|Exclusive! Most common applicant mistake? “They submit the same personal statement to UNC that they are submitting to every other school they are applying to.” Interview with Michael J. States, Assistant Dean for Admissions at University of North Carolina School of Law. Click here to read the full, 3-page transcript free of charge!|
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Law School Admissions Are Still RigorousApplications to top programs are still very competitive. The average starting salary for top graduates going into private practice is $165,000. That easily beats what top MBA graduates make and they usually have more previous work experience! It’s only when you look at lower tier programs that the law school admissions have become less rigorous. (Of course, many of these graduates won’t have great ROI prospects, so it makes sense the law school admissions process would be a bit less competitive. We say “a bit” less competitive, because the schools have chosen to drop enrollment numbers instead of allowing their law school admissions standards to drop a material amount.
While it should remain possible for the “traditional” applicant to gain admission right out of college, there is a clear law school admissions trend that work experience is becoming increasingly valued. We strongly recommend all applicants demonstrate their overall potential through such avenues as part-time employment and extracurricular activities. Relying on great GPA and excellent LSAT scores isn’t enough to guarantee admission to the top law schools in the country.
Your Starting Point
Please be sure to check out our top 10 admission tips. Among other things, you may learn that a large number of graduates quickly leave the law field because they realize it is not for them.
Even if you know that law is your calling, you still need to take the time to articulate why this is the case. We interviewed an admissions officer at University of Pennsylvania as research for this website and she told us that approximately half of the applicants she gets to know have inadequate reasons for wanting an education. Needless to say, these applicants receive rejection letters from Penn.
The Selection Process
We believe there is a program for virtually every applicant. If you are not going to be comfortable in an ultra competitive atmosphere like Harvard Law School, then don’t apply there. It’s not just 3 years of your life, it’s also true that you will learn more and earn the highest possible grades in a program better suited for your personal tastes, interests, and future career goals.
Are you still insisting on applying to schools based solely on their rankings? Well, perhaps then you should consider that your chances are indeed lower at those schools where you are not a good fit to their program. Consider this quote from an admissions officer at Northwestern Law1:
“In my position I very often refuse great applicants because I know that our school is just not the right place for them and that both of us would be happier if they went to one of their other choices. This does not mean that they are bad students; it just means that we think they would be better served elsewhere.”
1Quote supplied by AdmissionsConsultants, Inc.