With law school acceptance rates ranging anywhere from about 6% at top-ranked schools to as high as 80% farther down the list, the question of whether to hire a law school admissions counselor can itself be a confusing one. The financial burden of law school is daunting enough, so how do you decide if it’s worth the additional cost to get professional support? Here are the top three reasons why hiring a law school admissions counselor might be the right choice for you.
Because you want expert advice to navigate the application process and devise an overall strategy
The most common reason for hiring a consultant is that they can help you develop and execute a holistic application approach. The application process can often be overwhelming and anxiety inducing, especially if you come from a “nontraditional” background or don’t know anyone who has been through it. Having someone knowledgeable about the components, time frames, and pitfalls can be critical.
If you are thinking about applying to law school, you’ve undoubtedly had thoughts ranging from “What do I need to do and when?” to “I have five ideas for my personal statement but don’t know which one to write.” A counselor can not only provide answers to your questions but also raise questions that you didn’t even know you needed to ask. A seasoned guide often ensures that you cover all your bases throughout the cycle, from helping to target programs that meet your needs to assisting in developing a well-considered game plan.
Because you want personalized and experienced help with your application essays
Maybe you have a good handle on the overall application process but are struggling with the essays. This challenge is probably one of the most common faced by JD applicants and a top reason prospective law students find themselves hiring a counselor.
A law school admissions counselor can be instrumental in helping you brainstorm topics, choose from a list of potential topics, and/or work through the best strategy for how to best highlight your strengths and experiences. In many cases, a counselor can help you determine ways to maximize your use of all the essays available to you. Applicants often restrict themselves to thinking only in terms of the personal statement. If you have several important “themes” in your life, those can also be explored in a diversity statement or an optional essay depending on the school. A counselor can talk through these decisions with you and also be a great sounding board for fleshing out your ideas. Because of the personalized nature of law school application essays, it is important to find someone with whom you feel comfortable and whom you trust to give you honest feedback.
Along the same lines, a counselor can be helpful when it comes to writing and editing your essays. Like any written piece, you should have someone you respect provide insight into whether your essays accomplish your goals.
Because presenting a polished application maximizes your chances of receiving scholarships
A polished application is obviously imperative to your chances of being accepted into any law school. What applicants often overlook, however, is how a well-organized and introspective application can optimize your chances of receiving scholarship offers. Aside from your GPA and LSAT score, the strength of your written materials will significantly impact your likelihood of not only receiving financial assistance, but also the amount of assistance offered. A counselor can be essential in ensuring that you navigate the admissions process in the best way possible.
Hiring a consultant isn’t the right choice for everyone, but it can be helpful to many. If you do decide to get help with your applications, be sure to speak to as many counselors as necessary to find the one that is the right fit for you and ask questions about the services they provide. Having a clear understanding of who and what you’re engaging is the first step to a smooth and successful cycle. Impactful counselor/applicant relationships are collaborative ones where both parties are invested in attaining the best outcome for the client.