Law school applicants — two secrets to success

1. Distinguish yourself in the application process by articulating intended career path. When reviewing your materials, the admissions committee is wondering:

a) whether you are likely to be one of those students with lots of job prospects upon graduation, despite your academic results

b) whether you are likely to be one of those students to give back financial (and otherwise) to the school.

One way to help the committee form a positive impression about you is to articulate precisely what your plans are upon graduation:

a) what area of law do you intend to practice.

b) in what context (ex., government, big firm, etc.)

c) what about x law school makes this plan more of a possibility.

How do develop a plan if you have no clue:

a) read Making Partner:  The Essential Guide to Negotiating the Legal Path and Beyond

b) review “Top 25 Practice Areas and Sample Practice Settings,” available at

c) if possible, Match you future plan with skills in your background and match your interest to a booming legal field.

1) consider items in the news

2) consider regulatory areas

3) examples of both = tax, intellectual property, elder law, healthcare law, securities law

d) talk to lawyers and ask them how they decided on the area in which they are practicing

e) prepare a one pager to committee articulating your plan


2. Distinguish yourself in law school by “choosing a major”.

a) Your major may be different then your plan as presented to the committee

b) decide as soon as feasible because as soon as you decide:

1) you can make the most of networking opportunities

2) you can gain relevant experience in the area

3) you can excel in classes in the area, which will help convince future employers that those are the grades that matter (and you are less of a risk than another student that did not do as well in those classes or did not take those classes)

c) similar process as above

1) match the major to your background

2) choose a good growth area

3) identify multiple paths for obtaining a job

4) match your interest to a booming legal field


Image courtesy of