I recently presented keys to success at a law firm as part of the Women’s Leadership Committee’s programming. These tips are things I learned along the way during my career, things I saw others doing, or things that I wish I had done differently or better while in practice since hindsight is 20/20.
Once you have tackled your personal statement and secured outstanding letters of recommendation, it is time to stand back and look at the “pieces” of your law school application objectively. It is helpful to view your law school application as a puzzle to be understood by the readers (those evaluating your potential for success in law school and in a legal career).
In most cases the readers will only get to know you from the items in your application file. There will be no interview and no other way to assess your potential. So, stand back and objectively determine – with everything that will be seen in my admissions file, what raises questions? What are the missing puzzle pieces to understanding why I am a good candidate for admission?
If you feel that your application, when viewed as a whole, is missing an important piece of information that could answer the above questions, you should consider writing an addendum. Below are the most common types of addenda we see:
It’s going to sound cliché, but as I approached the end of my 2L summer I started asking myself what I could do to leave the law school better than I had found it. It had been a bumpy road for me, largely because of my own struggles as a first-generation law student. Although I felt very confident about my own future, having secured a job offer with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, I realized that others were dealing with similar issues and I decided that founding a First-Generation Law Students Association (FGLSA) at Seton Hall Law School was the way to go. With plenty of help from administration and other students, the group was successfully formed in September of 2018. The mission of the organization is to create a community for all first-generation students to come together to tackle law school and the legal profession with support. FGLSA now has roughly 60 members, with more joining every week.
(Updated October 21,2019) Congratulations! You’ve been admitted to a few different law schools! Now – you just need to figure out how to pay for it! You thought the hard part was over – but, now, it seems like it is just beginning. Let me help you get a realistic vision of what to expect/what not to expect with regards to paying for law school.
The Weekend JD program is now about half-way through its second successful year, and with two classes having gone through the admissions process, with a third in the works, I thought it would be a good time to reflect back at the questions I’ve received during this time. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received in the last 2 years.
Prospective law students have always been interested in the bar passage success rates of schools they’re considering attending. After all, while a law degree is a prerequisite to taking the bar almost everywhere, passing the bar is a prerequisite to actually practicing law in almost all states.
Although everyone is aware of the benefits of clerking for a federal judge, too many students overlook the tremendous opportunity of being a clerk in the New Jersey state courts. First, the opportunities for a judicial clerkship are plentiful, with nearly 400 trial and appellate Superior Court judges in New Jersey compared to just 33 federal district court and magistrate judges in New Jersey.
I am often asked if it is worthwhile for prospective law students to invest in Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) Prep. In the past, my answer has often been a ‘soft yes’ because the answer is dependent upon the individual’s study habits, time constraints and most notably their financial situation. I’ve been reluctant to be 'all in' on a test prep recommendation, knowing that for many aspiring law students the financial constraints of commercial prep services are prohibitive.
But I also know that the LSAT is a high stakes standardized test – and applicants should do anything and everything they can to position themselves to have as many law school choices as possible. I am so pleased to finally be able to give a ‘hard yes’ to the question, now that there is free, flexible, fully online LSAT prep.
Law school is one of the most demanding academic challenges that a student can face. Reading dozens of pages to prepare for class, learning a new way of critically thinking and carefully writing, searching for valuable work experience, and establishing relationships with fellow students and professors require lots of time and attention. When thinking about my own law school experience, as well as my experiences with students to date, there are a few key themes that seem crucial to success:
I loved law school. I had great teachers, I made great friends, I was challenged daily with the material we learned in class, and (most importantly) I met my wife. It was a glorious time. And to all of the 1Ls, you’re in for the time of your life.
To help you through your journey over the next three or four years, I’d like to share some tips and words of wisdom that I wish I had when I was I was a law student.