For law school applicants, the passing of Labor Day is a sign that it is time to buckle down on your applications to submit this fall. Hopefully you were able to enjoy a relaxing holiday and are ready to put your best foot forward over the next couple of months.
To aid in the complex application process, I have compiled a law school application guide for the month of September to keep prospective law students on the track to success. By getting started early and following these guidelines, you will easily be able to submit by the end of the year, if not sooner, barring unforeseen circumstances.
Many applicants have likely selected and spoken with their recommenders; however, if you have not done so already, you should reach out to potential recommenders in the week following the holiday. It is crucial to provide recommenders with plenty of time to write before your deadlines. Not only is it a courtesy that demonstrates your respect for their time, but it allows them to take the necessary time to write exceptional letters.
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Mid-month, you should start to outline your essays. If you think it is early to begin outlining, keep in mind that in order to submit polished essays you will need to produce several drafts.
Many of my clients at Stratus Prep have already begun the brainstorming and outlining process, as I have always found that the applicants who start the soonest find the most success. By beginning early with a solid outline, you permit yourself the time required to write impressive essays and eliminate potential anxiety down the road.
You do not need to draft during this week; simply brainstorm essay topics and create a trajectory of the major points that you would like to hit in your narrative. Be sure that your outline is coherent and that one point will transition smoothly to the next when you begin to write.
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Toward the end of the month, focus attention on getting rough essay drafts on paper and, for those of you taking the October exam, wrapping up your LSAT studies.
Do not worry about the length, language or style in your first draft. Only worry about getting your ideas and experiences recorded following your outline; you will have plenty of revisions to fine-tune the essays later.
The final week of the month, you will have less than two weeks until the October LSAT. You can prepare by taking full-length practice tests under simulated test conditions and also by completing a few stand-alone sections on which you score lower.
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For example, if the logic games section is one of your weaknesses, as it is for many LSAT students, do a couple of extra timed logic games sections in addition to the full-length tests. This is not a time to cram, but to smooth out your weak areas, calm your nerves and make sure you are ready to knock it out of the park on test day.
This timeline will get you through September and keep you on track to submit your applications by the end of the year. The application process can be daunting, but by assigning yourself manageable weekly tasks and getting started early, you can minimize your stress and craft compelling, polished submissions.