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LSAT Medians Coming Down

Following up on my earlier post here on falling bar exam passage rates (“Sure You Want to go to Law School”?), I thought I would pass along some information I got today about falling LSAT medians, which the author identifies as one of the causes.




I have known about falling LSAT medians for quite some time, and have used them as a basis to advise clients to be more ambitious about where they apply, but the two charts in that author’s post shocked even me. I dug out some ’08 numbers and compared them to current ones and although the top schools’ medians are down only a hair, when you get down below T20 or T25, the drop off is significant.


This is good news for those looking at less prestigious schools, of course, and certainly for those who might not otherwise get admitted anywhere, but do watch out for the “siren song” element of this phenomenon, which I addressed in my earlier post. Especially for this latter group, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.


Dan Sullivan

Sullivan Law School Admissions Consulting LLC



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The Prestige of Your College (Part II)

Does the Prestige of Your College Affect Your Chances of Admission to Law School? (Part II)


I tried to show in Part I of this post that if you went to Harvard, Princeton or Yale as an undergraduate, your chances as an applicant to law school are greatly improved by the prestige of that name.  If you went to one of the other schools among, say, the top 50 colleges and universities, your chances are improved, until too many of your classmates apply to a particular law school, and then they’re not.  In fact, I would posit that informal quotas applied at law schools would eventually make an otherwise prestigious name a liability.  But what if your school is not in the top 50?  Can the relative lack of prestige in your college’s name hurt you from the get go?  Yes, in a way that should shock you; and no in a way that will shock you, in that it can actually help you, and help you a lot.


I don’t want to offend anyone by naming some of the schools in this group, but you know which schools they are.  They are household names, but nobody confuses them with, say, Yale.  They’re the kind of schools where if your mother told the nice old lady from your neighborhood that you go there, she would reply “well, isn’t that nice … good for him,” whereas if your mother told her you go to Yale, she would reply “what??!! … how did that little s**t get into Yale??”


Becoming something of a snob is an occupational hazard for people in the business of judging and evaluating others, so it should come as no surprise that your less prestigious undergraduate institution lends your law school application a sort of “ughh” factor to law school admissions directors.  That’s not a good start for your application adventure.  In addition, most law schools keep an informal history on students from your college who went to their law school, and try to imagine how you would do there compared to how those other alums did.  You better hope they didn’t drop out.  But all that’s the good news.  The bad news is that the LSDAS calculates the median LSAT score for your college, i.e., your score and that of each of your college classmates who took the LSAT (yes, even those of your classmates who didn’t score high enough to bother applying) are used to produce an Ughh College median LSAT score.  Using this as a measure of how smart the students at your college are, and so how competitive the grading there must be, law schools plug it and your GPA into a formula that operates literally to reduce your GPA so that it can be more properly compared to those of students from more prestigious schools.  That’s right, you get hurt, and mathematically! Ouch.


No problem though. All you have to do is be the absolute best, #1, applicant from your college to apply to a particular law school in a given year. As I pointed out in Part I, law schools love to brag about how many colleges and universities are represented at their schools, but in order to do that and still accommodate all the applicants from the prestigious schools, they admit one, and only one, representative of each of the less prestigious schools at one time.  You must be, in all other respects, very well qualified for admission, of course, but if you are the highest ranked applicant from your college (which usually means, among other things, the highest LSAT score); your numbers are at least above, if not significantly above, the medians at that law school; and there is no one from your college who is currently a 1L or a 2L at that law school, then you might has well have gone to Harvard, Princeton or Yale, because you are golden. You will actually benefit from having gone to the less prestigious school.


But watch out.  With permission from the client, I’ll explain how this phenomenon works through an actual series of events.  Several years ago, I had a client who was a student at a less prestigious school.  He came back in the fall of his senior year having that summer gotten the highest LSAT score in his college’s history.  (That happens. These colleges don’t see super high LSAT scores very often.  In fact, years can go by without a single 170+ in entire classes.) Anyway, my client was well above that number, and with his sky high GPA was certain of admission to Harvard Law, his dream school. And he was right.  Until he wasn’t.  Sometime in October, he bumped into a classmate, and they spent a few minutes catching up.  This classmate was a chemistry guy, and one of those types who was a certified genius at age 2 or something.  No one could figure out why he was at that school and not at MIT, and he seemed destined to get a PhD and just be a mad scientist.  But it turns out Mr. Spock got it in his head to be a lawyer, and had taken the LSAT that summer.  He beat my client by 2 points.  And, yes, he wanted to go to Harvard Law School.


The only thing to do in this instance is to get your application in as soon as possible and hope to get a positive decision out of the school before it even hears about the other guy.  My client’s score was high enough that Harvard probably would have admitted him immediately rather than waitlist him to see if someone “better” from his college came along, thinking no one would get a higher LSAT score from there; but this other guy was smart, and he got his applications in early too.  He got admitted to Harvard so fast I think his application and the acceptance letter crossed in the mail.  My client got rejected shortly thereafter.  I advised my client to talk this guy into withdrawing his other applications so that my client wouldn’t get similarly closed out at every other school (!). He succeeded, and shortly thereafter, my client got in everywhere else he had applied.  He happily went to … a better law school than Harvard!


