Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Our Admissions team compiled the five most frequently asked admissions questions that we receive when prospective clients call in for their free initial consultation. We’ve skipped over presenting the questions and jumped straight to the answers below:
1. Applying to law school takes time.
We recommend setting aside three hours to complete each application.
Applying to law school isn’t something you can decide to do a week before law school deadlines. For one, you’ll need to take the LSAT and ensure that you can get your score sent to your law schools by the application deadline—which takes a few months if you are focused and engaged in a tutoring or test prep program. You’ll also need to prepare your application for each school through LSAC’s CAS system, and each application will require you to include letters of recommendation from professors and employers, a resume, undergraduate transcripts, personal and diversity statements, and assertions regarding your character and fitness for the legal profession. So, set time for yourself to complete each of the tasks. Calendar your time to study, reach out early to professors and your school for letters of recommendation and transcripts, and complete all of your essay requirements.
If you need help with your personal statement, you can purchase Shana’s How to Write a Unique Personal Statement ebook here. It's chock full of sample introduction paragraphs and teaches you Shana’s five-part strategy for brainstorming and developing your essay topics.
2. Disability Testing Accommodations on the LSAT are confidential.
Your law school will not know that you are testing with accommodations unless you tell them.
The big question I am asked about disability accommodations is: “Will my law school find out that I tested with accommodations?” The short answer is: No. Not unless you tell them. [You can read more about LSAT Accommodations at our blog “Why You Should Apply for LSAT Accommodations (if you’re eligible)].
So, is it wise to reveal your disability in your application for law school?
Some students have disabilities that can affect cognition, and that’s not necessarily something you want to draw admissions officers‘ attention to in your application, especially when you could instead be impressing them with your aspirations or your leadership goals in law school. On the other hand, sharing an important part of yourself that compels you towards law school or a particular type of advocacy can make for a compelling statement. It can also be bold, honest, and often rewarding.
I recommend a simple test to determine whether to reveal a disability or not:
Ask yourself, if my writing professor went around the room on day one of law school and asked us all to speak about what we wrote in our application, would I feel comfortable speaking about my disability? If so, be bold! If not, exercise caution and determine when it is most appropriate to reveal private aspects of your medical or health challenges—such as requesting accommodations in law school through your school’s disability services.
3. You can get into a top law school with a “low” GPA or LSAT score.
Students with LSAT scores at 160 and below get into top law schools every year.
While many prospective law students can get inundated with the flood of fear-based information out there about how hard it is to get into a top school, I discourage my students from doing so. Instead, we look at the ABA 509 Disclosures—the required annual data published by all law schools that shows the average GPA, LSAT score, and scholarship awards offered to students in the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles of every 1L class. For example, in 2019, Georgetown University disclosures indicate that there were 573 enrolled students that year, of which 55 were in their part-time program. Among those part-time students, 25% of them had an average LSAT score of 160 and an average GPA of 3.36.
It goes without saying that if the 25th percentile had an average LSAT score of a 160, then at least 1 student that was accepted into Georgetown had an LSAT score in the 150s.
Who says that student can’t be you?
The numbers above are actual GPA, LSAT score, and scholarship award data from Ben B., one of our Ginsburg graduates. We couldn't be prouder of him.
4. A DWI does not ruin your chances of getting into law school.
I’ve worked with hundreds of students on their law school applications. Most students do not have clean records. From speeding and reckless driving tickets to underage drinking infractions, the only thing all law students have in common is the fear that prior bad or illegal behavior makes law school a deal-breaker. It does not. They all ended up getting accepted into law schools. This isn't the first time we've addressed this issue in our blog-- in fact, we mentioned in a blog earlier this year that Tulane University admitted a convicted murderer into their program.
Just remember that the important thing is to be honest in your representations, reveal the details of your infractions—no more and no less than what is required—and show that you, today, as a future member of the legal profession, know that laws are not meant to be broken.
5. Never forget your purpose.
Don’t hesitate to be authentic and focus on your goals, especially if that means staying off social media for a few weeks so you can hear yourself think. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the thoughts and wisdom of others- especially if you frequent Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit looking for advice. Instead, get knee-deep in the CAS system itself, set a schedule for getting all of your applications done, and start getting application elements checked off your to-do list today!
If you need assistance with your applications, we are here to help. Schedule your free 15-minute phone consultation with Shana Ginsburg, Esq. here.