I correspond with applicants numerous times every day — with clients, friends of friends, via email, in private message on top-law-schools.com, twitter, one even sent me a postcard from China. Over time I have noticed some trends: namely that these people are really savvy about the state of the legal employment market, technologically much more sophisticated than I am, are pretty realistic that their legal career begins now (and not upon entry to or graduation from law school, this is a big decision!)…AND…are to various degrees are overwhelmed by the law school admission process.
I get this, I’ve been talking to hundreds, if not thousands, of prospective students a year who have been similarly freaked out. So while the anxiety hasn’t much changed, the myths around admissions and the mistakes people make has. Thirteen years ago, I did not know one of the biggest mistakes was the number of handwritten and incomplete applications law schools get. The handwritten, dysgraphic and illegible at times, meant the application could not be read, and we would have to ask them to send us a typed version. The incomplete came from the fact they could submit in any form, versus online where they were not allowed to submit an incomplete application. The number of applicants who would leave the “Character & Fitness” portion blank was exceptionally high, and again we in admissions would have to contact each applicant (by phone) and ask them to divulge whatever infractions they may have (violating the prohibition laws of the time, horse wrangling, etc, etc.)
Jump in your DeLorean DMC 12 (I guarantee John DeLorean would still leave the character & fitness section blank), fire up your flux capacitor, and the mistakes applicants make are often different (heck mistake #1 almost could not have existed 10 years ago…I’ll get to that in a few days). So, over the next week or so I, with the help of some friends in admissions who have suggested and fact checked these, will be counting down the top 10 mistakes that applicants have been making this year. I will update this post when each mistake is revealed so there is a quick list of the 10.
Not so top 10—( hint…you don’t want to do these)
10. The “Dyson Effect”