During this panel discussion, law school admissions professionals will provide pre-law students with the invaluable “insider” information and insight that they need to better understand how the highly competitive law school admission selection process really works. They will discuss how applicants can make themselves stand out among a strongly competitive pool of applicants and “wow” committee members. Further, they will communicate their thoughts on the importance of diversity in the law school classroom and environment, what the law allows, and the role diversity plays in the law school admission process. They will also talk about how candidates can help make their diversity work for them in the admissions process through the information they provide on their experiences, perspectives, leadership and involvement in their diversity statements, essays, resumes, and other admissions materials. Even more, they will share dos and don’ts and the most common mistakes applicants need to avoid in order to provide the very best representation of themselves to admission decision makers.
The Game Changers: Key Pointers for Winning in the Game of Professional Success
(Advice on Professional Presentation and Image (Dress, Hair, Make-Up), Etiquette, Personal Branding, Social Media, Networking, and Relationship-Building)
Being both smart and ambitious is important, but it’s simply not enough to guarantee professional success. During this lively discussion, panelists will discuss the realitiesof the mandatory soft skills and other personal factors that make a major difference in winning or losing in the professional environment. Possessing this knowledge will help determine whether or not someone is successful in the legal profession, the professional world in general, and in life. Panelists will provide the do’s and don’ts regarding business dress, hairstyles and makeup, as well as etiquette, personal branding, social media presence and relationship management, networking and relationship building. Special considerations of concern for African Americans and Latinos will be addressed. This panel is an absolute must for all attendees interested in climbing up the ladder of success no matter what they ultimately decide to pursue. This information you learn can create a shift in your mindset about the type of person you want to become and present to the world, and then the execution of this golden knowledge can truly change the game for you!
FOCUS: PREPARATION FOR LAW SCHOOL AND MAXIMIZING THE LAW SCHOOL EXPERIENCE
Law School Success 101: How to Best Prepare for the Competing Demands and Make the Most of the Entire Law School Experience
In this session, panelists will discuss what it is really like to be a law student – the academic expectations, pressures and the daily grind, as well as the competing demands and opportunities for law school participation outside of the classroom. They will provide strategies for achieving success in the classroom, during daily study and test preparation, and on exams. They will also weigh in on the true value of involvement and leadership in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, as well as the importance of gaining practical legal experience while in law school through internships and externships. In addition, they will touch upon opportunities to study abroad. Further, they will talk about what future law students can begin doing now (in college or after college) to better develop their reading, analytical, writing and critical thinking skills, as well as sharpen their work ethic and tolerance for time-consuming and difficult reading and comprehension. They will also share what pre-law preparation programs they can apply to be a part of to prepare for the experience and books they can read and actions they can take so that they will be able to hit the ground running and truly make the most of their entire law school experience. Finally, they will discuss strategies for how students can begin getting work experience early, as well as networking and developing relationships with those who can assist them that will prove helpful even before they begin their law school careers.
What It Takes to Be a Successful Black Law Student: Strategies for Preparing for and Excelling in Law School and Making Positive Contributions to the Law School Community
This session discusses the importance of diversity in law schools, and the challenges that this diversity can bring. Panelists address the harsh realities of prejudice and bias in a diverse law school environment, particularly issues that African American and Black law students must face, inside and outside of the classroom. The discussion will provide helpful suggestions to assist future law students in understanding that they can use such instances as opportunities for “teachable moments” and to demonstrate leadership in the law school community precisely due to their unique experiences and perspectives. There will also be discussion about intelligently and thoughtfully navigating racial issues in seeking legal jobs, during the interview process and in legal work settings while still a law student that can help them to be successful during internships and externships, clinical experiences, summer jobs, and beyond. Time will also be spent sharing the importance of participating in affinity groups, getting law student and lawyer mentors early, and having a very solid support system with family and friends both inside and outside law school prior to and throughout the entire law school experience. Panelists will also talk about the important and positive impact of Black students’ leadership in various extracurricular and co-curricular activities throughout the community, and the importance of their making positive contributions while there to make the law school better and not just be focused solely on their degrees.
FOCUS: LEGAL CAREERS
African American Lawyers: What We Do, How We Got to Where We Are and Wisdom for the Challenges Ahead
Panelists will briefly discuss their educational and career backgrounds, as well as their current positions and the work they do with legal training. This panel is designed to expose aspiring African American lawyers to the various possibilities available to those possessing a professional legal education. Additionally, tips will be given as to how to gain entry into these various jobs and what it really takes to perform them. Panelists also address the additional challenges that African American lawyers face and advice on how to overcome them and to succeed and advance in the years ahead.
FOCUS: PAYING FOR LAW SCHOOL/FINANCING LAW SCHOOL
Financing Your Legal Education
Law school is an important investment in yourself and in your future. Making informed decisions about how to finance that investment will affect your future financial circumstances. It is important to know all your options and to prepare accordingly.
Access Group is here to help.
This session will focus on understanding the costs of pursuing legal education, describing the financial aid application process, reviewing the available financing options and identifying ways to be financially prepared to achieve your goals.
• Lauren Ruston, Member Services Representative (West Chester, Pennsylvania)
FOCUS: LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST (LSAT)
LSAT Test-Taking Strategies Session
FOCUS: LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION ESSAYS
The Personal Statement and the Diversity Statement: Similarities, Differences, Tips and Techniques
Date/Time: Friday, November 11, 2016, 2:25 P.M. – 3:35 P.M.
The Personal Statement is the document that law schools review to gain some insight into an applicant’s focus and motivation to earn the JD degree. It is the best document that an applicant can use to inform the Admissions and Enrollment Management Committees about the reasons why the applicant wants to attend law school, and use the tools of the JD degree to solve problems. This presentation will provide the attendees with information about how to outline the Personal Statement, what law schools are looking for in the Personal Statement, how an applicant can distinguish herself or himself by considering their own skill sets and strengths. The differences between the Personal Statement and the optional addendum will also be described. Also, the difference between the Personal Statement and the Diversity Statement will be discussed.
• Collins Byrd, MBA, Assistant Dean for Admissions, University of Iowa College of Law (Iowa City, Iowa)