How Law Schools Determine Who to Admit: Inside the Admissions Process of Law Schools

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Summary: Applying to law school can be a daunting task, but this article eliminates some of the confusion and sheds light on the admission process.
How Law Schools Determine Who to Admit Inside the Admissions Process of Law Schools

After you have done everything you possibly can to prepare yourself—you've carefully examined your own motivation in going to law school; you've assessed first yourself and then the schools; you've selected a handful of schools to which you have now applied for admission, and perhaps for financial aid as well—there is nothing to do but sit back and wait for a response.

It helps, however, to know just what is going on back there in the admission office, where some nameless person is reading your application file along with the files of hundreds or perhaps thousands of others. What is he or she thinking? How will these readers arrive at a decision? Who are these people, anyway?

Who Makes Admission Decisions?

Each school handles the admission process just a bit differently.

At many schools the director of admission is a nonfaculty member who represents the admission office in an administrative capacity. In such cases, the director of admission may not be a voting member of the admission committee. In other cases, the director of admission can automatically admit candidates with exceptional credentials at his or her discretion. Less commonly, the director of admission is authorized to deny applicants whose credentials clearly fall below the standards of the law school.

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