Law School

In working on behalf of clients intending to go to law school, my focus is to help them:

 
  • Determine whether law school is the right choice for them

 
  • Evaluate and develop career options, including the appropriate legal specialties to target

 
  • Develop their credentials and skills

 
  • Create the appropriate marketing strategy and story

  • Determine the programs and schools they will apply to

 
  • Write high-impact personal statements and other essays

 
  • Put together a highly readable, targeted resume

 
  • Select and brief their recommenders

 
  • Prepare to ace their interviews

 
  • Minimize the total cost of law school (including by maneuvering for greater financial aid or winning a public interest fellowship)

 
  • Prepare for law school and maximize the career value of their efforts in law school

Of course, not all clients need all or even many of these services. My work is customized to what my clients want; there is no one-size-fits-all approach involved.

The nature of my work

Rather than try to describe in detail each of the services above, I’ll note just a few aspects of two of them, the personal statement focus and interview preparation, to give some of the flavor of the work I do.

Personal statement focus

Finding the right focus for a personal statement (and other essays) is critical. Some mistakes are all too predictable. For example, young applicants try to pitch their future career paths, but lack the experience and commitment to be taken seriously. This is all the more problematic when their chosen career is flavor-of-the-moment (for example, international human rights) and the nature and design of their resumes more appropriate for high schoolers than professional school applicants.

Nothing substitutes for getting your positioning right. As a result, I work with my clients to develop the correct focus for the personal statement and the other essays (and addenda) that make such a critical difference for application success.

Interviews

Law schools increasingly interview some or all of their applicants. Many applicants, nervous about the prospect of an interview, fail to take advantage of the opportunities that interviews provide. I encourage clients to prepare well and then to interview pro-actively.

For those clients who have already had substantial interview experience (admittedly a minority), I simply brief them as to what to expect in each school’s interviews, and to suggest how they should prepare. In many cases, however, my clients understandably want more than a briefing. I therefore frequently put clients through mock interviews in the style of one or more of the schools they are targeting, along with detailed critiques of their performance.

Timing

Some of my most successful clients sign up for my services one or more years in advance of actually applying to law school, in order to discuss long-term strategy and goals that are best addressed long before applications are put together. This allows them to be best prepared to market themselves when the time comes (or to head in another direction if they change their minds about their future careers).

On the other hand, plenty of clients come to me at a later stage in the game—at the beginning of the application season or even in the midst of applying. I am prepared to help clients at any point in their application efforts and encourage panicked applicants who find themselves behind schedule to contact me for immediate assistance.

Typical Concerns of My Law School Clients

General issues:

  • What can I do in college to help me get into a great law school?

  • Should I go to law school?

  • Are there good professional career options I should examine potentially in place of going to law school? How do I do so?

  • Should I go to law school now even if I don’t know what type of law I’ll practice?

  • Should I work before going to law school? What if I can’t get a great job?

  • Is a law degree a good idea if I don’t intend to practice law? If not, what are best alternatives?

  • How important are the rankings? Which rankings matter?

  • What are my chances of getting into a top 5 (10, 20) program? What can I do in the short run to improve my chances? In the longer run?

  • Which of the schools that I have a shot would be best for me?

  • How can I get a substantial scholarship (or otherwise cut the cost of law school)?

  • Should I do a joint degree? Is it worth the extra money? The extra time?

 

Admissions issues:

 
  • What are top schools looking for?

  • Can I still get into school X in spite of my 2.95 GPA?

  • What do you make of my unfortunate LSAT score? Do I need to retake it? What sort of preparation should I undertake?

  • What do I need to disclose about my misconduct matters? What will be the admissions impact? What can make up for these missteps?

  • What do you mean, “How shall we position you?” What does “positioning” mean? What impact will it have?

  • Should I write the same personal statement for all the schools I apply to?

 
  • Which other essays, if any, should I write?

  • Some law schools interview and others don’t; some make interviews entirely optional. What should I do? Should I try to interview? How can I get ready to interview?

 

Financing Issues

  • What are my chances of merit aid at my target schools?

  • Are there any (public interest) fellowships I might qualify for?

 
  • What trade-off between school ranking and financial aid may be necessary?

  • Given my career goals, how much debt should I be willing to take on?

Post-Admissions Issues:

  • How can I best prepare for law school?

  • How can I get the most out of law school?

  • Should I try to transfer? If so, what do I need to do to maximize my chances of transfer success?

  • What do I need to know about getting a great legal job—whether Big Law, nonprofit, or something else?