W&M (William & Mary) Law School in Virginia, Cornell Law School, and Columbia Law School in New York are institutions that have been well known to provide top-notch education in jurisprudence for future law practitioners. Many legislators and law practitioners have prided themselves in having their education from these schools, especially Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who studied both in Cornell and Columbia. If you want to apply for these schools, here is a primer on the eligibility, application process, and the requirements that you need to pass.
W&M Law has three programs offered. For those who want to apply for the JD program, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required. For those who want to get into joint degree programs, a minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree is also required. Those who want to get into the Ll.M program or those who want to expand their knowledge of American jurisprudence can then do so even if they have obtained their legal training outside of the US so long as TOEFL score requirements are met.
Cornell Law requires applicants to at least have earned a bachelor’s degree from a four-year course. Although graduate school grades and standing will not feature in the rankings, these may be reviewed by the panel. Foreign students need to submit their school transcripts through the LSAC J.D. Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
Columbia Law is a little bit more discriminating as it requires applicants to have had a bachelor’s degree in law. A bachelor’s degree in any other field, despite being followed by a Master’s in Law, will still not suffice for eligibility. Those who have earned their law degrees through correspondence or in foreign law schools are also not accepted into Columbia Law.
The application process for W&M Law is as follows:
1) Complete an application form via the LSDAS Electronic application or through the school’s website.
2) Submit an application fee.
3) Send your academic transcripts and letters of recommendations.
4) Send your essays and a TOEFL score if applicable.
For Cornell Law:
1) Submit a completed application form through the website or through LSAC.
2) Pass two letters of recommendations, a personal statement essay, and an optional diversity essay.
3) Submit an application fee.
To get into Columbia Law:
1) Pass a completed application via the GLS Online Application.
2) Pay the application fee.
3) Submit your TOEFL, if applicable.
4) Pass personal statement essays, a resume, academic transcripts and diplomas, and letters of recommendation.
Writing the personal statement
All three schools require the applicant to submit a personal statement. Cornell suggests writing the personal statement on a topic about yourself, which can be discussed further during the interview. You can write about intellectual or personal interests and achievements, your goals and dreams or any project that you take pride in. A personal statement’s length is preferably up to two pages, double-spaced, and in a font and size that is easy on the eyes.
Sample law school personal statements can serve as guides for the format and content. Many sample law school personal statements online were done by authors who made it prestigious law schools.