Applying to Law School Through LSDAS: Always Read the Instructions

(Photo Source: christopherwilkie)

As you probably know, applying to law school is a competitive numbers game: LSAT score, GPA, class size, and number of applicants to name a few. This explains why most law school applicants cast a wide net by applying to several schools.

When applying to multiple schools, it can be tempting to try to finish the application as quickly as possible. This is especially true if the applicant has other obligations, such as classes or a job.

However, speeding through an application is not advisable. In particular, you should never skip the “Instructions” section of the application because it often contains requirements that are not specified in the remainder of the application.

For example, consider Boston College Law School’s application. The prompt, the part where you upload your personal statement, states the following:

Please provide us with a personal statement that demonstrates your interest and capacity for the study of law. In crafting your essay, you may wish to consider one or more of the following topics, or you may choose a topic of your own: a.) a major life experience that has shaped your world view; b.) significant coursework undertaken in college, and/or any professional experience; c.) unique personal characteristics or traits that you will bring to the BC Law community.

If you only read the prompt, then you would assume that Boston College Law School has no length or formatting requirements for their personal statement. This assumption would be incorrect because the instructions section requires the following:

We are interested particularly in learning about your motivation and preparation for the study of law as well as any circumstances that you believe relevant to the evaluation of your credentials. Your personal statement should be no more than two or three pages, double-spaced, with your name on each page.

As you can see, if you ignored the instructions section, then you would not have been informed that your personal statement needs to be 2-3 pages, double-spaced, and have your name on each page.

We know that completing multiple law school applications can be stressful, but we encourage you to slow down and pay attention to the details of every application. Doing so could be the difference between admission, admission with a scholarship, or rejection.

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