If you’re in the middle of your law school applications, then you should know that the potential shape of the job market in 2013 (when you’ll graduate) may have a big impact on your chances of gaining admission this year. That doesn’t mean that you need to gaze into your crystal ball and try to divine what the job market will look like in three or four years, but it does mean that there are some important themes that you need to keep in mind as you draft your law school admissions personal statements.
Despite an anticipated economic rebound on the horizon, the bleak career outlook that confronted 2009 law school graduates isn’t expected to change any time soon. As a result, we expect that law school admissions officers will maintain a keen eye for candidates that have given extensive thought to both short- and long-term career goals, accepting applicants whose realistic perceptions and aspirations will likely result in job placement upon graduation.
As you begin to work on your personal statements, think about these three things that admissions officers will pay extra attention to this year:
- Goals — Attractive applicants will use the personal statement to clearly articulate both short- and long-term professional goals, which not only demonstrate that a candidate understands the current hiring landscape, but also give the admissions office confidence that the career services office will be able to assist the candidate in ultimately securing employment in a desired field.
- Maturity — Law schools have shown increasing interest in admitting mature candidates who bring the discipline and focus necessary to succeed in a highly competitive and intellectually demanding law school environment. This year, maturity matters more than ever, because it speaks to an applicant’s level of sophistication and ability to bring a nuanced understanding of the law and legal careers. “Readiness” is another word that law schools are looking for: Is the candidate ready to succeed in the classroom and ready to practice law once he or she graduates?
- Resilience — Given how fast things are changing, candidates need to come to the table with a Plan A and a Plan B, as well as a track record for dealing with change and adapting to new realities. The hard truth is that many current graduates find it difficult to land jobs in their desired fields and practice areas. Many successful personal statements for this admissions season will showcase lessons learned and perspective gained from a difficult past experience.
For more help in crafting your law school applications, talk to one of our law school admissions consultants by calling us at 1-800-925-7737.