Law School Application Resources for Women
Editor & Writer
Reviewer & Writer
Editor & Writer
Reviewer & Writer
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Men continue to be admitted to law school at higher rates than women, even though women make up a larger percentage of the applicant pool. According to the ABA Journal, in 2022, women made up 56% of applicants, while men made up 42%. And yet the acceptance rate for women is 68% and for men, it is 71%. While there may be gender bias at play in the lower rate of admittance of women, it is necessary for women applicants to know how to frame strong applications that increase their likelihood of being accepted. Once in the system, women can fight to make the admittance process more equitable.
Preparing Your Law School Application
The law school admissions process can be complicated and stressful, especially if you can't find the assistance of someone who has already gone through it themselves. Your law school application will typically require LSAT scores, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.
- LSAT: Average LSAT scores are currently around 150, but you'll probably need at least a 160 to get into a highly-ranked school. Prepare for the LSAT with prep books and courses.
- Personal Statement: Your personal statement is a chance to tell an admissions officer who you are and why you're motivated to take this journey. Learn how to write a good graduate-level personal statement.
- Letters of Recommendation: You will need to submit at least two letters of recommendation, but you can usually elect to submit up to four.
Featured Online Master's in Law & Legal Studies Programs
Resources to Strengthen Your Application
Early preparation is key to getting a strong application together. If you're from underrepresented backgrounds, there are programs and resources available to guide you in managing potentially inequitable barriers to law school. Discover a few ways to prepare and build your skills ahead of applying to law school.
Read Inside Tips From Blogs
Blogs for women in law can give you some great insight on your application and career journey. The Girl's Guide to Law School can help you make your application as strong as possible, while Ms. JD has great career advice.
Attend Pre-Law Programs or Workshops
Consider attending pre-law programs and workshops to improve your LSAT score or have application reviews. Some program examples are SEO Law's Pre-Law Pipeline Program and CLEO Inc. ASAP.
Find a Local Mentorship Opportunity
Find a mentor near you. The Women of Color Legal Education Fund has a mentorship program that supports women of color with connections in the Yakima Valley region who are hoping to start a career in law. You can also reach out to a woman in law near you to talk over a cup of coffee.
We interviewed Lisa Bertrand, director of admissions at Pace Law School, to gain insights into the challenges faced by women in the legal field and strategies for empowering them, starting at the law school level.
Q: What are some common challenges or barriers that women applicants may face during the admissions process for law school?
Looking at our most recent applicant pool, women continue to outnumber men. A [woman] applicant's ability to effectively demonstrate unique character traits and capabilities during the admissions process is of utmost importance now more than ever before. We fought long and hard to gain entry into law school and now are being positioned to compete with each other over those limited seats, unfortunately.
Q: Have you noticed any trends or changes in the demographics of law school applicants, particularly in terms of gender diversity?
I have noticed an increased importance in supporting nonbinary law school applicants and students. We have worked hard to create a welcoming and inclusive culture at Pace Law, both in and out of the classroom and through a broad range of student organizations. We are ranked highly for our diversity of female students and the great resources provided to them to enrich their experience. The diversity of our faculty is of equal importance, and we are fortunate to have several faculty members who are renowned scholars in gender and the law and who are mentors to our students.
Q: Could you share any specific initiatives or programs that your law school has implemented to support and empower women applicants?
The Pace Women's Justice Center has been a refuge for those experiencing gender discrimination as well. We provide legal services on matters ranging from domestic violence to child support to housing. Many of our women applicants have mentioned that this Center, as well as our annual Emerging Scholar Award in Gender & Law, influenced their decision to apply to Pace for law school.
Despite our strides, many women in the legal profession still need help with their authority and questions about their level of commitment to the job. Women of color combat this along with additional scrutiny as well.
Q: What advice do you have for women looking to go into Law?
I think it is important for women in the legal profession to seek out allies in the office and to have a safe place to go for emotional, mental, and academic support. This support should be provided in formal and informal spaces.
Scholarships and Grants for Women Law Students
There are a number of scholarships available specifically for women law students. Here are a few scholarships that might help support your time as a law student.
Requirements: To qualify, you must be accepted into an accredited law school on a full-time basis with an excellent academic record and an interest in corporate law. You must also demonstrate leadership and community service, financial need, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Requirements: This scholarship is for women entering their second or third year at an accredited law school who can plan to work for at least 30 hours each week for a minimum of four weeks over the summer at a government agency, nonprofit organization, or judicial externship.
Requirements: Offered by the Pearce Law Firm, this scholarship is for women who are currently attending law school across the U.S. It is intended to encourage achievement and leadership for women in law.
Requirements: This fellowship is for women from historically underrepresented ethnic minority groups who are pursuing a JD. In your application, you must demonstrate a commitment to equity for women and girls. Special consideration is given to those who intend to serve under-resourced populations and communities.
Requirements: This scholarship is for women in their third year of law school with a dedication to upholding principles of the Constitution and the concept of a fair trial. Submit a resume, a law student verification form, and a letter explaining your interest as a trial lawyer.
With Insights From:
Bertrand is the assistant director of admissions at Pace Law School. She received a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, a master's in educational leadership from Hofstra University, and a BA in history from Boston College.
As a law student, Lisa served on the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review. Lisa began her legal career working for the New York State Unified Court System as a CLE senior court analyst. Lisa has worked in human resources, arbitration, and CLE administration for Crowell & Moring and the New York County Lawyers' Association. She has also taught continuing education courses. It was recently announced that Lisa has been selected to be the co-chair of the Association for Continuing Legal Education's Law School Special Interest Group for the 2023-2025 term. Lisa has also been appointed as the New York State Bar Association's co-chair of the Cowan/Bresler Committee, Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section, which organizes an annual law student writing competition.
Lisa is a member of Actors' Equity, the union for Broadway performers and stage managers, and performs in musical theater productions in her spare time. Lisa's family is originally from Trinidad & Tobago.