Professionalism

 

Law school is a professional school, which prepares students for careers in the specific area of law practice. Accordingly, future law students should project their best professional self to admissions committees. Every year, law schools across the country choose between hundreds, if not thousands of applicants. Presenting yourself as  a strong and professional candidate will not only help you stand out from the competition, but will also enable the admissions committee to have confidence in you as a future law student. There are three areas crucial to maintaining a professional image: Looking the Part; Acting the Part; and Talking the Part.

Looking the Part

  • Professionalism on Your Law School Application

    • Make sure your law school application is top-notch! Most law schools do not conduct interviews with applicants. Thus, your application is the admission committee’s ONLY insight into whether you are a consistent, put-together candidate that they can confidently admit.

      • Resume and Personal Statement: Use your experiences to present yourself as a strong candidate ready for the rigors of law school.  Think about the verbs and adjectives that you choose to describe your legal internships, shadowing programs, work, etc.

    • Although pre-law students are not required to major in any particular area to be eligible for admission, prospective students should develop strong writing, reading, organization, research and analytical skills.

  • Presenting Yourself Well

    • First impressions are very important. Dress professionally, practice a firm handshake and exude confidence whether at a volunteering event, informational session, or campus visit. You do not want school officials, coworkers and future employers to remember you in a negative way.

Acting the Part

  • Social Media

    • Search yourself on Google! See what comes up and think about what kind of image it would project to future employers and graduate school admissions committees. If there is any unprofessional or questionable content out there, politely ask the website administrator or person who posted the content to remove it.

    • Make sure your privacy settings are up-to-date and locked up tight on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. . Employers and admissions committees will use these platforms to look up applicants as well as assess what they find. Consider the current image being portrayed on your profile picture or tweets. What does it say about you as a professional person?

    • Update your LinkedIn profile if you have one!

Talking the Part

  • Communication is Key

    • Whether it be by phone, e-mail or in-person, in any venue of correspondence, be prompt, well-versed, and polite iwith mentors, employers, and admissions officers from law schools.

    • Learn how to engage and articulate with others to get your point across in a concise, coherent, and purposeful way. These are valuable traits pertinent to the practice of law.

    • Listen. Being a good lawyer requires strong listening and observation skills in addition to verbal and oral skills.