Decline in Applicants = More Available Financial Aid
Right now might be the best time to apply to law school. According to figures from U.S. News & World Report and the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the number of law school applicants dropped from roughly 88,000 in 2010 to approximately 60,000 in 2013. Law schools are responding by cutting class sizes and letting go of faculty and staff so they can offer more financial aid to prospective students. In 2007, law schools offered $721 million in financial aid and have increased that number to $1 billion for 2013, according to Fortune Magazine. Though admission to law school appears to be more obtainable, it's still important to stand out from the rest of the competition.
Be More Than a Name
How can you stand out in such a crowded field? One key method is to go beyond just submitting an application and existing as a name on a page. Instead, take advantage of any opportunity to meet the people who decide your fate.
It can definitely be worth your time to attend a law school recruiting fair, whether it's at your college or an LSAC-sponsored event. While a law school may have thousands of applicants, perhaps only a hundred or so will meet personally with admissions representatives. Giving the extra effort to make yourself memorable can help raise the profile of your application; it could even push you from the cusp towards acceptance.
Make the Most of Face Time
When it's time to meet admissions representatives, be fully prepared before you go. Know which law schools will be attending an event in order to effectively plan your time. Learn about the schools well enough to demonstrate your knowledge. If you're unsure whether or not a particular school will be at an event, contact the school.
Also, consider the best time to go. You could spend all day, or you could try to go when it's least crowded. Avoiding the crowds can be a great way to get quality face time in a less harried environment. In some cases, schools might only be at the event for a certain period of time. If you're interested in a specific school, it's worth your time to figure out when a representative will be present.
When you're talking with representatives, pay attention to social cues. You'll want to stay long enough to give a good impression without coming across as overly nervous or desperate. It's also a good idea to not appear overconfident. This is a chance to make a connection and show your sincere interest in the law school. Don't forget to get contact information from everyone you meet, and follow up with a polite thank you card or e-mail.
Perhaps the best advice for anyone pursuing admission to law school is to stay connected. Many organizations, including the Law School Admission Council, often post upcoming LSAT test dates, application deadlines, and other important dates and events on their websites.
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