Many law school applicants postpone their applications to the following year to allow themselves adequate time to submit the best application possible. Even if waiting another year to attend law school is disappointing, you should feel confident in your decision – improved application materials could mean the opportunity to attend a top-choice law school and wider employment options after graduation.
The need for more time is one of the most prominent reasons that applicants postpone submitting their applications, so take these three steps now to make the most of this extra year.
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1. Make a game plan: The lack of a concrete plan is one of the most common issues I see during the law school application process. Lacking structure can cause key components of the application to be left unattended until the last minute, which prompts stress and ultimately leads to a weaker application than if a student had taken months to prepare.
Map out a clear plan to follow in the coming months to ensure that you submit thorough applications that you will be proud of this fall.
2. Review your current materials: If you postponed before really getting started on any part of your applications, then you are starting from scratch. Others will have begun or even finished an essay draft. Do you have an LSAT score you are happy with? Have you reached out to recommenders?
Take note of any tasks you have already completed and if additional work is required in that area. If your essays need more work or if you already contacted recommenders, you will need to reach out in a few months to remind them that you postponed.
This will give you a clear idea of the workload you have before hitting submit. You should incorporate your estimated workload into the plan you are drafting.
[Take three steps when you reapply to law school.]
3. Assess what tripped you up last year: Identify any factors that gave you trouble during the previous application cycle. These will be challenges this year too, but if you focus on them now, you can proactively extinguish them as potential difficulties.
Set a study schedule for the next several months that includes section-specific focus for your weak areas and full-length practice tests to keep track of your score increases and improve your stamina.
[Learn to juggle LSAT prep with other commitments.]
If one problem was that you could not find a suitable recommender, then use this time to forge strong relationships with professors or supervisors at work. Go to office hours and participate frequently in class; offer up new ideas in the workplace and request check-in meetings with your supervisor to be sure you on are the right track.
By compiling materials you have already started, identifying your problem areas and making a plan now for the next several months, you position yourself to submit compelling law school applications in the fall. Getting started early minimizes stress and pressure and gives you leeway should other issues arise.