[List] Best books for law school application advice

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
RockinJosh
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[List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby RockinJosh » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:59 pm

Hey Ya'll!

As you go through this application process, I wanted to post the books that really helped me out and take additional recommendations.

Post your suggestions/reviews below and I'll grab some info on them and add them to the list for others to see! Thanks!

Book Recommendation List
How to Get Into Top Law Schools 5th Ed This was the best book, in my opinion. It tackles the whole process no matter where you are in your applications. Honest and honed advice on letters, personal statements, applications, etc.
55 Successful Harvard Law School Application Essays: What Worked for Them Can Help You Get Into the Law School of Your Choice Of course, this site offers its own great personal statement reviews/advice (and its own book too, which I hear is pretty good). But I personally bought this one, and I felt it had a wide range of examples that could help anyone perfect their "type" of statement.

duckmoney
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby duckmoney » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:03 pm

The problem with many of those books is that they make it seem like a stellar application will overcome poor numbers. Except for some URMs and the occasional wunderkind, it won't. Not that having a great PS, resume, and rec letters will ever hurt you, and they can certainly give you a bump if you're on the edge. But the best personal statement ever written probably won't get you into a T14 school if you have a 156 on the LSAT.

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bk1
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby bk1 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:04 pm


RockinJosh
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby RockinJosh » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:06 pm

duckmoney wrote:The problem with many of those books is that they make it seem like a stellar application will overcome poor numbers. Except for some URMs and the occasional wunderkind, it won't. Not that having a great PS, resume, and rec letters will ever hurt you, and they can certainly give you a bump if you're on the edge. But the best personal statement ever written probably won't get you into a T14 school if you have a 156 on the LSAT.


True, but if you're maybe on the bubble for a T14 and are having trouble putting together a Personal Statement, anything that can guide you in the direction of something that, at the least, won't *hurt* you can't be all bad. I found that I had made a couple common mistakes in mine, and I was able to easily spot them and root them out after reading a couple good guides.

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soj
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby soj » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:39 pm

bk1 wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com

/thread

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:53 pm

RockinJosh wrote:
duckmoney wrote:The problem with many of those books is that they make it seem like a stellar application will overcome poor numbers. Except for some URMs and the occasional wunderkind, it won't. Not that having a great PS, resume, and rec letters will ever hurt you, and they can certainly give you a bump if you're on the edge. But the best personal statement ever written probably won't get you into a T14 school if you have a 156 on the LSAT.


True, but if you're maybe on the bubble for a T14 and are having trouble putting together a Personal Statement, anything that can guide you in the direction of something that, at the least, won't *hurt* you can't be all bad. I found that I had made a couple common mistakes in mine, and I was able to easily spot them and root them out after reading a couple good guides.


You have a 177/4.0 and you paid for this stuff?

RockinJosh
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby RockinJosh » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:11 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
RockinJosh wrote:
duckmoney wrote:The problem with many of those books is that they make it seem like a stellar application will overcome poor numbers. Except for some URMs and the occasional wunderkind, it won't. Not that having a great PS, resume, and rec letters will ever hurt you, and they can certainly give you a bump if you're on the edge. But the best personal statement ever written probably won't get you into a T14 school if you have a 156 on the LSAT.


True, but if you're maybe on the bubble for a T14 and are having trouble putting together a Personal Statement, anything that can guide you in the direction of something that, at the least, won't *hurt* you can't be all bad. I found that I had made a couple common mistakes in mine, and I was able to easily spot them and root them out after reading a couple good guides.


You have a 177/4.0 and you paid for this stuff?


haha, call it a bit of insurance. But even with those scores you're guaranteed nothing. might as well dot your I's and cross your T's. I really do think that top book helped me pull together the best letters of recommendation--for example--by giving me some tips on what to include to my prof when asking and how to frame the ask.

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bk1
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby bk1 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:15 pm

RockinJosh wrote:haha, call it a bit of insurance. But even with those scores you're guaranteed nothing. might as well dot your I's and cross your T's. I really do think that top book helped me pull together the best letters of recommendation--for example--by giving me some tips on what to include to my prof when asking and how to frame the ask.


With a 177/4.0 you could submit Mein Kampf in lieu of personal statement and every law school except 2-3 of them would still accept you.

los_angeles
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby los_angeles » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:44 pm

With a 177/4.0 you could submit Mein Kampf in lieu of personal statement and every law school except 2-3 of them would still accept you.


With a 177/4.0, wouldn't you only care about those 2-3 of them?

People get denied from all three with those numbers.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:46 pm

los_angeles wrote:
With a 177/4.0 you could submit Mein Kampf in lieu of personal statement and every law school except 2-3 of them would still accept you.


With a 177/4.0, wouldn't you only care about those 2-3 of them?

