If you’re law school-bound, whether you’re a freshman in undergrad or starting 1L in the fall, you’ve got your “mind on your money and your money on your mind.” (I had to, really.) Here’s the good news: You don’t have to be Hermione Granger from day one of undergrad to get a stellar law school scholarship. I was originally a Biology major who couldn’t care less about science, and my grades showed it. The only two 4.0 semesters I had were my senior year. From someone who is now on the other side of getting in and getting it paid for, here are the three components (with a little help from Rory Gilmore) I’ve noticed that determine your scholarship award.
- Grades. You could have seen that one coming, right? You definitely don’t have to have a 4.0 to get an awesome law school scholarship, but wherever you are now, try your hardest to get great grades. It should be a comfort to you that grades are not the most important factor in your matriculation and scholarship award. My GPA was somewhere between the 50th and 75th percentile range for my institution. To be safe, I would at least try to aim for honors. No matter what, just do your best and be proud of the outcome.
2. LSAT. Your LSAT score is probably the most important part of your application. The LSAT tests your ability to think like a lawyer. No one’s expecting a perfect 180 unless you have your sights set on the Ivy League. For us normals back here in Normaltown, just study hard and do your best. My 164 was perfect for a great scholarship from my institution.
3. Campus activities. This could be involvement in anything. My resume included tutoring, club secretary, orientation leader, admissions ambassador, etc. Law schools like to see that you’ll be a contributing member in their community. Find a healthy balance that’s right for you. Don’t just jump headfirst into to anything and everything. Do things that you really enjoy and can be passionate about. These responsibilities shouldn’t feel like a burden. Be sensible. Like I told the incoming freshmen when I went back to my alma mater to speak at orientation, you are not a superhero. You weren’t born on Krypton like Superman. You didn’t train on the island of Lian Yu for five years like the Green Arrow. And you weren’t given superpowers from the blast of a particle accelerator like the Flash. Do great things, but more importantly, take care of yourself.
The big takeaway? Do your best. Follow your passions. Live your dream.