Ghosts, goblins and law school admissions @ the PAD conference
On Halloween and through this past weekend, Admit Advantage was fortunate to be a sponsor for the Phi Alpha Delta conference. Phi Alpha Delta is a law fraternity that provides guidance, mentorship, and resources to help students interested in law. While the focus of this conference, in the Washington D.C. area, was for the pre-law society, PAD boasts a prominent alumni base of over 200,000 academics, lawyers, and business professionals with a passion for law.
During the conference we were able to demonstrate our new free admissions platform, www.admit.me, and we had a number of the PAD attendees sign-up on the platform – you should too! We were also pleased to offer several gifts to PAD members for engaging on www.admit.me. In addition, our law directors, Christina Taber-Kewene and Jennie Rothman conducted a seminar on how to build a compelling personal statement – our seminar impacted nearly 200 pre-law students over the course of the weekend.
I personally enjoyed a session conducted by Michelle Rahman, Associate Dean of Admission at University of Richmond. She put the students in the shoes of an admissions officer by providing them with three actual (redacted of course) law school applications and asking them to decide who they would choose based on the actual application and the impact the application would have on the school’s overall metrics including matriculation, diversity profile, median LSAT score, and median GPA, among other things.
A few “nuggets” that I thought worth sharing from Dean Rahman’s session:
- The admissions staff is an advocate for you – give them the ammunition they need to support you in the admissions committee process
- They generally take ~5 min. to read each application (from my experience as an AdCom, that is usually between 8PM and 2AM often in a coffee-induced state of consciousness) and may read 30-40 applications a day
- Write something that’s memorable (see above for why). You may take 2 months to write it, but it will be forgotten after 4 min. if you don’t write something memorable. After reading the personal statement, the staff should be able to point to something about you (i.e. that’s the young lady with the neat story: she is the first in her family to go to school, went to Teach for America after college and has a passion for educational policy, which is why she wants to go to law school)
- Don’t rely on the numbers – a top LSAT score is great, but it’s not the only thing that’s going to get you in; conversely, if you can make a compelling argument, you can often get into school with an LSAT score lower than the median (someone has to be lower, right?)
Good luck in your admissions journey. I hope that helps.