Given all the time and money involved in applying to law school, you might not feel like you need to prove you are interested in a school to which you are applying. Nonetheless, demonstrating your interest in a law school could make all the difference in the competitive application process. However, there is a fine line between showing your interest and being overly pushy about it.
In this blog post, we at Stratus walk you through the best ways to express your interest in a law school.
Why Show Interest?
It might seem redundant to go extra lengths in demonstrating that you want to attend a particular law school when you are already applying to that school—but there some situations where you should do so:
- Safety/shoo-in schools: If you have a safety school in mind or your stats make you a shoo-in for a particular school, you will want to be clear about your interest in attending. Otherwise, the admissions staff might think that you just view the school as a backup, and they might not accept you if they feel you will not enroll. (If a large number of accepted applicants decide not to attend the law school, this will negatively impact the school’s rankings.) So, while law schools love to accept candidates with strong applications, if the admissions committee does not believe they will accept an offer, those candidates might be rejected.
- Top-choice schools: However, if a school is your absolute number-one choice, it is worth going the extra mile in showing more interest. For many applicants, these schools will be either reach schools or ones for which they are just at the median. Given the competitive nature of the application process, you will want to leave no stone unturned when applying to your target school.
How to Show Interest
There are several ways to express your interest in a law school:
- Join the school’s email list. Any law school will have an email list that provides updates about events and application deadlines. There is always a chance the school could check to see if you have joined its list, as this would demonstrate your interest. But more importantly, joining the email list will provide you with information you can leverage during the application process to show that you really want to attend the school. This is a really low-effort action; all you must do is take a minute to subscribe to the list and then put up with a few extra emails every month.
- Attend the school’s virtual events. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, law schools held some online events, but they are now holding more than ever. Some events are just webinars. For those, even if you are not participating on screen, the organizers will see that you attended the webinar. Other events will require you to participate on screen via a Zoom session. You do not necessarily need to ask a question or talk, but you should pay attention. As with joining email lists, attending virtual events does not require much effort on your part.
- Attend the school’s in-person events. While law schools hold some in-person events on campus, many events take place in major cities. This is where getting on the email list can be helpful, because you will likely learn about events being held near you. If you are really interested in attending an in-person event in your city but do not hear of anything being scheduled, you could reach out to the Admissions Office to see if they know of any. (If you do this, be brief and respectful.) As with virtual events, you should appear engaged when attending in-person events in order to make a good impression.
- Visit the school’s campus. Law schools often will offer tours and/or information sessions on campus during the school year. This is the one action on this list that requires a big sacrifice on your end, as it could cost a lot of time and money to visit campus. When deciding whether to visit law schools and which ones to visit, you should prioritize your top choices.
- Conduct informational interviews with alumni. Another approach is to reach out to a law school’s graduates via LinkedIn. Although alumni will not be able to put in a good word for you with the admissions committee, your conversations with them could yield details to mention in an application essay or interview to help demonstrate your interest in attending the law school.
What Not to Do
Although it is great to go the extra mile to prove your interest in a law school, you should avoid coming off as too desperate or overbearing:
- Do not contact any of the admissions staff personally. If you meet an admissions team member at an information session, you should not then send them a LinkedIn request or email them about your application. They take their jobs very seriously, so they will want to avoid giving the impression that they are favoring anyone.
- Do not monopolize information sessions. If you have questions during an information session, you should certainly ask them. But hogging all of the time or asking inappropriate questions could leave a bad taste in the admission staff’s mouth.
- Do not reach out to anyone employed by the school, such as professors. Although it can be a good idea to mention professors and other school staff members when explaining your interest in attending a law school, either in an application essay or during an interview, trying to contact a professor can have the same unfortunate impact as reaching out directly to a specific admissions staff member.
- Do not overextend yourself with campus visits. If you do not have the time or money to visit all law schools of interest to you, do not feel that you must plan campus visits to every single one. Most times, skipping this extra step will not be a deal breaker.
The ideas outlined in this post are good to keep in mind if you need to go the extra mile in demonstrating your interest in law schools. Most of the suggestions, such as joining an email list and attending an online info session, do not take much effort. Given the uncertainty in the application process, you would do well to consider implementing some of these ideas for the law schools at the top of your list.