How is each component of an application ranked and what do you look for in an "ideal" candidate?
We take a holistic approach to the admissions process. We read and review everything that is in an applicant’s file and no one component is more important than the other. We look for a well-rounded student. An ideal candidate has a strong, but diverse, academic backgrounds that prepares them well for the rigors of law school, so we take a close look at their academic profile – their LSAT, GPA and curriculum. However, we’re also looking for students who will be active members of our community and thrive in our experiential education opportunities. Therefore, we also take the information shared in the applicant’s resume, letters of recommendation and personal statement into consideration. Ideal candidates are leaders in their respective undergraduate institutions and volunteers in their communities or individuals who bring a variety of work experience and advanced degrees. In essence, we are looking for students who are able to handle the academic challenges of law school, while becoming active members of our community.
Does the law school take into account the difficulty of undergraduate majors when making admissions decisions?
We take the entire academic profile into consideration, and that includes major and curriculum. The curriculum and the student’s choice of courses tells us more than just looking at the major. We want to make sure students are taking challenging courses that strengthen their critical thinking, analytical thinking and writing skills.
How does the law school view multiple LSAT scores?
While we see the scores from all the exams, as well as the average, we take the higher score when considering a student for admission.
What should I write about in my personal statement and what should I avoid?
Applicants should use their personal statement to tell us more about their passions, motivations and goals and try to tie it into how law school can help them achieve these goals. It should tell the admissions committee something about the applicant that we can’t gather from the rest of the application. The personal statement does not necessarily have to be tailored to our school. However, if an applicant is interested in a particular aspect of our law school, they could highlight why that program interests them and how it can help them achieve their goals. The personal statement is also used to gauge the applicant's writing skills, so personal statements that are submitted with numerous spelling and grammatical errors do not sit well with the committee. We don’t usually limit the applicants to certain topics, but we do suggest being cautious about how they discuss or frame sensitive topics such as politics and religion, since they may not necessarily know exactly who their “audience” might be.
Under what circumstances should an applicant write an addendum?
Students should write an addendum if they feel that there is information they need to share with the Admissions Committee that isn’t included in any other part of the application – such as a drop in GPA or an explanation for a low LSAT. The addendum should be no more than 1 or 2 paragraphs and should only state the facts.
How long should students expect to wait to hear back on their applications after submission?
We use a “modified rolling admissions” process and usually begin receiving applications in October. However, the admissions committee does not usually begin the file review process until the end of our travel season in December. While some decisions may roll out earlier, most of our admissions decisions will be made when the bulk of the applications are received.
What is the waitlist process? Is there anything that students can do while on the waitlist to improve their chances of admission? Do letters of continued interest (or LOCI) help in this regard?
Students on our waitlist are truly viable candidates that we are ready to admit should space in the class open up. We do not rank our waitlist and all candidates are reviewed once again should we need to activate our waitlist. Students have the choice to accept our offer to remain on our waitlist, and only students who have indicated an interest in remaining on our waitlist will be considered. For the most part, students do not need to send anything in; they’ve already given us all the information we need. However, they are more than welcome to send a letter of interest or an update if something significant has changed in their file.