

Harvard Law School Student Learns Law Firms Can Be Real Jerks

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images) It’s rare that someone from Harvard Law can garner your sympathy, what with their bright shining future just staring at them and all that, but this is the story to do that. See, this poor Harvard kid just got OWNED by a firm he interviewed with. It’s at once awful and entertaining, so obviously it’s perfect fodder for Above the Law.

Picture it: you’re Harry Harvard and you’ve survived the gauntlet of screening interviews. You’ve even managed to secure some callbacks and you’re well on your way living the summer associate dream. After meeting you at OCI, the powers that be at Edelson PC contact you for a callback interview. Then in the midst of trying to coordinate schedules — seemingly apropos of nothing at all — the recruiting contact drops this line: At this point, I think bringing you in for a callback interview would be a waste of your time, and ours. That’s way harsh, and super inappropriate. Like how hard is it for the firm to fake it through a few interviews? Maybe they had a good reason to cut off this interview process but how can a firm professional write something like this and expect to be taken seriously by future law students seeking a good faith interview.

Poor Harry responds in a much more cordial and professional fashion than many in his position would: Got it. Thanks. And oh yeah, we’ve got the receipts. The utter lack of additional information is also perplexing…. like what did Harry do? Does he not have the GPA they thought he did? Did they confuse Harry with another student they do want to callback? Is the price of an interview lunch just too damn high?

In any event, at least Harry appears to be in good spirits about the whole fiasco. And that’s the real lesson here: getting lots of callbacks and offers might be nice for your ego, but you only need one job. No matter how bad any one interview is, just pick yourself back up and try again, try again. Kathryn Rubino is […]

Should You Take Law School Classes Online?

Online learning has been around for awhile now. Heck, I even took a few online classes back in college in the early 2000s. But like most things in the law, online classes were slower to appear in law schools. There are currently no fully online JD programs that are accredited by the ABA. Further, if a student earns a JD at a non-accredited online law school, the only jurisdiction in which they are currently eligible to sit for the bar exam is California.

Today, however, many law schools offer at least some of their classes online, even though most jurisdictions limit the number of online credits a law student can take, usually around 12. If you’re a law student thinking about taking a traditional law school class or an online class, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide.

Do you need flexibility?

One of the most appealing things about online classes to most law students is the flexibility they afford. For many online courses, you don’t have to be present online at any specific time which leaves a lot of freedom to create your own schedule. Further, avoiding the commute to campus for all your classes can be a real time saver, particularly if you have kids or a part-time job. Additionally, an online class can also give flexibility to a student who is participating in an internship in another state but has time to also take a class or two.

What is the format of the class?

An important piece of information to know about the online course you’re considering is whether it is synchronous (meaning that there are live online classes that you must report to at a specific time) or asynchronous (meaning that there are no specific times you must be present online). A synchronous class would still allow for location flexibility but not time flexibility. So, if your class meets at the same time you have to pick your kids up from school – that wouldn’t work.

Another formatting question to ask is how the course will be delivered. Will there be video […]

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Launches New Early Admissions Program

Salt Lake City–The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law has launched a new early admissions process designed to give candidates who know the U is their top-choice law school a chance to commit to attending law school earlier than previously possible.Under the college’s newly established Early Decision Program (EDP), students can apply to attend law school for the fall of 2019 by Oct. 19 and be assured of decision on whether they will be admitted as an Early Decision Program student by early November.Applying to the Early Decision Program is a binding applications process and students who apply to the S.J. Quinney College of Law are committed to attending the law school once accepted. Students should carefully consider all law school options before making the decision to apply through the Early Decision Program.“This decision—establishing the S.J. Quinney College of Law as one’s first-choice law school—should be the result of fully researching law school options. If after investigating law schools and determining that S.J. Quinney College of Law is your first-choice law school, you may then wish to apply through the EDP,” said Reyes Aguilar, the law school’s associate dean for admission and financial aid.“The establishment of this program is meant to give top candidates who know they want to attend law school in Utah a sooner answer that there is a place for them here, so they can commit to their future as a law student at the S.J. Quinney College of Law,” he added.Applicants who are admitted under the Early Decision Program are automatically awarded a renewable merit-on-entrance scholarship package. Over a student’s three-year span at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, the value of the scholarship package for Utah residents is $50,000 (and for non-resident students the value is $75,000).The scholarship package will be disbursed in equal portions for each of the three years of a student’s enrollment at the law school. The only requirement to renew this scholarship is to maintain good academic and behavior code standing. Admitted Early Decision Program applicants may also be eligible for need-based scholarship support. That eligibility will be […]

Ghana could soon produce lawyers who do not understand law – Prof. Kotey

Prof Kotey has suggested a reform in the country’s legal education A nominee for Supreme Court Justice, Prof Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey has told the Appointments Committee of Parliament that legal education in Ghana presently needs massive reforms otherwise there would be a point that the country will be producing lawyers who do not have any knowledge of the law.

