Carol Steffes

Creative Writing teacher

Based in
Hackney, Greene, Missouri, United States
Carol Steffes | Creative Writing teacher

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An exciting, fast-paced career in law lies ahead, but there's one obstacle in your way: the admissions process. Unfortunately, many qualified and hopeful applicants are thwarted by errors that are entirely avoidable. Let's count down four of the most common law school application mistakes so that you can ensure your own application is far more successful come admissions season.

1. Slacking off on the LSAT
So you've always been awesome at standardized tests? Good for you, but the LSAT takes more than that. Well prepared students study for months for this exam, so a half-hearted effort (yes, even from the world's best test-taker) is unlikely to measure up.

You'll also want to get it right the first time, if at all possible. Not only do your scores stick around for years, but many law schools average all of your scores, instead of simply going with the best one.

2. Embellishing the truth (or flat out lying)
Sure, there's a chance you'll get away with that little white lie. But there's also a chance that you won't, and getting caught can have dire consequences. Disclose all requested information, and don't omit relevant material or exaggerate the truth. If you're not sure about a question, call the admissions office to ask for more information. Rather than spending time creating a glorious fictional version of yourself, isn't it better to focus your efforts on presenting your real self in the most impressive light?

3. Dragging your feet
Asking for recommendations can be difficult, but waiting until the last minute won't make it any easier. Keep in mind that you're not just battling the competition for spots in law school, but you're also fighting for recommendation letters. Some professors will receive more requests than they can handle; make sure yours is on the top of the pile to ensure it makes the cut. And don't forget that professors also procrastinate, so give them ample time to complete the task.

Putting an end to procrastination doesn't just apply to recommendations. Pay attention to all deadlines, and keep track of everything you send in. Early applications often have better results - both in terms of successful admissions and financial aid.

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