GPAConsiderations of an applicant?s GPA are far less significant and interesting. What does it show? Not much. If you were lucky enough to pick the right major, to be enrolled at an UG with a generous curve, to have matured at 19 rather than at 21, to have remained healthy throughout, to have not had to work etc., you too will have a 4.0. Boring. If, on the other hand, you worked 40+ hours, or had mononucleosis, or if you were in an abusive relationship - your GPA would be seriously mitigated. If you studied Classics at Chicago, or engineering at Cal Tech, have since been awarded a Ph.D. with distinction, or have been doing serious analytical work for a few or more years, it would be hard to argue that your GPA was the relevant metric by which to (even partially) judge your application.The GPA, in my view, is not even worth glancing at, and in my capacity as my Top School?s admissions officer, I probably wouldn?t ask for it, and nor would I review it.Essays and StatementsI would place the greatest emphasis in this part of the applications process. I would consider my job as being one that is in the service of the faculty that will actually have to teach the incoming class that I am selecting, and more generally, in service of the school whose reputation and standing will be burnished or tarnished by this class and its accomplishments when they graduate.I would like all of the people that I admit to be interesting, thoughtful, and original. I would like the class as a whole to be diverse in every way - along class, ethnic, racial, national, and geographic lines, as well as in terms of the disciplinary and work backgrounds that they represent. There is a diminishing marginal utility to enrolling white, male, 22 year-old Harvard graduates who majored in Economics. And this is not a matter of aesthetics so much, as it is a matter of the academic environment that my faculty has a right to expect, and of the educational experience that would most benefit the student body.A Lit major, say, can bring to bear her/his knowledge of narrative theory, semiotics, deconstruction, and rhetoric in the analysis of judicial opinions, either in class or in study groups; an economist can shed some light on the problems with the Coase Theorem or with rational choice theory; a sociologist may chip in with insights on the interplay between law and institutions; an anthropologist can highlight some of the cultural assumptions that make our understanding of law, justice and its purposes contingent rather than absolute. In any case, I would be most interested in three different (though perhaps interrelated) facets of an applicant?s suitability for my school: character, promise, background, and perspective.I would, therefore, require three separate essays from applicants:1. A Personal Statement of any length and on any subject whatsoever2. A 10-20 page essay in response to the question ?What is justice??3. An essay of any length in response to the prompt ?Why This School??From the first essay, one can infer - from topic choice and from the way that it is written - what makes the applicant tick. I would not have believed this quite so much as I do if I had not read my fair share of personal and diversity statements from people here on LSD. Some of the statements were breathtaking in their honestly and vitality, and I found myself thinking that it would be really wrong if they were not to be admitted into the school of their choice. Other statements were not so great - they demonstrated little life, no passion for law or anything else, and one got the impression that law school was simply something to do for lack of plausible alternatives.From the second essay, I would infer the originality, sophistication of the applicant?s manner of thinking, and would gauge the extent to which s/he has made a personal connection with law, which I believe to be important. I would not favor essays that told me what Bentham or some other geezer said over someone else?s honest effort to struggle through and come to terms with what justice means (or doesn?t mean) to them. I would look for an ability to range across multiple disciplines and perspectives, for subtlety and for thoughtful originality in the way that the essay was put together. This is what I would use as an alternative to a perusal of the GPA and transcript.The third essay would serve to gauge the fit between the applicant?s hopes for a law school experience and the school?s hopes for a student body. Yale, for example, is not Harvard, and Columbia is not Chicago. Each school has a certain culture and tempo and this would be the place to identify the fit between applicant and school. InterviewUnlike GJ, I would not interview widely. Distances and expense are too great for some and would put them at a disadvantage. There are, among the thousands of applicants, likely to be a handful that are hard cases: I would interview those people personally, over a couple of hours or so, in a coffee shop.Work ExperienceI would do away with an evaluation of work experience altogether. To he extent that events in one?s life have any significance, they will show up in the essays and statements. If they don't merit mentioning there, then they're really not as significant as all that, are they?ConclusionWhat does this add up to? What I believe to be a ?holistic? applications process:a) the role of the LSAT is made explicit and its influence reduced;b) the GPA/Transcript pretense is scrapped altogether;c) a much greater role is awarded to self-expression in the form of three required essaysd) there is no role for work experience
Lol! I would rather have attractive males though.
do we already have a consensus on exactly what sort of student body we want?
Quote from: mto83 on February 27, 2006, 11:25:51 AMLol! I would rather have attractive males though.Duh, mto. Eliminate women = more men = higher likelihood of hot ones!I've seen too many hot LSD guys get rejected from the schools I'm likely to attend..
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