Are you ready to make the first step towards your dazzling legal career? Well, then you have to know how to write a great law school admission essay.
How to Write a Law School Essay with Ease
Abraham Lincoln once said, “If you are absolutely determined to become a lawyer, the half of the way is passed”. At this point, ask yourself: Have I really made a decision to become a lawyer? Am I ready to work hard to achieve my goals? Well, if the answer is “Yes”, then you are definitely half a way there!
Probably, you have already done some preparation for the admission procedure. However, besides collecting necessary documents, it is absolutely crucial to provide a good quality law school admission essay. To increase your chances for successful admission, you certainly need to consider several law schools to apply for. In this case, you would have to write a few essays, one for each institution.
What is a Law School Essay?
Now it is important to walk your path. A law essay is mostly about deep research and excellent writing. Therefore, the primary law school requirement is to have an ability to compose high-quality essays on different legal topics. This will make you a brilliant attorney – the ability to find an issue and challenge it according to your goals.
Harvard or Michigan, Chicago or Penn – all the law schools expect you to master your legal writing while studying there. Probably, you are wondering how legal writing differs from regular essays. Actually, legal essays require way more analytical skills and argumentation.
For example, in your legal texts you would not use certain descriptive or emotional adjectives, such as “beautiful”, “marvelous” or “pleasant”. Instead, you would rather use “appropriate”, “final” or “opposite”. Feel the difference?
Legal language is formal and explicit. Your essay should contain only necessary information, wrapped in formal and accurate terminology. Therefore, polishing your writing is an essential part of your legal education.
One of my legal fellows described his studying years the following way: “I really enjoyed my law school. For the first three weeks”. You would be really surprised to learn how much information you should read before you could actually write you first legal text. However, there are some tricks that will make it much easier for you. Interested? Keep on reading!
Survival Tips on How to Write a Law School Essay
There is a magic combination for law students, which will help you to master legal essay writing. This so-called “law student survival guide”, is named I.R.A.C method. IRAC generally contains four parts that should be present in your legal essay. These are:
- The introduction;
- Issue, Rule, and Application (here few issues could be discussed);
- The conclusion.
However, before starting with the introduction, you are always advised by law school professors to do certain preparations:
- Research the issue. The key to quality notes for your essay is the deep understanding of the issue. Read related articles, essay examples, case law studies. Keep an eye on details, ask your professor for advice. Identify the most important issue and draft a scenario of how you are going to solve it. Analyze your case from different perspectives. Look at it independently, from the sides of the defense and the prosecution at the same time.
- Scratch an outline. Create the plan that you will follow in your essay. That would save a lot of time. Split your text into several substantial parts and name them. Then write the arguments for each part. In your essay, you have to elaborate different visions of the issue and support them with the strong arguments.
At this point, you are ready to start the Introduction part. Here you organize the whole point of your essay. You have to make the topic clear for the professor. Outline the most important parts in order to describe them further. Clearly identify the issue and state the assumption which you will support with arguments in conclusion. For example: “The case being discussed is about…..”, “the issues of the case are….”, “the Court has ruled the following…….”.
Now you can move to the discussion of the Main issue and its Legal basis (Rule).
Describe the idea and the details of your case. For example: “Jane Doe was injured while working in the factory X. As a result, she had to spend Y amount on unexpected medical expenses”. Afterwards, introduce an appropriate legal rule: regulations or the common law. For instance: “According to Arizona Revised Statutes, injuries at the workplace should be treated as general damages.”
Finally, you have to add the Application part. This is the goal of your research, which would challenge your issue and support your initial assumption. For example: “The Plaintiff has a right to apply for the reimbursement of general damages, as the accident happened in the workplace and during working time. Jane Doe is likely to receive compensation from the factory X”.
During your description, try to be precise and avoid “water”. Elaborate more arguments, try to challenge more complicated issues. It would allow you to earn more points. But remember to have strong legal support for your arguments.
Sum up all the points you have mentioned. Restate your opinion from the introduction. Propose a possible court ruling on the issue. Make it clear, efficient and logical. After finishing with the conclusion, leave some time to revise the essay. It should be organic and easily understandable. Correct the mistakes, if there are any. Voila! Your first essay is done. Remember to practice and be ready to rock you first case one day!