Getting Close to Go Time

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YehudaBauer
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 8:26 am

Getting Close to Go Time

Postby YehudaBauer » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:05 pm

Hello all,

I am about to begin my senior year of undergraduate college. I intend on applying for LS admission in the fall. I have a few points I'd like to address:

(1) When should one begin writing the personal statement? How long does it take to write one well? Does it really matter?
(2) How early should one apply to increase the chances of getting into the best schools? Is it beneficial to have all of your applications done by the end of September?
(3) Do any law schools require more than 2 letters of recommendation?
(4) When should one expect to hear back from law schools after applying in September?

Best,

Yehuda

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top30man
Posts: 1224
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:11 pm

Re: Getting Close to Go Time

Postby top30man » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:11 pm

1. The earlier the better, but not more than a couple weeks for something perfectly competent
2. Once again, earlier the better. However, dont think of this not as a reason to retake October (if youre considering). High LSAT > earlier app
3. I dont know of any. All the ones I applied to (which was 21 schools) required either 2, 1 or none.
4. For me, it took anywhere from a few weeks to about 5 months.

kaiser
Posts: 2940
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:34 pm

Re: Getting Close to Go Time

Postby kaiser » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:14 pm

YehudaBauer wrote:Hello all,

I am about to begin my senior year of undergraduate college. I intend on applying for LS admission in the fall. I have a few points I'd like to address:

(1) When should one begin writing the personal statement? How long does it take to write one well? Does it really matter?
(2) How early should one apply to increase the chances of getting into the best schools? Is it beneficial to have all of your applications done by the end of September?
(3) Do any law schools require more than 2 letters of recommendation?
(4) When should one expect to hear back from law schools after applying in September?

Best,

Yehuda


1. Far enough in advance that you feel like you put forth your best and most polished effort. Some people spend a week on it, some revise it over and over again over a month, or longer. I know someone who wrote it in a day, when a moment of inspiration hit, though this is obviously the exception. Start well enough in advance that you are never in a bind for time.

2. "Early" is usually defined by most schools as before the Thanksgiving break, since that is when many students have free time to work on and send their applications. End of September is very early, and by no means necessary, though it clearly can't hurt to have everything in as soon as possible. I knew I wanted my things early, so I set a Halloween deadline for myself, which was a compromise between my intuition, and what the schools told me.

3. Some may. Check with the schools, and they can easily clarify. Allow sufficient time for your professors to write and submit recommendations, since it often takes an inordinately long amount of time.

4. If you submit in September, you will likely start seeing a wave of decisions in early December, though it could stretch out for a long time. I submitted in October, saw a few responses in December, but received the majority of responses in January and February, with some coming as late as March.

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Scotusnerd
Posts: 813
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Re: Getting Close to Go Time

Postby Scotusnerd » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:20 pm

YehudaBauer wrote:Hello all,

I am about to begin my senior year of undergraduate college. I intend on applying for LS admission in the fall. I have a few points I'd like to address:

(1) When should one begin writing the personal statement? How long does it take to write one well? Does it really matter?
(2) How early should one apply to increase the chances of getting into the best schools? Is it beneficial to have all of your applications done by the end of September?
(3) Do any law schools require more than 2 letters of recommendation?
(4) When should one expect to hear back from law schools after applying in September?

Best,

Yehuda


Hey Yehuda.

(1) I went through about 10 different edits of the thing before finally submitting it. It shouldn't take more than a few weeks. The hardest part is coming up with the idea.
(2) The earlier the better, up to a point. The timing of your application isn't as important as making sure it gets in before the scholarship deadline. Some schools do early decision. I applied in December, and that was fine.
(3) Your target schools can answer that question better than any of us can. Check their websites.
(4) Once again, check with the schools. I personally heard back from my school within a month of applying, and they were happy as hell to have me. I have heard a very different situation with the exact same school on this forum (someone applied in November and didn't hear until April). Basically, they have three categories of candidates: offer, maybe offer, and reject. Offers will receive something back almost immediately. Maybe offer will go into a pool that will be drawn out of as time goes along. Your app could be drawn in the next month, it might be drawn in the next three months, who knows. You also might get waitlisted. My impression is that rejects hear relatively fast. I don't know for certain, however.

Also, this next year is going to be a good year for students. A lot of schools have been scrambling to fill seats (Rutgers) because of the sudden downturn of students. You should apply to multiple schools and leverage the hell out of it for more money. Aim for a full scholarship, if you can.

Good luck.

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Chucky21
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:36 pm

Re: Getting Close to Go Time

Postby Chucky21 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:22 pm

YehudaBauer wrote:Hello all,

I am about to begin my senior year of undergraduate college. I intend on applying for LS admission in the fall. I have a few points I'd like to address:

(1) When should one begin writing the personal statement? How long does it take to write one well? Does it really matter?
(2) How early should one apply to increase the chances of getting into the best schools? Is it beneficial to have all of your applications done by the end of September?
(3) Do any law schools require more than 2 letters of recommendation?
(4) When should one expect to hear back from law schools after applying in September?

Best,

Yehuda


1) This summer before school is a great time to write your PS. To write one well will depend on your topic and how much you wish to refine it. I got through 9 drafts before I sent it in. Also, have other people read it (e.g. pre-law advisor, professors, family, anyone good at writing and has an objective mind). It can matter yes, if it is truly awful then it makes your app look messy and rushed. So do a good job so it doesn't hurt you at least. Make it interesting and it can be a tie-breaker and can get you in over somebody else with similar scores. You have to jump off the page.

2) The sooner the better is usually TCR. As long as you don't apply after the people who take the LSAT in October. You don't get as much as a bump now as applicants did for applying early due to the drop in applications.

3) I applied to 15 schools and the requirement was 2, 1 or 0. 2 should be fine.

4) Depends on the school. Most have rolling admissions so you could hear between 6 and 12 weeks after you submit. Again, this is different for each school and if you ED some schools will get a decision to you sooner.

Tushbush
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:43 pm

Re: Getting Close to Go Time

Postby Tushbush » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:32 pm

How much time do the applications take to complete from start to finish? Everyone says the earlier the better in regards to sending apps, but I feel like waiting till October/November is pretty late. I mean the schools I'm applying to start taking apps on September 1st. Would it be unrealistic to have all apps done the same week that the schools begin accepting them?

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2014
Posts: 5834
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: Getting Close to Go Time

Postby 2014 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:19 pm

Tushbush wrote:How much time do the applications take to complete from start to finish? Everyone says the earlier the better in regards to sending apps, but I feel like waiting till October/November is pretty late. I mean the schools I'm applying to start taking apps on September 1st. Would it be unrealistic to have all apps done the same week that the schools begin accepting them?

Once you have your PS and any addenda written the actually application takes like 15 minutes per school. It's basically just copy/pasting, filling out blanks, checking boxes, and attaching your documents. Getting your apps done that early is definitely feasible, but you will end up paying a lot of app fees that you might get free later on. Schools send out waivers from August to October and if you submit before a school would have flagged you for a waiver you will be on the hook for $50-$100 that you otherwise wouldn't be. There is also little evidence that there is any difference between submitting in September and October, but do what you like.




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