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What questions to ask at a Law School Forum?

tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
edited September 2017 in Law School Admissions 3679 karma

I am attending the JD Law School Forum in Houston next month and wanted some advice on what questions were appropriate/inappropriate to ask.

I'm most interested in: HYS, Columbia, Chicago, Cornell, and NYU. My main concern is my GPA. I'm aiming for a 170+ but with a 3.58 GPA I'm technically in 'splitter' status for those schools.

Is it too forward to ask the admissions folks at these schools if I should even bother applying with those stats?

Also, any suggestions on other specific questions to ask? If anyone else has attended the forum in the past, I'd love to hear your experience.

Comments

  • sophie74sophie74 Member
    373 karma

    Super interested in the answers to this one cause I have the same GPA, score goal and school ideals!

    My gut says that schools will probably not tell you not to apply, and will give a generic answer about how they look at applications holistically. Also, personally, I don't think you have anything to lose by applying with those stats. I would ask something more broad, like what qualities do you look for in an ideal applicant, what makes your school unique, what opportunities do you have for X interest. If you want to ask about GPA, maybe you can frame it in a way similar to "Is there a GPA below which one should not apply?" My guess is they would still say no.

  • TheMikeyTheMikey Alum Member
    edited September 2017 4196 karma

    Of course you should apply to those schools if you get the score you're looking for. A 3.58 isn't that high for the top schools, but will not at all completely exclude you from gaining admissions to one. People have gotten in with way lower GPA's that that and quite frankly, I think a 3.58 is really not even that bad of a GPA tbh, especially if you get a 170+ score.

    Ask questions that are specific of each school (e.g. what sets one school's X clinic apart from the other schools' X clinic). Ask things that interest you about that school, maybe do some research on stuff about each school that you'd like to know more about and ask that! :)

    but don't ask them if you should apply or not because of your GPA.

  • yougchLSATyougchLSAT Alum Member
    71 karma

    I just went to a national law school fair with Columbia, NYU and Cornell among your list represented, and a ton of other T-20 schools as well. My general impression is if you ask about hard factors, you are guaranteed to get the answer, "We look at each applicant holistically." I asked questions about those, and the answers are invariably the same. I honestly see no other appropriate answer, since they are not allowed to give you an estimate of your admissions chances.

    A more productive question could be: ask about their specialty programs, clinics and the placement of their graduating class. All those things matter and you can sort of see past the PR talk and get a sense of what they are proud of. And I think the admissions officers are genuinely interested in what you might be interested in their schools' offerings, so don't be scared to talk about your interests. It will generate much more individualized answer than a question about GPA or LSAT.

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    edited September 2017 26375 karma

    I wouldn't worry asking about your splitter status. If you apply as a splitter, you'll have great odds and you don't need them to tell you that. Approximately half the students that enter any given class will be below the GPA median, so if you can get on top of their LSAT numbers you've got excellent prospects.

    What I'd likely focus on is the kind of information I could potentially use for a "why x" essay or LOCI. Make them sell themselves/pitch the school to you. It's a great opportunity to get to know the schools better and to refine your reasonings for wanting to go where. Sometimes schools surprise you (for better and worse), so hear them out and be open to what they've got to say. Those conversations are really beneficial both practically and as reference points in essays. Take notes and make sure you get the names of the people you speak with for a more personal reference.

  • xtinextinextinextine Alum Member
    856 karma

    I second what @"Cant Get Right" said, especially about taking notes! I've been to 2 LSAC forums and for some reason I never took notes! Looking back I wish I did.

    Additionally, I would avoid asking questions about things that are readily available online. Maybe instead, look through their info packets and ask them to elaborate on a certain clinic (for example).

    Some schools have a 2L or 3L with the admissions officers. This is an opportunity to ask them questions too! I had great conversations about specific classes and internships. This could also help you with your "Why X" essays.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Yeah, seconding what everyone else is saying. I think if you did ask, it should be framed not in a "what are my chances?" kind of way but maybe you could ask something like, "Are there any particular things you look for in applicants beyond GPA and LSAT score? What do you think are the hallmarks of someone who would be successful at your school?"

    But I think it would be more important to find out information on the school, classes, clinics, etc. Basically find out why you should choose their school over someone else's. With that GPA, you might technically be a splitter but you still have really strong chances to make up for it with LSAT and a killer personal statement. Now is a good time to round up info for a solid Why X.

  • Brazil020511Brazil020511 Alum Member
    429 karma

    I would second what @"Cant Get Right" stated. I would also add ask questions that you wish you would've known about your undergraduate such as how does your school promote academic support for students? Are there any programs/organizations to promote personal/career development like LGBT law student association, minority law student association, clown law student association(LOL), what have current/past student said impacted them the most at your school, or what is the school culture: competitive or supportive or mixture of both. Remember, you are just as much an asset to the school as the school is to you. So, allow them to sell themselves to you as @"Cant Get Right" put so nicely. You may spend a lot of money at a school, so you want to make sure that it feels like "home" at least in my opinion.

  • Freddy_DFreddy_D Monthly Member
    edited September 2017 2978 karma

    As a URM, specifically AA URM, you def have a shot at H 3.5+ and ~167+. I think you have a shot at Stanford with those numbers, too. Yale does what Yale wants because it's Yale and they do Yale things at Yale because it's Yale :tired_face:

  • CurlyQQQCurlyQQQ Legacy Member
    edited September 2017 295 karma

    I wouldn't bother asking the stats question. They always give you the most generic response. In order to come up with questions, I'd do research on the schools themselves. You should ask questions that you specifically have interest in. I'm attending a fair on Friday and I want to know about joint degree programs, clerkship, and international opportunities. You'll start asking questions once you start looking at what kind of atmosphere and experience YOU want out of the school. They're selling to you, not the other way around.

  • Trust But VerifyTrust But Verify Alum Member
    427 karma

    "Where are the fee waivers?"

  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    3679 karma

    Thank you guys SO much this is such great information!

  • ElleWoods77ElleWoods77 Alum Member
    edited September 2017 1184 karma

    I have been to a couple and all I can say is be yourself and ask program specific questions and express a keen interest into your top schools. In my experience the alumni at the tables gave me certain tips and their personal business card to keep in touch. I was going to that same forum in Houston but now I think I will just go to the one in Toronto, have fun!

  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    3679 karma

    @ElleWoods77 said:
    I have been to a couple and all I can say is be yourself and ask program specific questions and express a keen interest into your top schools. In my experience the alumni at the tables gave me certain tips and their personal business card to keep in touch. I was going to that same forum in Houston but now I think I will just come them in Toronto, have fun!

    Haha thanks Elle! :)

  • ElleWoods77ElleWoods77 Alum Member
    1184 karma

    @tringo335 said:

    @ElleWoods77 said:
    I have been to a couple and all I can say is be yourself and ask program specific questions and express a keen interest into your top schools. In my experience the alumni at the tables gave me certain tips and their personal business card to keep in touch. I was going to that same forum in Houston but now I think I will just come them in Toronto, have fun!

    Haha thanks Elle! :)

    My pleasure, I know you will charm the hell out of them :)

  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    3679 karma

    @ElleWoods77 said:

    @tringo335 said:

    @ElleWoods77 said:
    I have been to a couple and all I can say is be yourself and ask program specific questions and express a keen interest into your top schools. In my experience the alumni at the tables gave me certain tips and their personal business card to keep in touch. I was going to that same forum in Houston but now I think I will just come them in Toronto, have fun!

    Haha thanks Elle! :)

    My pleasure, I know you will charm the hell out of them :)

    I'll do my best to #slayallday :wink:

  • ElleWoods77ElleWoods77 Alum Member
    edited September 2017 1184 karma

    @tringo335 said:

    @ElleWoods77 said:

    @tringo335 said:

    @ElleWoods77 said:
    I have been to a couple and all I can say is be yourself and ask program specific questions and express a keen interest into your top schools. In my experience the alumni at the tables gave me certain tips and their personal business card to keep in touch. I was going to that same forum in Houston but now I think I will just come them in Toronto, have fun!

    Haha thanks Elle! :)

    My pleasure, I know you will charm the hell out of them :)

    I'll do my best to #slayallday :wink:

    https://media.giphy.com/media/3oKIPzeF9xsnczyB0c/giphy.gif

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