Inside law school admissions roboski fall 2010


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Inside law school admissions roboski fall 2010

  1. 1. An Inside Look at the Law School Admission Process and Suggestions as You Plan for Law School Charles Roboski, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>The application review process </li></ul><ul><li>Components of an application </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestions for crafting the personal statement and resume </li></ul><ul><li>Timeline for preparing & applying </li></ul><ul><li>Michigan State </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2010 Class Profile at MSU Law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important Dates for MSU Law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarship Opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Application Review Process <ul><li>Does this candidate have the ability to succeed academically at our law school? </li></ul><ul><li>What qualities, skills, or experiences does this applicant possess that we consider to be important to the study/practice of law? </li></ul><ul><li>How does this candidate compare to others ? </li></ul><ul><li>What does our “ideal” class look like? </li></ul>Questions Asked by the Admissions Committee
  4. 4. Assessing Academic Potential The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) <ul><li>LSAT’s predictive value is based on empirical research…a good but imperfect indicator of 1L performance </li></ul><ul><li>The LSAT score allows committee members to compare candidates using one common measure </li></ul><ul><li>Generalization : the LSAT accounts for 40 to 60 percent of the admission decision </li></ul><ul><li>Admissions Committee typically look at the highest of multiple scores </li></ul><ul><li>LSAT score also is likely to be used in the distribution of scholarship awards </li></ul>
  5. 5. Assessing Academic Potential College Performance <ul><li>Overall performance </li></ul><ul><li>Grade trends </li></ul><ul><li>Rigor of courses and competition </li></ul><ul><li>Extenuating Circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty letters of recommendation </li></ul><ul><li>Length of time since graduating </li></ul>
  6. 6. LSAC Law School Report
  7. 7. LSAC Law School Report
  8. 8. The Application Review Process <ul><li>Question 2 </li></ul><ul><li>What qualities, skills, or experiences does this applicant possess that we consider to be important to the study/practice of law? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resume </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Letters of Recommendation </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Qualities, Skills, Experiences <ul><li>Admissions Committee member: how will this applicant contribute to my law school (maybe even my classroom)? How will s/he contribute to the legal profession? </li></ul><ul><li>The Personal Statement , Resume , and LORs are the vehicles for communicating these </li></ul><ul><li>Law schools vary with regard to how much weight they give to these factors </li></ul><ul><li>This dimension of your application will be especially important when you are in the middle of a law school’s applicant pool (based on LSAT and undergraduate record) </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Application Review Process <ul><li>Question 3 </li></ul><ul><li>How does this candidate compare to others ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National/Regional/Local Competition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Varies by law school, given each school’s applicant pool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes both numerical and non-numerical asssessment </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. National Applicant Volume
  12. 12. Great Lakes Applicant Volume
  13. 13. MSU Law Applicant Volume
  14. 14. Components of an Application <ul><li>The application form </li></ul><ul><li>Report from LSAC, including LSAT score(s), writing sample, and copy of undergraduate transcript </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Statement </li></ul><ul><li>Resume </li></ul><ul><li>Letters of recommendations (2) </li></ul><ul><li>Optional: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supplemental statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional LoRs (up to a total of 4) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. The Role of the Personal Statement <ul><li>As few law schools conduct interviews, the personal statement provides the reviewer with insights beyond academic ability </li></ul><ul><li>The basis for assessing how an applicant might contribute to the law school classroom, the student body, and/or the profession </li></ul><ul><li>As an indicator of writing ability and judgment </li></ul><ul><li>As an indicator of interest in a law school </li></ul><ul><li>May impact both admission and scholarship consideration </li></ul>
