Kaplan Test Prep’s 2010 Survey of Law School Admissions Officers

The results of Kaplan’s annual survey of law school admissions officers shows that many aspiring lawyers need to be more careful about who they call as their own character witnesses for their law school recommendations. According to our 2010 survey – conducted by phone in July and August and including 145 law schools across the United States – 87% say they have received a negative letter of recommendation about an applicant. According to the survey, 15% report that a poor letter of recommendation is actually the biggest application killer.   To view a PDF version of the survey results, click here.   Some key findings are below:

Which would you say is the most important factor in the law school admissions process?  

LSAT score: 64%
Undergraduate GPA:  23%
Personal statement: 12%
Letters of recommendation: 1%

Which would you most consider to be an application killer?

A low LSAT score: 33%
A poorly written personal statement: 38%
Poor letters of recommendation: 15%
A low undergraduate GPA: 14%

To what degree does your law school’s ranking play a role in student recruitment efforts?

No degree at all: 46%
Not a very significant degree: 22%
Somewhat significant degree: 27%
Very significant degree: 4%

Regardless of where your school stands, do you think the process of ranking law schools is generally fair or generally unfair?

Generally unfair: 80%
Generally fair: 20%

Have you ever received a negative letter of recommendation submitted by an applicant?

Yes:  87%
No:   13%