People get denied from all three with those numbers.


You really think a book written for the average law applicant helps that guy?

I can see looking for advice to improve apps, but with TLS here, there is no need to pay for it.

los_angeles
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby los_angeles » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:24 pm

You really think a book written for the average law applicant helps that guy?

I can see looking for advice to improve apps, but with TLS here, there is no need to pay for it.


Meh, I'm not much for arguing on the internet. I was responding to the post I quoted, which seemed to be suggesting that it was ridiculous for a 177/4.0 to buy a book. It's not. I'll take wisdom from a top school admissions officer (e.g. Ivey) any day over TLS 0Ls and 1 and 2Ls whose knowledge about admissions is either regurgitated or limited to the fact that they got into X school with their particular app package.

TLS's value for me is limited to (a) determining conventional wisdom, (b) filling in gaps in knowledge not available from an easily-accesible, reputable source and (c) entertainment/commiserating.

It's pretty hard to calculate the value of admission to a better school and impossible to know whether a resource helped you. But it's worth the $4 (including shipping) I paid on Amazon to secure the insight of someone who "sat at the table" in admissions, to increase my chance of admission/a scholarship to a top school (even if only by 0.5%). Honestly, I'd probably say the $ is worth the piece of mind/placebo effect. I've certainly accomplished less with $4.

People spend $100k+ on UG, $1000+ on LSAT classes. I'll spend my $4 on a book and call it a day.

Matter of fact, because of your post and my thinking about my purchase, I'll skip the bar tonight, saving $15.

Ivey just made me $10. Boom.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:30 pm

los_angeles wrote:
You really think a book written for the average law applicant helps that guy?

I can see looking for advice to improve apps, but with TLS here, there is no need to pay for it.


Meh, I'm not much for arguing on the internet. I was responding to the post I quoted, which seemed to be suggesting that it was ridiculous for a 177/4.0 to buy a book. It's not. I'll take wisdom from a top school admissions officer (e.g. Ivey) any day over TLS 0Ls and 1 and 2Ls whose knowledge about admissions is either regurgitated or limited to the fact that they got into X school with their particular app package.

TLS's value for me is limited to (a) determining conventional wisdom, (b) filling in gaps in knowledge not available from an easily-accesible, reputable source and (c) entertainment/commiserating.

It's pretty hard to calculate the value of admission to a better school and impossible to know whether a resource helped you. But it's worth the $4 (including shipping) I paid on Amazon to secure the insight of someone who "sat at the table" in admissions, to increase my chance of admission/a scholarship to a top school (even if only by 0.5%). Honestly, I'd probably say the $ is worth the piece of mind/placebo effect. I've certainly accomplished less with $4.

People spend $100k+ on UG, $1000+ on LSAT classes. I'll spend my $4 on a book and call it a day.

Matter of fact, because of your post and my thinking about my purchase, I'll skip the bar tonight, saving $15.

Ivey just made me $10. Boom.


This is all 100% credited. I guess my initial concern was that the OP was just spamming but if those books can provide some assistance, then by all means buy em. I tend to think, though, that the advice in those books represents the conventional wisdom on this site.

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bk1
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby bk1 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:36 pm

los_angeles wrote:I'll take wisdom from a top school admissions officer (e.g. Ivey) any day over TLS 0Ls and 1 and 2Ls whose knowledge about admissions is either regurgitated or limited to the fact that they got into X school with their particular app package.


I'd take the advice of dozens of 1L's/2L's/3L's who were accepted to H/Y/S in the past few years who are volunteering their time (aka TLS) over the knowledge of someone who hasn't worked in admissions in years and has ulterior motives (aka Anna Ivey).

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lzyovrachievr
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby lzyovrachievr » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:21 pm

I understand the need to feel more in control of the process. I personally am an over-researcher.

I read:

How to Get into the Top Law Schools by Richard Montauk
The Best Law Schools' Admissions Secrets by Joyce Putnam Curll
The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions by Anna Ivey
55 Successful Harvard Law School Application Essays by the Harvard Crimson
Law School Confidential by Robert Miller
How to Get into Law School by Susan Estrich

Now, if you ask me if any of them had any information that I couldn't have found on TLS or through Anna Ivey's blog, I would say no. Reading them made me feel like I could control the situation more. This was also the reason I have read so many TLS threads.

So trust me when I say, TLS will give you what you need for free. Also check out the admissions blogs from law schools which generally have some good info-- like the series done by Yale, Michigan, Columbia and Stanford (and I believe one other school) where the deans all answered common questions about applications.

If you choose to read a book, I'd go with Montauk. The book was comprehensive, and the information was repeated over and over in the books.

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swc65
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Re: [List] Best books for law school application advice

Postby swc65 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:23 pm

bk1 wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com

/thread




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