  16. 16. Suggestions as you prepare the Personal Statement <ul><li>Identify abilities and traits you possess that will serve you well as a law student and as a lawyer </li></ul><ul><li>Ask what 3 or 4 “points” you would like to communicate to the reviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Consider how your personal statement will complement your resume </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself why you are applying (and potentially enrolling) at particular law schools </li></ul>
  17. 17. Possible Topics <ul><li>What skills, talents, or abilities do you have that will allow you to be an outstanding law student or lawyer? </li></ul><ul><li>What people, events, or institutions have shaped you and how? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are you interested in earning a law degree? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have particular views regarding the characteristics/personal qualities that a lawyer ought to possess? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Possible Topics - continued <ul><li>If you have had significant life experiences or hardships, how might these benefit the law school? </li></ul><ul><li>Why have you chosen to apply to this particular law school? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Suggestions for writing the Personal Statement <ul><li>Be sincere </li></ul><ul><li>Strike a positive tone </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to write multiple drafts; share with others and solicit their suggestions </li></ul><ul><li>Be succinct </li></ul><ul><li>Support statements with examples </li></ul><ul><li>Tailor to each law school </li></ul>
  20. 20. Pause or halt before … <ul><li>Expounding on theories of law, society, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Writing a personal statement that focuses exclusively or nearly exclusively on one topic </li></ul><ul><li>Taking a very “creative” approach </li></ul><ul><li>Writing a “one-size-fits-all” personal statement </li></ul><ul><li>Using the P.S. to address academic or LSAT performance issues </li></ul><ul><li>Using less than 12-point type </li></ul><ul><li>Exceeding the stated page maximum </li></ul>
  21. 21. The Resume <ul><ul><li>A resume can provide a factual picture of how you have used your time, what you value, skills you’ve developed, and accomplishments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Does not need to be limited to one page </li></ul><ul><li>Include minimal academic information; exclude that which can be readily found elsewhere in the application </li></ul><ul><li>Give appropriate space and placement to relevant accomplishments, employment, ECs, etc. (e.g., hours worked, titles, accomplishments, responsibilities) </li></ul><ul><li>Should be formatted in such a way that draws the reader’s attention to especially significant information </li></ul>
  22. 22. Timeline 2-3 Years Out <ul><li>Seek experiences that provide in-depth insights about the legal profession (internships, volunteer or paid employment, meetings with attorneys, prelaw society involvement) </li></ul><ul><li>Seek involvement/leadership opportunities with extracurricular organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Enroll in courses that will help develop those skills that are critical to law school </li></ul><ul><li>Develop relationships with faculty who later will be asked to write letters of recommendation </li></ul>
  23. 23. Timeline 1-2 Years Out <ul><li>Research law schools (e.g., ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-approved Law Schools) </li></ul><ul><li>Visit law schools to observe a first-year class and to speak with current students </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the financial aspects of law school – the salaries, the total costs of education, the costs of borrowing and its impact on your lifestyle while in repayment, credit worthiness for private loans </li></ul>
  24. 24. Timeline One Year Out <ul><li>Thoroughly prepare for and take the LSAT – take the June LSAT, if possible </li></ul><ul><li>Finalize research about law schools </li></ul><ul><li>Complete first draft of personal statement, then tailor personal statements to various schools </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit faculty/others to write letters of recommendation (letters to be ready by 11/1) </li></ul><ul><li>Update resume </li></ul><ul><li>S ubmit applications by December, if possible </li></ul>
  25. 25. Admission Decisions <ul><ul><li>Offer of Admission ~ Congratulations! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-review in February </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wait List (more than 120 admits in 2010) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deny </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. 2010 Incoming Class at MSU Law <ul><li>Class size of 299 </li></ul><ul><li>LSAT/GPA Profile by Quartile: </li></ul><ul><li>LSAT: 159; 157; 152 </li></ul><ul><li>UGPA: 3.73; 3.52; 3.24 </li></ul><ul><li>48 majors are represented </li></ul><ul><li>164 undergraduate colleges are represented </li></ul><ul><li>Students are from 36 states and 6 nations </li></ul><ul><li>42% of the class is from Michigan </li></ul><ul><li>20% minority; 47% female </li></ul>
