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3 Important Factors Admissions Officers Consider, Besides GPA and LSAT

A high GPA and strong LSAT score, while important, alone do not guarantee admission into law school. Admissions officers tend to look at applications holistically, which means law schools take into consideration other important aspects such as an applicant’s experience and goals.

Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently discussed what other factors admissions officers value when deciding whether an applicant is admitted or not.

YOUR UNIQUE BACKGROUND

Law schools benefit from having diverse student bodies. And admissions officers seek out applicants who can bring a unique perspective to campus.

“A monolithic student body would result in dull classroom discussions,” Kuris writes. “Like-minded students would overcrowd certain clinics, research opportunities and campus organizations and leave others understaffed. Thus, law schools carefully consider applicants’ backgrounds, perspectives and interests as expressed through their personal statements, diversity statements, resumes and other materials.”

AT LEAST ONE YEAR OF WORK EXPERIENCE

If you’re intent on getting into a top law school, experts say, you’ll want to apply having some work experience under your belt.

“At many of the top law schools, the percentage of applicants admitted to their programs with at least one year of work experience after college exceeds 50%,” Joy Blaser, a law school admissions counselor at Stratus Admissions Counseling, says in a Q&A for National Jurist. “These days, I encourage applicants to think about taking a gap year to work, especially if they are light on prior employment.”

COMMITMENT TO GOALS

Admissions officers often also take into consideration an applicant’s motivation and goals. But simply having a goal may not be enough. Rather, experts say, admissions officers tend to seek out applicants who can demonstrate a commitment to their goals and motivations.

“Law schools want students who are committed to law school and able to persevere when the going gets tough,” Kuris writes. “Thus, they are attuned to how applicants convey their career goals and reasons for applying in their personal statements. Some law schools use interviews to delve into candidates’ interests and goals and assess their professionalism. Even if a law school doesn’t interview, convey your seriousness of purpose by carefully preparing and editing your written materials and avoiding mistakes.”

Sources: US News, National Jurist