Lisa Marie Windsor, who practices military law in Washington, D.C., at the firm Tully Rinckey, says law students should focus their studies rather than "dabble." Come graduation time, "the people that had focused on one specialization ... [have] an easier time getting hired," she says.
[Learn how some law grads are pursuing nonlegal work.]
But not everyone agrees. Jay Shively, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid at Wake Forest University School of Law, says he tells applicants to ignore law schools' self-declared specializations, because many students change their minds about what kind of law they want to practice after graduation.
5. Negotiate the financial aid package: Afam Onyema, chief operating officer of the Chicago-based nonprofit GEANCO Foundation, says Stanford University Law School initially offered him $2,000 in aid for his first year. He talked the school up to $20,000 by leveraging better aid packages from other schools.
"Applicants might feel like they are powerless, especially when dealing with elite law schools," he says. "However, I was actually able use the offers I received from other top schools to my advantage."
But Onyema cautions applicants not to lie or bluff, because schools will ask for proof of competitive offers. "As a future lawyer, get used to relying on evidence to back up your words," he says.
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