This information came directly from our FREE eBook titled “Complete Guide To Writing A Dominate Law School Application.” Make sure to download your FREE copy if you want even more law school application tips.
The following list is ten common mistakes that applicants make, which can easily be avoided just by reading and following instructions. These mistakes can be avoided just by taking your time, reading instructions, rereading, and proofreading your own answers.
1. Not listing items in the correct chronological order that is asked for
Following the rules is an important part of being a lawyer, so completing your application is a good chance to show that you can follow directions. This one error should never happen if the instructions are read over thoroughly. Even if you have them in the wrong order, when you review your application you would catch it. Always review the complete application, more than once.
2. Submitting an essay on a topic that does not apply to you
If you have to stretch your imagination to determine if you qualify as a diversity student, you probably do not. If you try to submit an essay pleading your diversity based on a minority cousin or an fairly ordinary “I have overcome” story, then chances are it will more than likely just be ignored. You can use the time you spend writing frivolous essays on much more important things.
3. Poor proofreading
Remember that your spell check is there to assist you, but do not consider it the last step in proofreading. Spell check will find misspelled words, fragments, etc., but if a word is spelled correctly but used in the wrong connotation, you can have end up with a grandiose typo. For example, your dear friend can turn into a deer friend very easily.
4. Assuming your PDF version translated correctly
When saving a file in a PDF format from Word, there are little gremlins that can eat words, spaces and many other small things that can turn your PDF version into a disaster. Make sure you open it, check it over, and make sure that all the formatting and spacing is correct before you save it, and long before you send to anyone.
5. The dreaded “Please see attached resume”
This is a very big sign of laziness that any potential law school will be unhappy to see. The more information you put in an easy to access for, the more apt it will be that it will be read. If you start giving directions similar to looking for buried treasure, the reviewer will decide that if you did not find it important to tell them what they want to know, it is not important for them to go searching for it.
6. Including the incorrect personal statement
You want to be sure that you are sending the corresponding personal statement to the law school for which it was written. Sending Yale a personal statement about your dream of going to law school at Harvard will not score you many points. If you send the wrong personal statement to one school, chances are there is another one that ended up at the wrong place as well.
7. Not submitting “optional” essays designed for anyone
This again falls under being lazy. A decent essay can take an hour of your time, and show that you have ambition to research the particular school and prove it. You can even create a “form” letter for these essays and just change pertinent information for each school. Learn to work smarter, not harder.
8. Forgetting to send your resume
You must account for the time between high school and your application to law school. You want to research good resume writing and make sure that you include anything that may be a benefit to your resume. This means not just your employment or other schooling; it also includes hobbies, interests and volunteer positions if applicable.
9. Failure to follow each law school’s specific instruction
Although most law schools require the same types of paperwork to be submitted, some ask for extra and some ask for less. Each school will give you a list of what is required when sending your application, so use it. You may even want to make a copy of it and use it as a checklist and send it with your information to show you made the effort.
10. Making a donation that was unintentional
As a poor college student, chances are you do not make it a habit of donating money to things. By making one of these mistakes, you can very easily donate an application fee that you probably struggled to come up with in the first place. You cannot write off applications fees on your taxes, so make sure you have everything complete and correct before you send it.