November 11, 2009
As I’ve mentioned in earlier entries, the Admissions Committee takes into consideration every element when reviewing your application: LSAT, undergraduate and graduate GPA and transcripts, letters of recommendation, resume, work experience, life experience, personal statement and addendum (should you have needed to write one).
I tell my clients right up front that I cannot and will not guarantee that they will be accepted to a specific law school, nor will I guarantee that they won’t be accepted to a specific school. I do not have the advantage of serving on the Admissions Committee and being able to read your application along with the other thousands that have been received for the upcoming year.
In researching law schools, you noticed that each school indicates a range of LSAT scores and a range of GPAs for accepted students. This range covers the 25th – 75th percentiles, which means the school also accepts above the range and below the range:
- Should your LSAT and GPA fall way above both ranges, I’d say that you have a very, very strong chance of being accepted. As your consultant, I would not guarantee your acceptance because maybe there is something else going on in your application that I’m not aware of, something you haven’t shared with me. However, the odds are very much in your favor.
- Should your LSAT and GPA fall way below both ranges, as your consultant, I would tell you that it’s going to be an uphill challenge to get in. However, maybe there’s some other aspect of your file that you haven’t shared with me that particularly attracts the attention of the Admissions Committee.
- Should your LSAT and GPA fall solidly within the middle or near the top end of the ranges, once again, you have a solid chance of being accepted.
- Should your LSAT and/or GPA fall at the lower end or just below the 25th percentile, then the Admissions Committee looks for some other aspect of your application to help compensate for the lower LSAT/GPA. If one isn’t as competitive, they look for the other to be more competitive.
Which brings me to the three decisions awarded by the Admissions Committee:
- Deferral or waitlisted. The Admissions Committee has fully reviewed your application and determined that there are some aspects of your application that are exactly what they’re looking for, and yet, there are other aspects that are not quite as competitive. They are unable to accept you at this time, but they also do not wish to turn you away. As a result, you could be waitlisted or receive a defer decision – both of which mean that a final &yes& or &no& will be determined at a later date, possibly in two weeks, in a month, or two months from now.
As you are learning, applying to law school is very much a hurry-up-and-wait process. You exert much effort in a short amount of time to take the LSAT, request your letters of recommendation, craft your personal essay, and submit your application. Now comes the hard part…calling upon your patience as you wait to learn one of the three decisions above.