Preparing for your first law school fair? Get ready for lots of tables, brochures, and more suit jackets than you can count.
Follow this advice before and during the law school fair to make the most of the event—and don’t miss the helpful list of questions at the end!
Before the fair
- Think about your “why.” Why do you want to attend law school, and what are you looking for in an institution? You want a good answer to these questions before heading into a law fair, because you will be asked. Many times. It may even help to come up with a little elevator speech.
- Look up which law schools will be at the fair. If any are already on your radar, you’ll certainly want to prioritize speaking with them. If you’re brand new to the law school search process, it will help to familiarize yourself with the attendees so you’re not walking in blind.
- Prepare some thoughtful questions. Use that law school research you did to prepare specific questions for the schools that interest you. (See the questions at the end of this article to get started!) You may not have a lot of time with the admissions rep, but a law school fair is a great opportunity to fire off one or two informed questions. You’ll get a knowledgeable answer—and they’ll see you’re the kind of motivated student they should be paying attention to. Just be careful not to monopolize their time if other students are waiting.
- See if there’s extra programming. In addition to the standard networking opportunities and booth visits, the law school fair may include an info session or panel discussion with admissions folks or current law students. Check for them ahead of time and go if you can!
- Bring a bag. You’re going to get a lot of stuff, and you need a place to put it. Even though most law school fairs will have free bags, you may want to bring your own just in case. A backpack or large purse will work well too.
- Wear comfortable but professional shoes and clothes. Remember, you’ll be making a first impression on these law schools, and you’ll be on your feet and moving around a lot. You won’t go wrong with business casual attire and sensible shoes. If you’re coming from class and don’t want to look too “dressed up,” a simple, nice outfit will do. And don’t forget to remove baseball caps once you get inside!
During the fair
- Don’t rule anyone out. This is the time to really explore your law school options, cast a wide net, and gather as much information as you can. Take advantage of those less-trafficked tables too (the “big name” schools will inevitably be the busiest!) where you can spend a little more time with admissions reps, asking questions and deepening your understanding of this whole law school adventure. Who knows—that little-known school might be the perfect fit for you.
- Take notes. Keep a notebook handy and jot down your thoughts while they’re fresh in your mind. Taking a few minutes at the end of the event to reflect on the whole experience can be helpful too.
- It's okay to just listen. Even though you should come to the law fair ready to chat, it’s okay to hang around and listen to the “spiel” sometimes too. If you’re part of a crowd, pay attention to the questions others are asking as well.
- Give them your email. Yes, you’ll end up with a pretty full inbox, but these emails can give you a helpful sense of what the school is all about and what they value. Admissions representatives will also mark you as showing what they call “demonstrated interest,” and every formal interaction with the school like this shows just how much you want to attend, which can sometimes tip the scales in your favor.
- Remember the little things. Give a good handshake. Make eye contact. Thank people for their time. You may be speaking to someone who could be involved in your admissions decision. And even though law school admissions folks see hundreds of students during these events, they just might remember you—so make sure it’s for the right reasons.
Questions to ask
Even though you definitely want to come up with some questions of your own, these should help get you started:
- What is your community/student body like?
- How engaged and accessible are the faculty?
- What kinds of students are happiest at your law school?
- What is the most unique experiential learning opportunity you offer?
- What are you looking for in law school applicants?
- What is your policy for evaluating multiple LSAT scores?
- What scholarships are available and what’s the application process?
- How do you prepare students for the bar exam?
- How can I get in touch with current students or faculty for informational interviews?
- I’m interested in [fill in the blank] law; what might my path look like at your school?
- What kinds of support services do you offer students?
- Why did you choose to work at the school?
And there you have it: everything you need to know to prepare for your first law school fair. You’ll get an information overload. You’ll write your email address so many times, your hand will cramp up. But you’ll leave more excited for your future than you can possibly imagine.
We hope to see you at your first law school fair! You can find New England Law | Boston’s upcoming law school fairs and other recruitment events here.
Jessica Tomer is the Web Content Manager at New England Law | Boston.