I have been very busy assisting clients through the application process and have not had as much time as I would have liked to share my thoughts on the blog and/or respond individually to as many comments. I am reading everything and responding when I am able, and I do not want to post fluff, but only share information that will truly be useful to law school applicants. I have some fairly random thoughts for this time in the admission cycle that I would like to share.
First, this is my 250th blog post. Thank you for reading with me along the journey, and thank you especially for telling your friends about the blog (especially friends considering applying to law school for the Fall 2010 admission cycle).
Second, I just re-launched a new design of www.LawSchoolExpert.com and would love any thoughts you have about the new look.
Third, I will soon be migrating this blog onto my own domain. Please don’t be afraid if you come to read the blog and it suddenly looks professional and/or “pretty” – I promise it’s still me, just a version of me planning to join 2009.
Fourth, many of you ask very specific questions about your situations – schools to apply to, your chances for admission, etc. I know these are the questions most pressing on your minds, and I do my best to answer them to the extent that I am able. Please be understanding about the fact that these are not questions that are amenable to simple answers; responding appropriately would require significant time to evaluate and consider all of the relevant issues. The blog format is not conducive to this, and -after all – I do give this kind of advice for a living and my clients must continue to be my first priority. Thanks so much to everyone who takes the time to leave positive feedback about the blog being helpful to you; that means a great deal to me and is the reason I spend the time to do this.
Lastly, I do want to tell you I am working on a book based on this blog and it will feature (anonymously) many of the questions I’ve been asked throughout the last 250 posts. Please stay tuned. It may not come out in time to help Fall 2009 applicants, but Fall 2010 applicants will benefit from all of your experiences and any kernels of wisdom I might have shared in response. Keep an eye out for that announcement in the next few months.
Ok, Now let’s talk about law school admission trends/recent observations:
1. Applying late. It feels like more of you are applying later than ever before. This might just be because the December LSAT was a week later (and hence scores were a week later being released) but it definitely concerns me that so many people are still working on applications in mid-January. This is especially true for those of you retaking (or taking) the LSAT in February. I don’t want anyone to panic reading this, but I do want you to have a Plan B in the back of your head. Plan B is retaking the LSAT in June/October and applying in September/October of Fall 2010. Of course, this only works if you have gainful employment or no need for gainful employment, but I just want to put this out there.
2. The waitlists haven’t gone crazy yet, but they will. Don’t get upset about a waitlist decision, just do something about it! If you sit around twiddling your thumbs instead of campaigning to get into a school, then you don’t deserve the precious acceptance letter in the first place.
3. General impatience is an unfortunate trend. Please be polite to people who work at law schools. Most of them are not paid well, they are overworked, trying to do a good job, but mistakes do happen. Be professional in all of your dealings; remember that if you act like a jerk (or spoiled brat) these people have the power to walk right into the Dean of Admissions and share a story about the unkind applicant. (An important lesson for aspiring lawyers- treat secretaries/assistants very, very well.)
4. Overestimating your soft factors. I have heard from a lot of people this year touting their extensive, impressive work experience that – after reading 20-some-odd-thousand law school applications- is just not that impressive. This happens with diversity factors too – people who write diversity statements about things that have very little to do with the diversity they bring to the table and more about their parents, grandparents, brother, or best friends or neighbors.
The good news:
1. Law schools are acting predictably, and not crazily, this year.
2. Application rates are not as crazy as people predicted either.
3. I will still be here in the coming months to write about these issues, to share the trends I’m seeing, and to entertain your comments, questions and concerns.