Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fluctuations in Law School Rankings

William and Mary offers a good example of how a law school as a whole doesn't change from year to year, but it's ranking in US News fluctuates. I offer this to prove a point - if you choose a school because it's 26th, rather than going to one that is 35th, you may end up disappointed in your reasoning rather quickly. (William and Mary has been through the ringer with its leadership of late and yet climbed in the ranking?)

I know my readers have been waiting for my overall analysis of this year's rankings - I am working on it and will post this week.

Friday, March 28, 2008

U.S. News Mentions AIGAC Admission Counselors

U.S. News mentioned that Admission Consultants with membership in AIGAC provide assistance to applicants in an ethical manner. I'm proud to be one of 40 members of this group!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Deciding to Apply to Law School?

Here are 2 more posts I came across today:
U.S. News provided some insight into salary and specialization trends.
Here is one George Washington University Law student's take on the important considerations in rankings.

More About the Law School Rankings

As you know, I've done quite a bit of blogging on both the productive and detrimental reliance of law school applicants (and of the law schools themselves) on the U.S. News Rankings. As you know, the 2009 results have leaked. Here are two good postings you should read to help take the rankings with a grain of salt. The US News rankings are only useful in the appropriate context, so this information is vital to law school applicants:

  • Information about Bar Passage rates as an ingredient in the rankings.
  • For an example of how one ingredient (UGPA) is unlikely to change the worthiness of an entire law school.
I'm happy to answer any questions and to entertain comments on this. The magazines will be released tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

2009 US News Rankings Leaked Early!

Thanks to Daniel Filler, Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at Drexel University College of Law (and fellow law school issue blogger) for pointing out to me that the US News Rankings have been leaked a bit early. (They are due in print on Friday).
Not sure how a law school can change so much that it jumps from #8 to #6 in one year but no one doubts that Berkeley is a law school to be reckoned with. This will definitely impact Fall 2008 law school applicants as deposit deadlines loom. Talk about timing!
I know I have clients who will change their minds over this little jump. I also have clients that will probably decide not to transfer from Berkeley to a higher-up nearby based on this new release. That's a lot of power for a little magazine....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thinking About Multiple Seat Deposits?

If you've been admitted to law school for Fall 2008, you probably have a seat deposit due April 1 or April 15. The complication, of course, is you may be one of the many law school applicants waiting to hear from other schools and you probably don't feel ready to make a commitment to one school without knowing what your other options might be.

The most common question is whether an applicant can submit a deposit to more than one law school. The answer to this question has changed in the last year thanks to a new LSAC policy.
Here is what LSAC says:

Seat Deposits

Many law schools use seat deposits to help keep track of their new classes. For example, a typical fee is $200, which is credited to your first-term tuition if you actually register at the school; if you don’t register, the deposit may be forfeited or partially returned. A school may require a larger deposit around July 1, which is also credited to tuition. If you decline the offer of admission after you’ve paid your deposit, a portion of the money may be refunded, depending on the date you actually decline the offer. At some schools, you may not be refunded any of the deposit.

The official position of the Law School Admission Council is:

Except under early decision plans, no law school should require an enrollment commitment of any kind, binding or non-binding, to an offer of admission or scholarship prior to April 1. Admitted applicants who have submitted a timely financial aid application should not be required to commit to enroll by having to make a nonrefundable financial commitment until notified of financial aid awards that are within the control of the law school.

Multiple Deposit Notification

Each year, LSAC provides participating law schools with periodic reports detailing the number of applicants who have submitted seat deposits or commitments at other participating schools, along with identification of those other schools. Beginning June 15, 2008, those reports will also include the names and LSAC account numbers for all candidates who have deposits/commitments at multiple participating schools.


Be smart and ask each law school about their policy on multiple deposits. (NYLS has been kind enough to send a threatening e-mail about this to some of my clients this year). If a school says they will not penalize you for multiple deposits, then great. If they say they might revoke your offer of admission then that will definitely impact your decision.

I'd love to hear comments from applicants who are navigating these unchartered waters....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Getting Ready for the June LSAT

Here's a nice reminder post that we're within 3 months of the June 2008 LSAT.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Transfer Applicants: Get Started Now!

It's that time of year for 1Ls to start the transfer process. If you've earned good grades as a 1L and would like to attend a different law school, now is the time to compile deadlines, get your letters of rec in line (ask professors now before everyone else does!) and start the process.
Here are some previous posts about law school transfer applications and transfer admissions.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

How to Spend the Summer Before Law School

A great post about how to spend your 0L summer.

A Crazy Year for Wait Lists, Deferrals & Holds

As I noted in a previous post, there have been some strange admission trends this year. Schools are waitlisting like crazy, and using "deferrals" and "holds" more than I've seen in the past 5 years. Here are some examples:

As I've said before, American is one of these schools (consistently waitlisting high 150s LSAT applicants this year).

University of Miami is among those issuing more "hold" decisions (or non-decisions) than usual.

Fordham's waitlist is usually a long one, and this year is no exception. The good news is that people have gotten into this school off the waitlist in the past. However, by the time they get around to it, most applicants are so happy with their scholarships from Cardozo or Brooklyn that they don't want to make the jump.

What does this mean for applicants? Don't be scared to send in a deposit to more than one school while you wait for some of the more lazy schools that haven't made an official decision on your file.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

U.S. News Rankings To Be Released This Month

See this funny faculty post on the upcoming release of US News and World Report's Law School Rankings.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Racial Inequity in Legal Education

I saw this interesting article today addressing the performance of African American students in law school.