This week on the Law School Insider, a podcast brought to you by Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, we are bringing back Brianne Myers, Director of Admissions at WMU Cooley Law School. Today's episode will delve deeper into law school fairs and forums and will work to put the pieces of the puzzle together to help you to understand what you need to do to have an amazing experience at events such as these.
When you attend a law school fair or law forum you will find that as you attend there is typically going to be some registration table that you will have to stop at first. You may have to provide your email and other basic contact information for the person that is sponsoring the event.
As you enter the facility where the event is occurring, usually you will enter a large facility that provides different law schools distinct places to set up with good signage. Sometimes event coordinators may also provide you with a map showing you where different law schools are located so you can plan out the places where you would like to visit ahead of time.
As you walk around the venue you will find it to be a very relaxed atmosphere. The tables will be staffed usually either by full time employees of a law school or with seasonal recruiters that are many times recent graduates from the law school.
As you are preparing for a law school fair or law forum event, you want to do your research ahead of time if possible to create good questions and to know some schools that you might want to visit. If the school that you really want to attend is at the event, definitely visit them and get your questions answered. However, make sure to keep an open mind when it comes to law schools and be willing to talk to other students in areas where you may want to study and leave yourself open to considering all of your options. You will find that in asking similar questions of all law schools you will be able to better evaluate schools equally as well as understand what is most important to you. You will also be able to refine your questions and ask even better questions as you go from school to school.
Brianne Myers said that there are no bad questions and that you have to be willing to ask the questions of the law school representatives that are most important to you. That being said, she also mentioned that she hopes that students coming to her are asking questions about things beyond what you can easily find online. When you are at these events this is the time for you to be able to ask deep questions that will help you identify schools that are on the list of ones that you wish to apply for in the future, so asking deeper questions will help in this regard. For example some of the following issues may be areas that you will want to ask questions about, especially if you cannot find this information readily online:
- Is there is a specific organization that you are passionate about?
- Does the campus offer a part-time or weekend option for taking classes and what does this look like?
- What types of services are available for commuter students?
- What types of services are available for veterans?
- Do most students study on campus or off campus?
- Do most student live on or off campus?
- What does a typical week look like?
- How much of your student population is actively involved on campus?
- Are many students involved in competitions?
- Are there opportunities to be a part of law review or law journal and when can you access this?
- Are their foreign study opportunities?
- Can I take classes throughout the summer?
- Are there academic resources and support available to you?
Use the opportunity to talk to the law school representatives and get questions answered that you cannot find on their website - stay away from the old question - what is your median LSAT.
Also, when walking around the law school fair or law forum make sure to be polite. Be polite to everyone, not just the people at the law school that you hope to attend. Be polite to the people at the check-in table. Be polite to all law school representatives as well as other students that are in line waiting to speak to the same law school. Being polite will be remembered just as much as being rude will be noted and remembered too.
You may be tempted to bring a resume to give to a recruiter while at one of these events. Brianne Myers stated that she would recommend that you refrain from this because many of these recruiters are attending multiple events and having to carry additional items may be a burden. You can however get a business card from the law school representative and then send them an email with a resume or other materials as a follow up from your contact at the event.
If you are looking to see when different law forums are being held start by reviewing the Law School Admissions Council Law Forum website. You can also find out about other law school fairs on the LSAC regional law school recruitment events page.
As you attend the law school forums and fairs make sure to have a way to organize the material that you are collecting. Brianne Myers suggesting setting up a grid that allows you to see each school side-by-side with the similar questions that are common between all of the law schools. Also, bring a notebook and pen with you to the event and take good notes on your conversations. Do not rely on your memory, because if you do talk to a large number of law schools the information could start to become confused if you do not record it at the time that you hear it for the first time.
In the end, don't be afraid to stop by a law school table and ask questions, even if you are not fully prepared for the visit. You want to make the most of the opportunity to speak to these representatives when you have them available to you in person.
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