1. Do I have to be a great public speaker to be successful in law school?
Absolutely not! Many people assume that lawyers have to be great orators because of what they see on TV. Fortunately for you, TV and movies are romanticized. Most attorney's don't see the inside of a court room and instead, do a lot of transactional work. Communication is a key skill but you don't have to be the world's most inspirational speaker to be successful in law school.
2. What should I major as an undergrad to best prepare me for law school?
There is no "golden ticket" major for law school applications. My current law school class has a 5 star chef, someone who starred on broadway, and elementary teachers. My very first major in college was musical theatre and acting but my course quickly changed and I finished with a Human Rights degree. If anything, major in something you are passionate about but supplement the degree with electives that will help you be successful in law school. Electives such as philosophy, economics, politics, government, and any advanced reading and writing course will prepare you!
3. I don't have a great GPA, can I still get into law school?
Yes. You may not be able to get into the top tier schools, but there are definitely law schools out there that fit your GPA and LSAT score. You just have to do the research and be confident in the fact that you don't need to go to a high ranked law school to be successful.
4. If I don't know what type of law I want to practice yet, can I still apply to law school?
Absolutely! Most students going into law school have no idea what type of law they want to practice. They simply know they want to be an attorney and help people. Law students usually explore the different avenues over the summer when they have internships or during their 2L and 3L years.
5. How long is law school?
It's normally three years. There are a few 2 year programs in the United States. Further, you may be able to graduate a semester early if you take courses over the summer.
6. How much is law school, is it expensive?
Yes, it is expensive. Unfortunately, even public university's are still pricey.
7. I'm nervous about taking on so much debt to finance law school. Should I still apply?
Deep breaths! The majority of law students graduate with student debt. The current average is $115,000. That's just the way the educational system in the United States is set up (which is a blogpost just waiting to happen, but I'll save that for another day). There are a few full ride scholarships available but they are difficult to obtain. It's best that you settle with the idea that you will leave law school with substantial student debt. However, you can mitigate the cost by commuting from home, taking a gap year and saving money, purchasing used books etc.
8. What do I need for my law school applications?
Generally, you are required to sit for the LSAT. Additionally, you must submit a Curriculum Vitae (fancy word for a longer resume), personal statement, recommendations, and a transcript.
9. What should I be looking for in a law school?
You will hear all kinds of advice about what the most important factors are when deciding where to go for law school. The top three are rank, cost, and geographical location. Different people prioritize different factors. I personally prioritized geographical location because I knew I wanted to stay in the Dallas market and run for public office one day.
10. Does it cost anything to apply for law school?
Yes, and it can get expensive. Most law school applications cost $75 to $80 dollars. If you apply to 10 schools, that's almost $1,000. Additionally, students will spend an upwards of $3,000 on LSAT prep material, private tutors, and mock exams. Fortunately, most schools, if not all, provide financial waivers for their application cost. I had 5 out of 10 application fees waived because I requested a waiver.