I know what you’re thinking when you see that event listing for another visit from a law school admissions rep:
“I’m not really interested in that school.”
Or maybe, “I already visited the law school, so why do I need to talk to this rep?”
Or even, “They’re just trying to market their school—it won’t be of interest to me.”
Here’s why you’re wrong: there’s always good information to be gained from meeting one-on-one or in a small group with an admissions official. Yes, they’re definitely here to market their school and increase the number of applications they receive. But they’re rarely just narrowly focused on that. They don’t want to just increase the volume of applications but also the quality of those applications, and from their perspective, that means ensuring both that you put together the best application possible, but also that there’s truly a good fit between you and their school. What does this mean in terms of concrete benefits from meeting with law school reps?
- Expert tips on compiling your application, including personal statements and other essays: These folks read thousands of applications each year. They know what admissions committee members are looking for, and what turns them off. They want to share that info with you.
- Law School 201 info about their school. There’s only so much you can learn from official visits and websites. Admissions officials in small group settings can answer your questions in more detail, often providing way more insight about their school than you’d otherwise find out. And they’ll generally be super honest about it—they don’t want unhappy law students, because those students then transfer out (or drop out!) and high attrition rates are not a good look.
- Comparison info with other schools. Many (most?) admissions officials have worked at more than one school. Often they can provide comparative information that can be helpful to you in your decision-making process. Also, hearing how various schools present themselves can help you differentiate among a wider group of schools.
- Fee waivers. This application process is expensive enough. If you can save $60 – $90 here or there on a fee waiver, it’s totally worth an hour of your time.
- Face time. If it’s a school you ARE thinking of applying to, the one-on-one time with the admissions official can offer an incredibly useful opportunity to sell yourself. Impress them with thoughtful questions and professional demeanor! Wow them with your determination and commitment! Show them in person what your essays can never do—what a friendly and personable individual you are, someone they’ll want to see in their law school corridors for the next three years.
- A friendly half hour. Traveling admissions officials are some of the nicest people you’ll meet. Truly. Maybe only prelaw advisors are nicer to hang out with for an hour during this whole law school application process.
So, juniors and seniors especially (and alums, remember you’re always welcome!), I expect to see you crowding these events when admissions counselors visit. Check out our events listing here, and add yourself to the prelaw mailing list to make sure you always know who’s coming when.