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After you've made the decision to apply to law school and have decided where and when to apply, your first move is to order the application forms from the various schools you've chosen.
However you obtain your applications - the Internet, sending a postcard, calling, etc. - once they begin arriving you will notice that no two are exactly alike. Despite the differences, most applications follow a general pattern with variations on the same kinds of questions.
Application as a Marketing Tool
Probably the most important thing to keep in mind about your law school application is that it is, above all else, a sales pitch. It's your single best opportunity to sell yourself.
So, what's the best way to sell yourself? Organization.
Carefully plan a coherent presentation from beginning to end and pay attention to every detail in between. Start thinking early about what theme you want your application to convey. Decide what your real purpose is in applying to law school and make sure that this sense of purpose permeates every aspect of your application.
The first step in organizing your campaign for admission is to put together a checklist of the forms that each of your chosen schools requires. Next, make photocopies of all forms to be filled out (unless you use application software). The photocopies are what you'll work on--neatness is a big factor. Don't transfer items to the original application until you're sure you're ready.
The Application Form
For the most part, filling out the application form requires simply putting down factual information. But even in something so apparently mindless, you can still present yourself as a thorough person who can follow directions. The key to filling out the application form can be summed up in a single sentence: Don't make the admissions officers do more work than they have to.
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