Archive for the ‘Admissions’ Category
👤 Who: “Mark,” a Caucasian male in his mid-forties switching careers from the trucking industry
- 📉 LSAT: 166
- 📈 GPA: 3.9
- 🏆 Accepted at Northwestern
- 💵 Significant merit scholarship
🚚 Starting the Journey
Mark worked in the trucking industry for twenty years before he began a new kind of long-haul journey toward his JD. He didn’t know any law school applicants beyond the 7Sage community and had no family members who had attended graduate school. As a result, he had no idea where to begin.
Some law students consider transferring to a new law school because a change in their personal situation compels them to relocate; others want to transfer in the hope of earning a JD from a higher-tier school, and still others think they might just find a better fit somewhere else. If you fall into one of those categories, we’ve put together a handy cheat sheet of information, written as an FAQ.
A lot of people treat their law school applications like a long-distance race: they lope along, fiddling with their essays, and then sprint at the end.
These applicants have it backwards. You should sprint at the beginning, drafting your personal statement and other essays quickly, then slow down at the end. Why? Because you have nothing to lose but time at the beginning; you have everything to lose at the end.
Law school personal statements matter for all applicants, but they matter most for applicants who look like toss-ups based on their GPAs and LSAT scores. We call such applicants splitters. The term usually refers to students with below-median GPAs and above-median LSAT scores, but in this post, we also mean the reverse: students with below-median LSAT scores and above-median GPAs. Admissions committees scrutinize the written material of splitters carefully because they can’t make a decision based on numbers alone.
In this post, we’ve rounded up five spectacular personal statements that helped splitters get into a T14 school. You’ll find these examples to be as various as a typical JD class. Some essays are about a challenge, some about the evolution of the author’s intellectual or professional journey, and some about the author’s identity. The only common thread is sincerity. The authors did not write toward an imagined idea of what an admissions officer might be looking for: they reckoned honestly with formative experiences.
A law school applicant recently asked for our advice about booking a hotel in Seoul. He was traveling there from Tokyo because the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) couldn’t guarantee him a seat at an LSAT testing center in Japan.
If only he had been taking the graduate record exam! The GRE is administered almost every day, often twice a day, at multiple test centers in Tokyo. Its accessibility is one of the reasons that so many law schools are accepting it in lieu of the LSAT. As of this post’s publication date, you can apply for the JD programs of Harvard, Columbia, Penn, NYU, Northwestern, Cornell, and Georgetown among other schools without ever studying for the LSAT.
But should you? Is it a good idea to apply to law school with only the GRE? If you ask admissions officers at Harvard, Northwestern, or many other GRE-friendly schools (and we have), they’ll tell you that all standardized tests are given equal weight and that there is no penalty for applying without an LSAT score. Nevertheless, there are some reasons to hesitate before you go all in on the GRE.