Are you exploring Law School or Ready to Apply? Prepare now for Law Day 2020 – September 30th!

Pre-Law Advising and the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development will be hosting the first Virtual Law Day on Wednesday, September 30th from 11:00am – 1:30pm through the hireBING by Handshake virtual fair platform. Be sure to register to gain access to this event!

  • Meet with schools virtually! Interact with representatives through video, audio, or chat!
  • Never wait in line, ever. Pre-schedule 1:1 or group sessions with schools you’re interested in, or join an open session on the day-of.

Pre-Law and Academic Advisor, Alex Jablonski, shared some wonderful insights to prepare for Law Day, in addition to Law resources, and professional development opportunities. Check out the Q&A, below!

Q1. What steps should students take to prepare for Law Day on September 30th? 

A: How you prepare for Law Day largely depends on the stage you are in with regard to your academics and career exploration. Whether you are still exploring law as a career or you are ready to apply – attending Law Day is a must.

For those still exploring law as a career: If you are exploring law, and applications are still a few years off, you might attend Law Day for general exploratory information.  If that’s the case, you don’t need to worry so much about which schools to talk to–unless you already have some in mind–because you’ll find that any school can help you to start filling in your map of the legal landscape. Have your questions ready, though!

Consider asking:

  • What are the school’s specializations?
  • What kinds of classes or opportunities are offered to students?
  • What factors should an applicant consider when choosing between schools?
  • What are schools looking for in an ideal candidate? And what should an undergraduate student do now to set themselves apart in the application process?

Anything you learn now will help to guide you in the future.

For those who are ready to apply: you will want to develop a much clearer plan of action to get the most out of Law Day. Have a look at the list of schools who are hosting sessions this year and pick out any that you’re considering applying to.  Do some research on them beforehand and develop a list of questions that will help you to choose between them. Here are a few to consider:

Consider asking:

  • What clinical programs or elective courses are available?
  • What sorts of internships or externships do students typically get?
  • Does the school have opportunities available related to your interests, and how can you get involved?
  • What sorts of scholarships do they offer, and on what terms?
  • Are there fee waivers available?
  • What is the campus community and culture like?

This is your opportunity to interact directly with some of the admissions officers who will be reading your application and who can help you to decide whether their school is right for you.

LSAC has put together a longer list of questions that you might use, which can be found here.

Additional ways to prepare for Law Day 2020: Anyone planning to attend Law Day is also invited to the Pre-Law Advising Office’s upcoming session on “Networking Skills for a Legal Career,” which will address law fairs specifically.  The event will be held remotely via Zoom on Friday, September 25, from 3pm to 4pm.  See B-Engaged for more information.

Q2. Which students may benefit from attending Law Day? 

As suggested above, while Law Day is generally geared toward students who are close to applying for law school, anyone interested in law will find it useful.

Q3. How can I get more information about Pre-Law related professional development, support and guidance?

The Pre-Law Advising Office is open to all Binghamton students and alumni who are considering careers in the law, whether just beginning to explore that interest or actively applying.  More information on the office, including office hours and appointments, can be found here.  Students are also strongly encouraged to sign up for the Pre-Law Listserv, which the office uses to advertise upcoming events and other pre-law opportunities.

Q4. What are some important deadlines and other considerations I should be aware of as a student interested in Law?

The pre-law timeline will vary greatly for each person who is interested in a legal career.  You should never apply to law school before you’re ready.  And don’t feel rushed!  Roughly 2/3 of applicants take gap years and apply after they’ve graduated.  That said, perhaps the most important deadline to know, once you’ve decided to apply, is that in a given application cycle you will want to apply by the end of November — that is, roughly a year in advance of when you plan to start attending law school.  Applicants are processed on a “rolling basis,” which means that they are reviewed as soon as they are received, and by the time that a school’s official deadline comes around in March or April, most of the space (and almost all of the scholarship dollars) have already been given away.

Other important pieces of advice: lay out an application timeline well in advance; allow plenty of time to study for the LSAT (3 months at least); schedule your LSAT to allow time for a retake, if necessary, without delaying your applications; give your recommenders at least one month to write their letters; and talk to lawyers.  Perhaps the best source for information about the current world of legal careers are lawyers themselves.  Take every opportunity you can to speak with lawyers about law school, about their careers, about the day-to-day responsibilities of their current jobs.  This will help you to clarify whether you want to pursue a legal career or not and why.

And stop by the Pre-Law Advising Office whenever you have questions or need help!

 

 

 

 

 

By Jessica Lane-Rwabukwisi
Jessica Lane-Rwabukwisi Career Consultant Jessica Lane-Rwabukwisi