Law School Discussion

"Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...

Booyakasha2

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"Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...
« on: November 21, 2006, 07:18:39 PM »
Be warned....

Although many applicants are not aware of it, many of the top law schools actively monitor the various online admissions boards. Some schools even assign a staff person to regularly read the discussion boards. The impressions that admissions staff form of applicants who use the boards can influence some admissions outcomes.

The schools are not checking the boards because they want to recruit the members with 1,000-plus posts their credit. Rather, they're trying to protect the integrity of their programs by keeping such people out.

Applicants who think that using an online pseudonym can their identity are making a mistake. According to a former dean for a top law school, "It is usually very easy to determine the identity of an applicant based on the information they provide in their posts. In some cases, it's obvious because of a particular communication you had with an applicant, who then shares information from the communication online. In other cases, if someone is being really obnoxious or bad-mouthing your school or one of your staff members, with a little bit of effort and searching of your database, you can usually identify the applicant."

The bottom line on applicants who cultivate off-putting online personas, our contact said, is that "We know who they are."

Applicants don't have to make inflammatory or obnoxious statements to harm their admissions chances. Just coming across as irrational about law school admissions or as overly passive about the application process may be enough to leave schools with an unfavorable impression of a candidate.

An example of being irrational about the admissions process is when someone posts a complaint about a bad experience with a receptionist at Law School X and says they would never accept an admissions offer from that program because of that one experience.

An example of being overly passive is when someone uses an online forum to ask basic questions that could be answered with just a bit of research, or to post a simple question that could be answered more quickly by a phone call.

Law school applicants who have been active on the online boards are well advised to tone down their participation once they actually begin submitting their applications. They can use their time more productively to work on their personal statements and other application components. Those activities are likely to prove much more valuable to their future endeavors than message board participation will be.


http://www.admissionsconsultants.com/lawschool/online_personas.asp

Brito

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Re: "Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2006, 07:21:25 PM »
Be warned....

Although many applicants are not aware of it, many of the top law schools actively monitor the various online admissions boards. Some schools even assign a staff person to regularly read the discussion boards. The impressions that admissions staff form of applicants who use the boards can influence some admissions outcomes.


Good advice.  I hope my involvement here doesn't affect my applications, but the board has been such a useful source of information that I can't entirely regret it...

mugatu

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Re: "Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2006, 07:28:23 PM »
Well,
1) By the time you are submitting applications you should probably already have your PS on lock.
2) Duh.

Booyakasha2

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Re: "Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2006, 07:33:13 PM »
yea, u got some accepts under ur belt so i dont think u shoudl be too worried. 

Zam

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Re: "Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2006, 07:35:15 PM »
While I think there is some validity to statements like this I remain skeptical to some extent. Law schools receive thousands of applications a year. It would be pretty difficult in the majority of cases to say with 100% certainty that "Zamora is really Jane Smith" because someone read my posts. Now, posts in combination with stats maybe you could figure it out for sure, but other than that I think it is risky on the schools part. Admissions offices and law schools try to maintain some objectivity and fairness afterall, I don't think they would feel comfortable in the majority of cases making admissions decisions based on what someone writes on lsd. I don't dispute that there are cases of this; I just think statements like this are designed to scare us.

Jets

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Re: "Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2006, 07:38:00 PM »
I hate that LSD doesn't let me delete some posts...does anyone know why this is?

Booyakasha2

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Re: "Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2006, 07:38:45 PM »
U can always modify them.

Brito

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Re: "Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2006, 07:42:18 PM »
While I think there is some validity to statements like this I remain skeptical to some extent. Law schools receive thousands of applications a year. It would be pretty difficult in the majority of cases to say with 100% certainty that "Zamora is really Jane Smith" because someone read my posts. Now, posts in combination with stats maybe you could figure it out for sure, but other than that I think it is risky on the schools part. Admissions offices and law schools try to maintain some objectivity and fairness afterall, I don't think they would feel comfortable in the majority of cases making admissions decisions based on what someone writes on lsd. I don't dispute that there are cases of this; I just think statements like this are designed to scare us.

I hopes doesn't matter except in rather extreme cases... I mean, the average poster probably isn't going to catch the attention of the hypothetical lurking staff member enough to warrant figuring out which applicant (out of thousands) he or she is.  I doubt they'd go to the trouble of matching the two unless the applicant made a very strong negative or very strong positive impression.  Considering my geographic location, I think I'd be easy to identify, but I just don't see why anyone would bother.  ("This Britomart poster... I can't believe she asked that question... What a moron.  Let's find her application and ding her.")

Jolie Was Here

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Re: "Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2006, 07:42:46 PM »
fwiw, one of the deans of admissions that I met last year personally told me that an admissions staff member was assigned to read LSD and xoxo (said dean couldn't stomach the task.)  I believe this person.

steve young

Re: "Online Personas".....beware of what you disclose on here...
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2006, 07:43:19 PM »
this whole thing is a little ambiguous. So do only the top law schools do this? So the t2s-t4s don't bother?

besides everyone is rude over the internet. i thought that's what it was for....