The spring before I started at Widener, I received an email that my law school application had been updated. When I checked the update, the only thing I saw next to my name was “TAP packet mailed.” I had no idea what this meant, or for that matter, whether I had been accepted. To make my anxiety worse, it was a Saturday morning so there was no one to even call to clarify. It puzzled me so much that I frantically began a google search on law school “TAP packets.” Nothing came up. I searched for hours until I suddenly stumbled across a news article of a woman from New Jersey who was accepted through her law school’s TAP program and recently had passed the bar exam. I thought to myself, “there’s no way!” I headed over to Widener’s website, searched TAP, and sure enough it was a thing! A few days later I received my packet and was offered an invitation to participate in Widener’s TAP program. TAP stands for Trial Admissions Program and it is how I got accepted into Widener Law Commonwealth.
TAP here at Widener is a six-week summer program where three nights a week you take three real first-year courses to gauge whether you will succeed in law school. It was a bit competitive and rigorous, but all-in- all it better prepared me for what to actually expect if I were to be accepted. You can take all the pre-law courses offered in undergrad, attend webinars, google “what is law school like,” and search many random Instagram pages attractive to future law students. But nothing—nothing prepares you more for law school than TAP.
Throughout my first year at Widener, I constantly looked back on my experience at TAP as a reminder that I could get through the semesters. TAP has taught me so much from how to read cases properly to how to write out timed final exam essays. The cold calling in TAP prepared me for the actual cold calling in law school (although as a 2L I still dread the sound of my name being called). The TAP professors prepared me for what my professors would actually be like in law school, and for that I am forever grateful. It is no secret that law school is intimidating and challenging but it is also really rewarding. My time here at Widener would not be possible had I not been given the opportunity to participate in TAP. So, if you’re like me stumbling for answers on what a “TAP packet” is, this blog post is for you. If you’re not like me and are just curious about what the law school experience is like for a TAP-ee, this post is also for you!
I used to be scared to tell my colleagues that I came through TAP. I didn’t want the judgement and at the time I didn’t want anyone to know I had to go through extra hoops just to sit with them. But in reality, TAP isn’t a bad thing. In fact, TAP gave me a strong head start and helped me become the successful second-year law student and student leader that I am today.