  27. 27. Key Admission Dates October 1: Law Colleges begins to accept applications November 20: First round of decisions mailed February 15: Priority deadline for scholarship consideration April 1: Deposit due for candidates admitted through March 1 April 10-20: Committee begins to extend admission offers to candidates on the Wait List April 30: Application deadline for admission
  28. 28. Scholarships and Grants 2010 Incoming Class Percentage of Students Receiving an Award 54% Average Amount of a Renewable Scholarship $24,775 Average Amount of a First-Year Only Award $8,930 Renewable Scholarships King Full-Tuition Scholarships 20 Faculty or Trustee Full-Tuition Scholarships 43 Academic Excellence Awards ($25,000) 32 Academic Excellence Awards ($17,500) 35 Academic Excellence Awards ($8,500) 22 Total Number of Renewable Awards 152 First-Year Only Scholarships $10,000 or more: 15 $5,000-$9,999: 26
  29. 29. Scholarship Assistance <ul><li>An application is not required for scholarships </li></ul><ul><li>All admitted candidates are considered for scholarship assistance after the Admissions Committee has decided to extend an offer of admission </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarship assistance typically is communicated in the letter of acceptance </li></ul><ul><li>The great majority of scholarship aid is renewable up to 88 credit hours (with a 3.0 GPA renewal requirement) </li></ul>
  30. 30. King Scholarship <ul><li>Dean Charles H. King Scholarship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Covers 100% of tuition for all 3 years (88 credit hours) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Awarded to 20 incoming students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criteria for consideration: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>UGPA = 3.75 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LSAT = 161 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional benefits: special class eligibility, publishing opportunities, faculty mentorship </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Faculty Scholarship <ul><ul><li>Faculty Full-Tuition Scholarship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Covers 100% of tuition for all 3 years (88 credit hours) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Awarded to 30 incoming students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criteria for consideration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>UGPA = 3.60 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LSAT = 158 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Partial-tuition Scholarships <ul><li>Academic Excellence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Awarded to as many as 25 incoming students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Awards of one-fourth, one-half, and three-quarter tuition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Renewed for years 2 and 3 with a 3.0 or higher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criteria for consideration: UGPA = 3.50; LSAT = 157 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Alumni Merit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Awarded to as many as 15 incoming students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Awards ranging in value from $5,000 to $25,000 year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One-Year Awards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criteria for consideration: UGPA = 3.20; LSAT = 157 </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Trustee Awards <ul><li>Trustee Awards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Awarded to as many as 25 incoming students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Awards include both partial and full tuition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Awards are renewable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criteria includes assessment of academic potential and diversity of student’s personal and professional background </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Grant Assistance <ul><li>Financial need is considered via the FAFSA and an essay of up to 200 words </li></ul><ul><li>Recipients of other MSU Law aid are ineligible </li></ul><ul><li>February 20 is deadline for essay </li></ul><ul><li>Awards will be announced by mid March </li></ul>
  35. 35. Grants <ul><li>Career Transition Grant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Range = $8,500 - $17,500 per year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criteria: 5 years previous full-time work experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part-Time Program Grant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Range = $8,500 - $17,500 per year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assists students that elect for part-time studies during the day </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public Interest Grant and Stipend </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Total Value = $7,500 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Covers the cost of a three-credit hour externship course (to be completed in 1L summer), plus funds to assist with living expenses during this time period </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Scholarships for Upper-level Students <ul><li>Provided to students who excel in the 1L year (after 29 credit hours) </li></ul><ul><li>Awards are provided automatically after grades become available in June </li></ul><ul><li>Award Criteria and amounts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1L GPA of 3.60 to 3.69 = half tuition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1L GPA of 3.70 to 3.79 = three quarters of tuition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1L GPA of 3.80 and higher = 100% of tuition </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>42% of domestic students are from Michigan </li></ul><ul><li>Students are drawn from 36 states and six nations </li></ul><ul><li>Other states with 13 or more students: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NY (18) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IL (17) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FL (14) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CA (13) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>164 undergraduate colleges are represented </li></ul><ul><li>1 st and 2 nd Feeder colleges: MSU (40); U of M (23) </li></ul>Class Profile
  38. 38. MSU Law In Brief <ul><li>100-plus year tradition of educating lawyers </li></ul><ul><li>Student body of ~840 students drawn from 40 states </li></ul><ul><li>First-year class of four sections of ~70 students </li></ul><ul><li>Private Law College integrated into a Big 10 University </li></ul>
  39. 39. Curriculum Highlights <ul><li>88 credit hours are required to graduate </li></ul><ul><li>6 Law Clinics </li></ul><ul><li>Spring Semester in Washington, DC </li></ul><ul><li>Summer Study Abroad </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Canada and Mexico </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Joint JD/LLB </li></ul><ul><li>Dual-degree programs </li></ul><ul><li>Externships </li></ul>
  40. 40. JD Required Curriculum <ul><li>Civil Procedure I 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Procedure II 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Constitutional Law I 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Constitutional Law II 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Contracts I 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Contracts II 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal Law 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Professional </li></ul><ul><li>Responsibility 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Property 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Research Writing </li></ul><ul><li>& Advocacy I 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Research Writing & </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy II 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Torts 4 </li></ul><ul><li>TOTAL 40 </li></ul>
  41. 41. Areas of Focus <ul><li>Alternative Dispute Resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Law </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal Law </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental & Natural Resources Law </li></ul><ul><li>Family Law </li></ul><ul><li>Health Law </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual Property and Communications Law </li></ul><ul><li>International and Comparative Law </li></ul><ul><li>Public Law and Regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Taxation Law </li></ul>
  42. 42. Certificate Programs <ul><li>Indigenous Law </li></ul><ul><li>Trial Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Child and Family Advocacy </li></ul>
  43. 43. Employment Employment Rates for Recent Graduating Classes
  44. 44. MSU Law Employment Information Employment By State – 2009 Graduating Class Alaska 1 Nevada 4 New Zealand 1 Arizona 2 New Hampshire 1 California 3 New Jersey 7 Colorado 3 New Mexico 1 Delaware 1 New York 5 District of Columbia 11 North Carolina 4 Florida 5 Ohio 5 Georgia 6 Pennsylvania 4 Illinois 16 Tennessee 1 Indiana 3 Texas 5 Louisiana 1 Utah 1 Maryland 1 Virginia 3 Massachusetts 2 Washington 1 Michigan 133 Wisconsin 1 Missouri 2 Canada 11
  45. 45. Bar Results - Michigan
  46. 46. MSU Law Employment Information
  47. 47. Costs for 2010/11 <ul><li>Tuition for 29 Credit Hours: $33,785 </li></ul><ul><li>Fees: 230 </li></ul><ul><li>Living Expenses (up to): $15,500 </li></ul>
  48. 48. Upcoming Programs <ul><li>Get Ready for the Law : Friday, September 17, (10:30 to 3:30, at the Law College) </li></ul><ul><li>LSAT 101 : Tuesday, Sept. 21 (7:30 to 8:15 p.m., online) </li></ul><ul><li>Online Chat : Thursday, Sept. 23 (8:00 to 9:00 pm.) </li></ul><ul><li>Expert Advice for Preparing Your Law School Application : Thursday, October 7 (7:30 to 8:15 p.m., online) </li></ul><ul><li>Information Receptions : Oct. 21 (Ann Arbor), Nov. 10 (East Lansing), Nov. 11 (Detroit) </li></ul><ul><li>Career Options and Market Outlook : Thursday, November 4 (7:30 to 8:15, online) </li></ul>
  49. 49. An Inside Look at the Law School Admission Process and Suggestions as You Plan for Law School Charles Roboski, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid