Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Does Yale frown upon admissions consultants?  (Read 1267 times)

blairchuckalways

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 178
    • View Profile
    • LSN data
Does Yale frown upon admissions consultants?
« on: September 01, 2008, 09:09:57 AM »
Anyone have experience with this -- I suppose it's hard to tell, but I just find it bizarre that they're asking.

I used one to help me figure out a personal statement on various life circumstances (race, socioeconomic diversity, etc.), but I feel like now I'm screwed -- as if Yale is going to see me as someone who can't write. Obviously I understand that if someone writes a strong personal statement on their own, that's great, but now I'm not even sure if I should bother applying.

(I'm sure there are grammatical fallacies to what I've written here, but apologies for not harping on accuracy on a discussion board.)

Bah, any thoughts?

blairchuckalways

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 178
    • View Profile
    • LSN data
Re: Does Yale frown upon admissions consultants?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2008, 01:35:03 PM »
Yes, they ask, on their page describing what essays and such they want from you.

pirouette06

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 98
    • View Profile
    • LSN
Re: Does Yale frown upon admissions consultants?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2008, 05:23:19 PM »
Yes, they ask, on their page describing what essays and such they want from you.

They also ask about whether you had help with the LSAT. I don't think it's frowned upon but they do acknowledge that you had help while others may not have.

olderapplicant

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: Does Yale frown upon admissions consultants?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2008, 03:20:54 PM »
Are you supposed to put down if friends/family read your application?  It is asking if you received any assistance in preparing this application.

rabbit9198

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
    • View Profile
    • LSN
Re: Does Yale frown upon admissions consultants?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008, 12:33:31 PM »
Originally posted at http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissions/archive/2008/09/05/new-questions.aspx

Dear Asha,

I noticed that there are two new questions on the application that ask whether I took an LSAT preparation course or had any assistance in preparing my application.  Will it hurt my chances of being admitted if I took an LSAT prep course?  Is it still okay to have an admissions consultant give me guidance on my application?

Thanks,

T.K.

 

Dear T.K.,

I have a feeling that your questions are on a lot of applicants' minds, so I'm glad you asked!  Let me address the LSAT and application assistance questions separately.

For the LSAT, it's become the norm to take some type of preparation course (this is a change from one or two decades ago, when a relatively smaller portion of the applicant pool took such courses).  Taking a course -- which helps students understand the test, gives guidance and practice on the different kinds of questions, and gives test-takers a psychological confidence boost -- can significantly help one's score.  Of course, applicants who have a lot of self-discipline and organizational skills can self-study with the same (and sometimes better) benefits.  But my guess is that most people aren't always as organized or disciplined, and generally take a course if they can -- for which they won't be penalized.  These courses, however, are pretty pricey, and not all applicants have access to one.  So, if I am looking at an application where a student self-studied, to me it's another piece of data in reviewing the application.  That's not to say that a student who doesn't take a course and gets a lower score will get a "pass," or will have a lower standard applied to him or her, but it does allow me and other file readers to consider the resources that were or were not available to the applicant in preparing for the LSAT and weigh that along with the strengths and weaknesses of the other parts of the application.

With respect to the assistance received in preparing your application, I want to make sure that all applicants are evaluated on a level playing field.  Most students take the time to prepare their application on their own, and will probably reach out to friends and family or the prelaw advisor at their college or university for guidance on essay ideas or proofreading.  That's fine, and we hope and expect that you'll use these resources (never trust the spellchecker on your computer to catch everything!).  However, some students pay a lot of money for professional consultants -- some of whom are former admissions officials -- to help package their applications, which usually involves significant help on their personal statements.  Now, a student who uses this type of help won't be automatically penalized or rejected.  But I would like to know if a student received any professional help and to what extent: after all, I'm interested in evaluating the ideas and writing of the applicant, not those of an admissions consultant.  Most importantly, I want students who choose not to spend $500 or $5,000 dollars on a professional packaging service to feel confident that their application -- even if it is not as slick and polished as some others -- will still get due, and fair, consideration.

If you are considering getting an admissions consultant, think about why you need one.  There's no blueprint for a law school application, and the most important thing about a personal statement, in my opinion, is authenticity.  The only way to achieve that is to write your personal statement yourself, in your own voice.  Honestly, there's not a lot of feedback about your personal statement that a "professional" consultant can give that someone who knows you well -- a friend, family member, or a trusted professor or college advisor -- couldn't give as well.  Moreover, your PS is not necessarily the most important part of your application.  The other aspects of your application, including your academic record, and your recommendations, tell admissions committees volumes about you, and no consultant can change or package those.  Finally, remember that whatever type of assistance you receive, you must certify that your essays are your *original* work, which means that no one should be redrafting or rewording your essays except for you.  My advice?  Save your money for law school -- you're going to need it.

Asha
Read my blog about 1L life at Yale (and Harvard): http://similarlysituated.blogspot.com/

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/rabbit9198/

YLS 2011

heartbreaker

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3817
    • View Profile
Re: Does Yale frown upon admissions consultants?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2008, 12:35:55 PM »
Wowza. That's quite a smackdown of admissions consultants!

blairchuckalways

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 178
    • View Profile
    • LSN data
Re: Does Yale frown upon admissions consultants?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2008, 10:05:04 PM »
Well, what do you all think -- yes I used an admissions consultant, but I worked my ass off to pay for it myself, because I wanted that slick, stellar application -- after all, it's YALE (no spare silver spoons lying around this house for me to sell, either, as you probably can tell from my LSN profile). I see this akin to people unable to pay for a top-tier law school out of pocket pulling whatever strings/working whatever jobs they can to go to that top-tier school.

Am I totally screwed with YLS? Thanks for the blog post, however, most appreciated!

rush the rushdie

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
Re: Does Yale frown upon admissions consultants?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2008, 01:26:47 PM »
just to be sure: so that question on yale's app refers only to professional consultants, right?  if i got help from a grad student, there's no need to write that down?

meggo

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 603
    • View Profile
Re: Does Yale frown upon admissions consultants?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2008, 04:32:03 PM »
^I kind of agree. I've said this elsewhere, but for example at one hall/whatever at Harvard, for example, they have a whole little organization set up to help their students with their LOR's, they assign them a current student at Harvard Law to help them with their personal statement, etc. and while that's not a paid admission consultant, I imagine they help they provide is immense. Though again, I'm sure Yale is aware of this....