Applying to Law School: A Guide for the Rest of Us

As dean of admissions at the University of Chicago Law School, Anna Ivey decided the fate of thousands of law What kind of essay should I write to set me apart from the rest of the pack? .. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?.
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The practice of law in the United States has a proud history, integral to the founding of the nation and maintaining the rule of law. Many lawyers and law students from around the world come to study or practice law in the United States. In this Study Law guide, we describe the overall legal system in the USA, as well as provide practical guidance for foreign education lawyers and international students that want to study law or practice law in the USA.


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Studying law can open many doors for you. Law gives you the necessary skills to practice as an attorney or develop a career in another field such as politics, diplomacy, economics, business, or education.

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There are numerous rewards in studying law, but it is a solitary, intimidating, and difficult process, so it is important to know for sure that studying law is the right choice for you. As an international student, you should be aware that typically a J. Juris Doctor from a US law school will not always prepare you to practice law in your home country, as US law schools teach the common law based on the British system. However, there are law firms around the globe that hire lawyers with a J. Additionally, schools in Louisiana do teach the Civil Code, which may be applicable in some countries.

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Studying a graduate law degree in English from in a US institution generally enhances your job opportunities upon returning to your home country. Studying law in the United States is very different from studying law in many other countries. In various countries, students begin their law studies immediately following graduation from high school or secondary school.

Harvard Law School treats international applicants exactly the same as US applicants for the purposes of financial aid. Any loans which the US government would give to a US applicant, Harvard will match through its own loan program. Harvard does not offer merit-based scholarships.

All financial aid is based on financial need. This program helps relieve the burden of repayment of educational loans for J. Qualifying jobs include all full-time jobs in non-profits, government, or academia, and law-related jobs in the private sector. As with need-based aid, international students and US students are treated exactly the same for the purposes of determining LIPP eligibility. What academic programs does Harvard Law School offer for International Students who have studied law before?

Admissions FAQ | Harvard Law School

What academic programs does Harvard Law School offer for International Students who have never studied law before? Where can I find more information about the bar exam? What use would a J. What are the chances of admission for an international applicant vs. How does Harvard Law School evaluate foreign transcripts? How should I approach my personal statement? What length should my personal statement be?

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Financial Questions Is financial aid available for international students? Who can I contact if I have more questions about financial aid? What is Harvard Law School? Harvard Law School is one of the 12 degree-granting schools which form Harvard University.

What are the eligibility requirements for applying to the Harvard Law School J. For more detailed information on our application requirements, please review our Application Components. Junior Deferral Program applicants must be scheduled to graduate from their undergraduate program, or its international equivalent, in the spring of They also provide a recommendation and evaluation service. Your account will remain active for five years. You can register for these services through the web site listed below. It is recommended that you set up this account at least 6 weeks before your first application deadline.

Once you register, you must use the LSAC Transcript Request Form to contact the registrars from all the colleges or universities you've ever attended, and ask that your transcripts be sent there. You can subscribe to this service at www.

Admissions FAQ

Please indicate "yes" to releasing your information to your pre-law advisor, so that Gigi can best assist you and other students. The LSAT is a half-day standardized test of reading comprehension and analytical and logical reasoning skills. It also includes a writing sample, which is not scored but is sent on to the law schools to which you are applying. It is a test for which you should prepare, either on your own, with a commercial test prep service, or the LSAT prep course given on campus in the spring.

Your LSAT score is a very important part of your admissions profile. Most law schools will accept scores for up to three years. Law schools vary in how they look at multiple LSAT scores. So don't take the test without carefully preparing, on the assumption that you can do better the second time around. Aim to do your very best the first time, so you don't drag your candidacy down with a score that doesn't represent your best effort.

You can register for the LSAT at www.

The test is no longer offered on the Swarthmore campus. In developing a list of schools to which to apply, you should consider a number of factors. Obviously, geography and location are important. If you are hoping to settle down in a certain region of the country, it often makes sense to consider law schools there very carefully, as their graduates likely comprise a good portion of the professional networks there.

You should also consider possible areas of law in which you may be interested, and find law schools that offer courses in those areas. Individual school web sites are likely to be very helpful to you. Law schools are very clear about the numbers that are likely to make for a successful applicant at their school.

Note that a few schools do not participate. You can click on these tools from our website. While there is surely some "give" for Swarthmore's rigor and reputation for excellence, if you are not within the range for a certain school, you may be best served putting your application money and effort elsewhere. While reputation is certainly an important factor to consider in making choices, it shouldn't blind you to a school's real qualities and strengths, and whether or not it would be a good match for your talents and interests.

Study Law in the US

You should be sure to include schools where you have a good shot at getting in, not just your dream schools that are very competitive. Be on the lookout for law school presentations on campus and try to attend at least one or two. Even if it is a school in which you're not interested, it is still helpful to hear what law school admissions officers look for in an application.

LAW SCHOOL APPLICATIONS 101

Often much of the material they present is applicable to other schools as well. LSAC uses a program, which allows you to complete and track your individual law school applications in a streamlined way. Be sure that your transcripts and all your recommendations and evaluations are already at the LSAC, so that the law school will get your complete credentials when they request your information.

Every application will likely require at least one essay, often known as a "Personal Statement. An essay that is powerful and vivid and focuses on you and your experiences and accomplishments is much more powerful and effective than an essay on your thoughts on, say, the American legal system.

You might discuss 1 a turning point in your decision to attend law school, 2 a role model for yourself, 3 a personal struggle or accomplishment, or 4 a leadership, employment, or community service experience that is somehow related to your interest in law.