He said currently legal education in Ghana is at the crossroads because to the best of his knowledge as a Professor in law some students with a degree in law who want to pursue masters programme in law do not even know what a lease is or what the requirements of a valid contract are.

“Legal education needs root to branch reforms. From accreditation of the Law Faculties, ” he said adding that if he had his own way he would recommend that all the law faculties in the universities would be disaccredited for them to reapply based on the quality of lecturers, classroom space, libraries and other important resources for effective training.

“Mr chairman, I was on an interview panel interviewing students with a degree in law, that is LLB, who want to do masters programme in law and you would be surprised to know that some of the students could not tell what a lease is, the requirements of a valid contract. When we asked one student to discuss a single case of constitutional law he could not, I then asked about the 31st December case which he retorted ‘Is it the 31st December Women Movement?”.

He said the matter is so serious that if care is not taken the nation will be producing lawyers who do not know any law.

When asked about his view on suggestions that the Ghana School of Law must have campuses in all public universities with Law Faculties, he said that since the matter is at the Supreme Court it will be prejudicial to comment on it.

When Prof Kotey who was the former Dean of the University of Ghana Law Faculty and who has extensive legal knowledge on land administration was asked by a member of […]

Classism In Academia

No, not the class you sit in. This column is devoted to socio-economic status, or “class.”

As I reported last week , the citation count rankings have a paucity of women, people of color, and people who didn’t go to a top 10 law school (and more likely to be from a lower socio-economic status). I had no idea that this would be a controversial proposition that the legal academy has some hierarchies that are perpetuated through its echo chamber of rankings.

The citation count rankings made me wonder about the path to getting into law school. So it was fortuitous that I found an interesting discussion by Brookings : It reports that states that compelled students to take the SAT or ACT “discovered” college-ready students of lower socio-economic status. And then Anthony Kreis (a person I’d love to have as a colleague at my school) tweeted this chart to me in the NY Times that shows some astonishing disparities based on class. This is something that schools like Yale and Harvard already know.

But that’s undergrad: How easy is it for a person of lower socioeconomic status to be accepted into and succeed in a top 10 law school? How easy is it for them to become law professors?

Let’s start with what some call “history.” Richard Sander wrote an excellent article in the Denver Law Review titled “ Class In American Legal Education .” His conclusions were troubling. To be a law student essentially meant coming from privilege, with rare exception. Or, in his words: “The vast majority of American law students come from relatively elite backgrounds; this is especially true at the most prestigious law schools, where only five percent of all students come from families whose SES is in the bottom half of the national distribution. ”

Of course, the usual route to be a law professor is to first graduate from law school. And if you want to publish in the top 10 law reviews or be well cited, a top law school. According to my perusal of Sisk et. al.’s study of most cited legal scholars, none of […]

The journey to ASU Law: 3 students of the incoming class share their stories

As it continues to raise its profile, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State Universit y is attracting elite students from all across the country.

The No. 8 public law school, according to U.S. News & World Report, consistently rates among the best in job placement and bar passage. ASU Law is welcoming a new class of students this fall from more than 40 different states. Download Full Image Although the common denominator is academic success — the incoming class boasts the highest grade-point average and average LSAT score in the school’s history — their backgrounds and interests are as varied as their geography.

“If you’re a highly motivated student who’s passionate about the law, we don’t care where you’re from — you are welcome here,” said ASU Law Dean Douglas Sylvester. “We have always taken pride in the diverse backgrounds and accomplishments of our student body and believe it is an essential element to the education and experience we offer at ASU Law.”

Three members of the new fall class shared their thoughts on the divergent paths that brought them to ASU Law, and what they hope to accomplish. Christopher Senn Law-school student ready for takeoff

From a young age, Christopher Senn had dreams of becoming a lawyer.

“Growing up, I’ve always enjoyed debating,” said the 24-year-old native of Washington, D.C. “As superficial as that sounds — I know that’s not what law will really entail — but I always told myself that I wanted to be a lawyer growing up.”

But he enlisted in the Marines in 2011, and his career took a different flight path. Stationed in Cherry Point, North Carolina, Senn served as a pilot of drones, referred to in the military as unmanned aircraft systems. From there, he enrolled in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, graduating in 2015 with a degree in aeronautics. He then got a job in Sierra Vista, Arizona, working for Raytheon, a major defense contractor and the world’s largest manufacturer of guided missiles, and simultaneously began a master’s degree program in unmanned systems at Embry-Riddle, becoming one of the first graduates of that particular […]

Average Law School Debt

If you attend school full-time, you should be able to become a lawyer in seven years – four years as an undergraduate at a college or university, then three years in law school. There is no set requirement for an undergraduate course of study necessary to get into law school, but experts advise that you take courses that sharpen your critical thinking and writing skills. Popular majors are history, English and political science.

Note that some states, such as California , allow you to enter law school after only two years of undergraduate coursework.

Following graduation, you’ll take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and hopefully get a good-enough grade to be accepted by a law school. After graduating law school, you are a lawyer, but you need to sit for an exam administered by your state bar to earn a license allowing you to practice law in your state.

Private student loans can help pay for school after you hit federal limits. Compare student loan rates without affecting your credit score.

View Loan Options Costs of Legal Education

Your legal education begins in a four-year undergraduate program. The College Board reports that, for the 2016-2017 academic year, in-state colleges cost an average of $24,610 annually, whereas private college costs averaged $49,320. An undergraduate degree will cost somewhere between $100K and $200K on average, and even more if you attend an Ivy League school. Without a doubt, law school students have higher than average debt after graduation compared to the rest of the nation .

Once you graduate college, your next challenge is to get into law school and pay for it. U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-2016 survey of law schools provided the following snapshot of annual full-time costs such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses and transportation: Lowest private school: Brigham Young University, $23,940

​ Average private school : $45,467

​Highest private school : Columbia University, $62,700 ​ Lowest public in-state school : University of North Dakota, $11,161 ​ Average public in-state school : $25,890 ​ Highest public in-state school : University of Virginia, $54,000 ​ […]

Baylor law students sharpen skills in Titanic trial coinciding with museum exhibit

The wide brim of Margaret Brown’s Edwardian-era hat rose as she recalled, at the request of attorney Philip Koelsch, her experience of being in a lifeboat as the luxury liner Titanic sank into the icy Atlantic ocean in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912.

Brown recounted that fateful night, one marked by chaos and half-empty lifeboats, as she sat in the witness chair in a Mayborn Museum auditorium serving this week as courtroom.

Then came a cross-examination by Mike Hartnett, who sought to shift jurors’ attention from her action in the disaster that cost about 1,500 lives to an admission that, maybe, just maybe, her view of confusion and lifeboat operation that night might be a limited one, and not the whole picture of what was happening.

Brown, of course, was not the real Margaret "Molly" Brown, who died in 1932, but Waco actress Cathy Hawes. Attorneys Koelsch and Hartnett are third-year Baylor University Law School students taking part in this week’s "Titanic On Trial." The trial’s robed presiding judge, Gerald Powell, is a law professor who teaches the school’s Practice Court.

The trial at hand, a civil liabilities case, pitted Titanic survivor Madeleine Astor and Esther Hart, whose husbands died in the ship’s sinking, against White Star Line ship company owner International Mercantile Marine Co. and the Titanic’s builder, Harland & Wolff.

The legal action never happened but is a fictitious Practice Court case that became this week’s publicly viewed example not so much of living history but living jurisprudence.

The Mayborn Museum’s current touring exhibit, "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," provided an opportunity for the law school and museum to collaborate on a mock trial that offers a different angle to the 1912 passenger ship sinking that has captured the public’s imagination ever since: Namely, whose fault, legally speaking, was it?

The Titanic case, a fictitious one but built from actual testimony at both U.S. Senate and British Board of Trade hearings, was part of the Practice Court case rotation for about 10 years, but had been retired for some time because of the number of students needed and some 1,000 pages of […]

Higher Education Commission Declares Law Admission Test Mandatory To Get Admission In LLB

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has directed the public and private sector universities and valid affiliated law colleges to ask students that a Law Admission Test (LAT) would be mandatory for getting admission in LLB five-year’s degree programme.

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 28th Jun, 2018 ) :The Higher Education Commission ( HEC ) has directed the public and private sector universities and valid affiliated law colleges to ask students that a Law Admission Test (LAT) would be mandatory for getting admission in LLB five-year’s degree programme.

An official of the HEC told APP that the test would be held twice a year and it will be conducted free of cost by the Higher Education Commission . The decision has been taken by the HEC as per the order of apex court , he added. In this regard, an advertisement has been published on the HEC website, according to which the date of test would be announced in national newspapers and on HEC websites, the official told. The applicants may select any test centre from the available centre on HEC websites. However, for their own convenience, students are advised to choose test centre nearest to their residence.

The total marks of test would be 100 and the students having 50 marks would be considered pass. The test would comprise of an English essay, personal statements either in English or Urdu, MCQs of General knowledge, Islamic studies, Pak studies, English, Urdu and Mathematics.

The last date to apply for the test is July 10. The students having 12 years of schooling ( HSSC ) and those waiting for results would be eligible to apply.

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