You Law School Application: It’s Not Just About Your GPA and LSAT Score

Wouldn’t you like to go behind-the-scenes and hear what the admissions committee really looks at when evaluating all those law school applications? We did that for you in our show titled “Creating the Killer Law School Application: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the Best Application.” Our host, Diana Jordan, spoke to top law school admissions deans about what they look for in a candidate.

Andy Cornblatt, Dean of Admissions at Georgetown University Law Centeradvises applicants to “take ownership” of the application and “work hard on that essay” because the admissions committee looks at the total package, not just the GPA and LSAT score. He says that even where the GPA and LSAT score are not quite strong enough, students who present themselves in a particularly compelling manner, can gain admission. One way an applicant can maximize his or her chances, Cornblatt says, is to grab the attention of the admissions committee in “the first paragraph of the personal statement. That’s the one that sort of catches our eye or doesn’t. And that’s really in the applicant’s hands. And so I would say that working on the personal statement is very important in this process in catching our attention. That’s the most important piece of this.…” Cornblatt also shares with us some great tips on timing to submit an application that can really make the difference in getting accepted as well as some of the mistakes that cause an application to “miss the boat.”

What does the admissions committee really want to see in a “killer” personal statement? Ann Perry, Assistant Dean for Admissions at The University of Chicago Law School says that one type of personal statement that tends to stand out is where the applicant focuses on an individual experience that shows what they have accomplished (like an internship or even a single day in an internship) and one that shows how the applicant grew from that experience. Perry suggests that applicants “use that [opportunity] to show how they realized that “law school is the next step.”

We also get expert advice from Senior Consultant, Paul Bodine, author of Great Personal Statements for Law School about how to distinguish your personal statement from others, what to include and what not to include in this important part of your application. Derek E. Meeker, Senior Law School Consultant for AdmissionsConsultants, Inc. and former Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at University of Pennsylvania Law School also weighs in on how to nail those stellar letters of recommendation.

Check out the full show to learn more about the specific things that can make or break a personal statement or a letter of recommendation and that transform your application into a “killer” one.