Most of these responses haven't been very effective in answering your question. Bearing in mind that all the following advice is necessarily subjective and somewhat anecdotal, here is a very condensed breakdown of the relevant factors.
1. Your LSAT score: This accounts for perhaps 40% of the application decision at most elite law schools. If you don't hit a 170 or above, you will certainly have an uphill battle.
2. Your undergraduate GPA: Another 20% or so of the decision is made here. You'll notice right away that more than half the decision is based entirely on your grades and the LSAT. Law school admissions is very numbers based as compared with college and many other graduate and professional programs. It's hard to give you a target, because grade distributions differ significantly by schools. Admissions officers know that, but I would still aim to have a 3.7 at the least. 3.8 and above is really ideal.
3. Experience: Here's where I lump things like work experience, internships, extracurricular activities, the personal statement, and the other miscellaneous things that will go on your resume but that are hard to quantify. The main thing to remember is that these are important, but probably not as important as they were in getting into college. In the past, the dean of admissions at HLS (and some other top schools) would call prospective applicants to discuss their resumes and learn a little more about them.
You seemed to frame this question in terms of these factors. There's no right way to do this, and my best advice is not to worry too much about them. Frankly, an amazing internship is unlikely to get you into Harvard Law in the absence of other factors; an amazing LSAT score probably will.
Also, keep in mind that people come to law school from all sorts of backgrounds, not just economics and political science. Many admits
have never worked for a law firm or done anything related specifically to "the law." Law school admissions committees look for bright people with strong analytical and logical reasoning abilities. Wherever you're coming from, those are the skills you need in law school.
The one thing I can say is that people who've been out of college a few years and have built interesting and relevant work experience absolutely can get away with moderately lower GPAs and LSAT scores. If you're straight out of college, you don't have much to present except your schooling, so it better be top flight.
4. Recommendations: Yeah, they matter, but no one competitive has bad ones. If you're a serious candidate, you almost certainly have great recommendations, so they're unlikely to distinguish you from the pack. If they suck, you're in trouble, but that's unlikely, because no one asks for recommendations from someone they're not confident will write good ones. Well, no one intelligent does that.
I hope this lengthy response is helpful. The Kaplan course is a good one. Do the homework and spend as much time as possible practicing on LSAT questions and sections. Acing that test is at least as much about familiarity with the format and questions as it is about any substantive knowledge or strategies. Once you've done a few hundred questions, you'll notice the patterns and similarities that repeat almost identically year to year, and you'll be ready for any trick the test can throw t you.
EDIT: I cannot disagree more with most of Hardwork's response. First, most of the students in my class at Harvard Law weren't semi-intelligent, affirmative action cases, nor were they wealthy legacies. I'm not sure I can think of someone in my class that wasn't startlingly intelligent. Second, unlike business school, most people don't go to law school to "become a better business person."
Matt · 6 years ago
Category: Personal Finance