3 Common Reasons Why Law Applications Get Rejected
Thank you for applying for admission to (Insert Law School). The admissions committee has reviewed your application for the class of 2017. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer you a place in the class.”
Talk about deflating! For months, you withdrew to your cave to study for the LSAT and tinker with your application. Your grades fit within the range. And your references were top notch. Sure, you were competing against other Type A’s, who’d also served as treasurer and donated evenings to mentoring the less fortunate. Deep inside, you really believed that you’d make the cut. And now you’re wondering, “What more could I have done?”
Probably not a lot, according to Shawn O’Connor, Founder and CEO of Stratus Prep. O’Connor, who scored a 179 on the LSAT before graduating from Harvard Law, has noticed that these three factors often sink prospective candidates:
1) Too Similar to Other Candidates: “How do you stand out?” That’s the question you must ask yourself. And that’s because many candidates share “similar backgrounds in undergraduate study, ethnicity, upbringing or career goals” in O’Connor’s experience. With admissions committees seeking a diverse class with a range of perspectives, you’re often placed side-by-side against the candidates with whom you share the most similarities. In other words, there are fewer slots available than you think… and the margins can be awfully slim.
2) Low LSAT or GPA: According to O’Connor, grades and scores are “typically the first factor admissions readers evaluate.” As a result, schools apply an LSAT-GPA Index to quickly segment applicants into three buckets: “Definitely admit, maybe admit and definitely reject.” The odds of admission are based on where the index score resides in the overall range. It truly is a numbers game. If you have any doubts about your score, consider re-taking the test. (To find your index score, click here).
3) Weak Essays: Sometimes, inspired essays can ease concerns about a mediocre index. And they undoubtedly force adcoms to view candidates in an entirely new way. But a boilerplate essay that lacks urgency or sizzle? That raises questions. When adcoms have questions, your application ultimately ends up being waitlisted (if not rejected).
Source: U.S. News and World Report