Approach Admissions as a Game

I am thirty-nine years old with a wife and two young children. This is significant because I did not wish to relocate my family and therefore I was limited to just two schools. One was a school that I was almost certain to gain admission to, and one was a top tier school for which I had a solid—but not slam dunk—chance of acceptance. The academic disparity between the schools though made me determined to shoot for the higher-ranked school, and though I didn’t feel that I needed my hand held throughout the process, I wanted to have every advantage possible. Enter Ann. What struck me even before I spoke with her was the title of her book: The Law School Admissions Game.

Ann approaches the admissions process just as any applicant should: as though it is indeed a “game.” This is a process that one should attack and take charge of; Ann makes this implicitly clear both in comments found throughout her book and in advice she offers as a consultant. Her advice directed me to be proactive and to reach out to the schools, so I scoured their websites to learn about their faculty members, looking for areas of common interest, and contacted a few of them to share thoughts or ask questions. I made two visits to the campus of my target school before the admissions decision was made, and I sent thank you emails to every student, professor, administrative assistant, and admissions officer that I met along the way.

What led me to do this though was my embrace of the “game” mindset and my determination to control the situation, rather than passively sitting back and letting the admissions process control me. Without Ann’s direction, I don’t know that I would have realized the importance of doing this. Ann has a great eye for detail, and because she has been on “the other side,” reading essays and resumes as a decision-maker, she is able to offer valuable advice as to what is important to include versus what is not. With my personal statement, she helped me to recognize the essential “meat and potatoes” of my message, trimming unnecessary parts that many (me included) might not be able to recognize as being such.

In sharpening my resume, Ann helped me to make my work experience sound both interesting and relevant to my goal of obtaining a legal education. I eventually gained admission to both schools. Because my GPA and LSAT score were both right around my target school’s median figures, one could conceivably argue that I might have gotten in even without Ann’s help. While that might have been the case, I preferred to take on the process with whichever tools I could use. If you are in a situation similar to what mine was, or if you share my attitude of how challenges should be approached, then Ann may be the right hire for you as well.