I had been rejected this past spring, and GWU was my top choice. I scheduled an appointment with one of their counselors for this afternoon, so we could discuss my application, since it always burned me that I didn't even get on the waitlist, and I thought I had a decent chance of getting in.
Here's what I learned, which may or may not be applicable to other schools:
Thre three major things they look at are LSAT, GPA, and the PS. Everything else has little to no impact. If your GPA is low (mine was 3.07), he said that having a graduate degree would have helped considerably. They 'need to know you're capable of doing that level of work.'
The institution/major have virtually no influence. So the moral (as I see it) seems to be, at least for GWU, go to an easy school and pick an easy major where you can get good grades. I said "so it seems to me that it's better to go to an easy school where you can do well than to attend an elite institution where you'll be challenged and may not succeed gradewise." He didn't outright endorse my statement, saying that if the LSAT would have ended up the same, yes, it would have made me a better candidate to have a better GPA.
As for the PS, he said to think of it as an interview of about 15 minutes, where you have 3 to 4 minutes to speak about yourself, and the PS is those 3 to 4 minutes. The idea is to let them know who you are.
I chose to write about actions I took to lobby for provisions in a state welfare reform law to ensure it included benefits for legal immigrants, and how that influenced me to attend law school, and he said that it didn't do it for them. It didn't say enough about who I was, and didn't give them any way to get to know me. I don't necessarily agree with his statements, since I had it read over by many people, from college professors to law students, and they all thought it was great, but it's only the opinions of the adcom that count, after all. So make sure to keep the PS focused and not to include too much that isn't directly about you, even if you feel those parts are necessary to place the events in sociopolitical and personal context.
I hope this proves helpful for someone out there. I'm beginning to believe that... http://www.despair.com/mis24x30prin.html