Early campus visit - timeline and question suggestions

_aisling__aisling_ Alum Member
in General 289 karma

This month I'll be in the region of a couple of schools I'm hoping to apply to. While I'm in the area I'm planning to visit the towns to get a feel for whether they are a place I'll want to be for a few years, and I'm considering scheduling a campus visit while I'm there as well. I'm taking the LSAT in September and as long as things go okay will be applying to schools this fall.

I've done some digging through the forum and it sounds like in general, the crowd here is supportive of pre-application visits. Any thoughts to the contrary?

Secondary question: What are some things I should be asking (of current students, of professors, of folks in the admissions office, of anyone else?). Who should I be asking to talk to? I have a short list of questions so far, but this will be my first experience going on a campus visit (I never visited my undergrad before attending) and have been out of school for 10 years so I'm feeling quite ignorant of the process and would love your guidance regarding what smart questions to ask.


  • LSAT_WreckerLSAT_Wrecker Member
    edited June 2019 4850 karma

    For context, I visited a couple of schools prior to actually applying. To be honest, most school visits look very similar. Check in to the admissions office, someone gives you a tour of the building (since you are going during the summer, it may be a admissions staff person), you sit in on a class (may not apply if classes are out), and then a few minutes with an admissions officer. They are usually pretty relaxed. However, definitely be "on point" with you and your branding. For me, luckily my first visit was to a school a bit lower on my list and I kinda fumbled my way through the experience. My focus was on "self-promotion" and questions about how to mitigate shortcomings in my application. My next visit (the afternoon of the same day) was much better and I let the school try to "sell itself" to me which worked out better. [I was eventually accepted to both so neither technique appeared to hurt me.] After that, the rest of my school visits were all largely very similar in structure and feeling.

    As far as questions, I would ask what you genuinely want to know. Things I found important during visits:

    a. Student questions - Why X, are your peers supportive, how is the town, how far from campus do you live / what are your accommodations like (i.e. undergrad central or quieter/small family oriented), how easy is it to get your desired clinic experience, how is the student support staff (administration / career services, etc), what did you do last summer (for 2L/3Ls)

    b. Class visit - no questions, but I really tried to get a vibe of the students, were they chatting / joking prior to the class starting. What was the student / professor interaction like, I always thanked the professor after the class which usually sparked conversation organically.

    c. Admission questions - [these tended to be the least productive interactions because I had done my research and did not have substantive questions for the admissions people] What are X school's strengths, where do the majority of students find employment, any school specific application formatting questions.

    The important thing for these visits to for you to get a feel for the school and its culture and to present the admissions people with "your best self". Be genuine and thank everyone you interact with. Good luck!

  • MissChanandlerMissChanandler Alum Member Sage
    3256 karma

    I think it's a great idea to visit! A school that you're "meh" about right now might turn out to be wonderful, while a school that seems great for you may fall flat in person. As far as who to talk to, I would let the admissions offices know ahead of time that you're coming and see if you can schedule a brief meeting. Ask about what they're looking for in applicants, etc. I don't think they'll remember the specific questions you asked, but they'll remember how you present yourself/how polite you are, so just be nice and ask questions that you genuinely would like to talk about

  • _aisling__aisling_ Alum Member
    289 karma

    Thanks, all!

  • geraldtuitegeraldtuite Member
    5 karma

    Assuming we will make a good impression during the law school visit, should it be done before or after we apply? In order to have the greatest chance of having the visit positively influence our application, should we wait until after we apply, or would it be just as impactful to visit the school before the application is actually submitted? Along those same lines, would you advise us not to visit before classes are in session (like during the summer)?

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