On this blog and in real life, I’ve been getting questions about the admissions process. I remember what it was like, not so long ago, to go through the process of law school admissions. It can be stressful for a variety of reasons, and so- understandably- potential law students look for any info they can get about the admissions process.
And who better to ask than somebody who’s made it through, right?
This may be true- but only to a certain point. Two years have passed since I was accepted at NYU Law, and I have no idea exactly what it was that got me in. I can take some guesses, but in the end I don’t know, just like I don’t know why I was accepted at additional schools, or rejected by others.
The admissions process is very closed-door, and in the end I think that has its benefits. It gives me the freedom to make choices about academics, careers, and life in general going forward without feeling the pressure to put too much weight on somebody else’s (in this case, an admission office’s) thoughts about certain aspects of who I am. It allows me to continue to create my own identity, without becoming too fixated on certain characteristics about myself.
Because I don’t know how any single factor, or combination of factors, impacted my application selection, or that of any other student here, I’d recommend making your application shine in as many areas as possible, since you never know what will catch the eye of admissions.
1. Get great recommendations, and make sure those recommenders follow through with getting in their letters.
2. Write an amazing personal statement that’s thoughtful and clear.
3. Be yourself- let your personal passion shine through.
4. I’d say also research the school well, so that you can show that you and the school are a great match.
5. Timing can be important, as law school admissions generally happen on a rolling basis. The later you apply, the fewer spots there will likely be left available in the incoming class. In this competitive game, don’t assume you’re going to be the candidate who is so amazing that no matter how close to the deadline you apply, no matter how many applicants are still in consideration, your application will simply stand out above all the others. This isn’t to say that you aren’t amazing, but just that, for the sake of applications, it’s wise to use timing as one more tool you have to assure that your application has the best chance possible.
No matter what happens, remember that given all the mystery surrounding how this process actually works, in the end you are way more than the admissions decisions that get made about you, whether you’re happy with those admissions decisions or not.
Best of luck to all of those in the midst of admissions, or thinking about going through it!