What can you do to set yourself apart in your law school application? Admissions officials have the answers
We posed questions to admissions officials at the
1. What can applicants do to set themselves apart from their peers?
Applicants should use every part of our application to provide as much information about their backgrounds as possible. It can be hard to say what exactly will make an applicant stand out in our application pool. It could be strong academics, work experience, significant personal accomplishments, leadership roles, a commitment to community service or other activities that show initiative, growth, and maturity. Applicants should try to provide us with as much information as possible in a clear and concise manner.
2. What do you look for in the application essays? What do the essays tell you about a candidate?
Keeping in mind the fact that your LSAT score and undergraduate GPA are only a part of what the Admissions Committee will consider, applicants should use the personal statement as an opportunity to explain to the committee why you should be selected for admission to the
-- Significant personal experiences beyond what may be reflected in your transcripts and on your résumé
-- Characteristics and experiences that you will bring to the
-- Long-range career plans and goals that you intend to pursue with your law degree
-- The intellectual contribution you will make to the classroom
3. How important is the applicant's LSAT score? How do you weigh it against undergraduate GPA and work/internship experience? Which of these carry the most weight? The least?
While the LSAT is an important factor in our review process, the
4. How much does prior work/internship experience weigh into your decision making? What's the typical or expected amount of work experience from an applicant?
Since the committee uses a holistic review process there is no specific weight given to prior work or internship experience. While the committee finds work experience to be a compelling factor when reviewing applications, the committee does not expect an applicant to have previous work experience.
5. What sets you apart from other schools? What can students gain from your school that they might not be able to find anywhere else?
In addition to our full-time faculty, our students also benefit from the expertise and wisdom of some of the leading practitioners in the region. Our adjunct list includes the Attorney General of
The Curriculum: Our curriculum reflects our two priorities:
First, it produces graduates who are practice-ready and prepared to hit the ground running. This part of our curriculum is all about experiential learning, the most effective way to teach lawyers. With our nationally recognized clinics and legal writing program, one of the largest internship programs in the country, and an ever-growing menu of problem- and simulation-based "capstone" courses, the
Second, our curriculum includes five substantive areas of specialization, designed to maximize our students' opportunities: International and Comparative Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law (with an emphasis on renewable energy), Workplace Law, Constitutional Rights and Remedies, and Business and Commercial Law. In each of these growing areas, we provide cutting-edge instruction by leading scholars and practitioners, as well as experiential learning opportunities.
6. What do you look for in recommendation letters? How important is it that the letter's writer has worked regularly with the candidate in an office or school setting?
The committee looks for letters from recommenders that know the applicant very well. We would like to see the recommender be able to speak about their personal experience with the applicant and provide detailed information about their academic abilities, character, leadership skills along with any other information the recommender feels important to include.
7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?
8. Which firms/organizations recruit heavily from your school? Which ones hire the highest percentage of your graduates?
Approximately half of our graduates are employed in private practice. Both regional and national law firms recruit students from the
9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?
With our rolling admission process we do not have an official deadline, but many applicants apply too late in our admission cycle. We tend to run out of seats to offer in March, and we usually run out of scholarship money as early as February. The other mistakes that we see most often are applicants not following the application instructions or having typographical errors in their application.
10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?
Our students come from a diverse range of backgrounds, so it very difficult to describe a typical student at the
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