Life’s a funny old dog.  So’s law school admissions.


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The Prestige of Your College (Part I)

Does the Prestige of Your College Affect Your Chances of Admission to Law School? (Part I)


Of course it does in the sense that someone who attends a prestigious college had vital signs coming out of high school that were pretty prestigious themselves, and so probably put up some pretty prestigious  numbers in college as well.  But what about as a stand-alone factor, i.e., in the sense that two applicants with equal numbers would be treated differently because one went to a more prestigious college?


Law schools appear to want you to think not.  Each appears to dismiss the issue with braggadocio along the lines of “our student body represents 127 different colleges and universities, 47 different states, 24 different countries and 3 different planets.”  I guess they don’t want to appear too judgmental, having already subjected each applicant to a full body CAT scan to test for actual desirability.


I think otherwise.  There’s an old saying:  “there are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics.”  You don’t have to look too far under that “127 colleges” statistic to prove that.  Some schools will list the schools represented alongside the number of students from each school.  I guess they don’t expect you to look at it.  Do. You will see that only, say, 27 will have more than one “representative” and the other 100 each sent only one lucky person.  Again, that can be explained with a sort of “quality will out,” and that’s true broadly speaking, but why does Harvard have three times as many students there as, say, Penn? Are they that much better?  Are they really any better? Of course not.  Yes, Harvard grads are brilliant, but Penn students are the valedictorian twin 800s who got turned down at Harvard undergrad only because they weren’t children of alums, or they weren’t born in Dubai and raised in Alabama. (OK, or they didn’t invent the wheel.)


I can add anecdotal evidence here.  (It’s 30 years old, but according to quite a few of my former clients turned moles currently at law schools out there, it’s still accurate.)  In the University of Chicago Law School’s class of ’86, fully one-third – that’s 33% – went to Harvard, Princeton or Yale.  That’s it: 60 students in a class of 180 went to 3 schools.  The next third went to the other 5 ivy league schools and the 10 or so schools considered their equivalent; the next quarter went to slightly less prestigious household names, places like Notre Dame and UVA;  and the “bottom” tenth dropped off the charts and went to “WTF are they doing here” schools (that’s where the law schools get to pump up that statistic to 127 – more about what to do if you’re in this group in part two of this post).


So, what do you do if your school is in the second third or that quarter? Get your application in early.  What this analysis means, as a very practical matter, is that applicants from schools in these groups are, I believe, actually competing against their classmates for the spots, in a kind of informal quota, that a particular law school sets aside for your particular college.  It might have 10 spots for Penn (sorry to pick on you Penn!) with an expectation of yielding 5 or 6.  If you’re the 11th qualified applicant from Penn to get your application into the “to be adjudicated now” pile, you better have something better than your 10 lucky classmates had.  Of course they’ll still waive you in if you have a 178, but perhaps not if you have only what the median was for those 10.  So be one of those 10!


And what do you do if you went to Harvard, Princeton or Yale?  Well, if you want to go to Harvard Law or Yale Law, you had better get your application in early also.  I’m sure that either school could fill its class solely from among your ranks, but neither of them would even think of doing that.  As a result, at some point they have to say, “no more.”  Get your application in after that point at your peril.  As to all of the other law schools, relax, you could get your application in a month late and you’ll still be fine. (I’m kidding. Sort of.)


P.S.  I realize that this analysis focuses on applicants to top law schools, even just the top 5 law schools, but it can be applied to all spots in the rankings.  As you move down the rankings of law schools, every school favors some colleges over others.  I mean, eventually they run out of applicants from Harvard, Princeton and Yale, right? Eventually, your college will be a can-do-no-wrong school for a particular law school.


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Sure You Want to go to Law School? Bar Passage Rates and Placement

One of the services I provide to clients who want it is advice on whether to even try to get admitted to law school. In other words, is law school for you?  Given the condition of the legal market, the increasing costs of law school and the recent lowering of admission standards to attract more law students, whether one should go to law school at all has become a hot topic.


Two recent articles address this very issue. The first, in U.S. News & World Report, is entitled “Understand What Law School Bar Passage Rates Mean For Applicants.”  It suggests that before one consider a particular school, one examine the school’s bar passage rate.  I am quoted in the article at some length. The second, in The New York Times, is entitled “Study Cites Lower Standards in Law School Admissions.” It explores the potential of unemployment for some law school graduates who entered law school under easing standards but never had the skill ultimately to pass the bar exam or to gain employment in a law-related job.


The issue for these authors then, put less politely than I did in my opening sentences, is are you really right for law school? The authors, alas, are correct: you can get admitted to law school today, and graduate, without any hope of passing the bar exam or finding meaningful employment. In those cases, you shouldn’t go.


The Times put its finger on (actually in the eye of) those cases: you should not go if you scored less than 150 on the LSAT.  They’re right (actually my red flag point is the LSAT median, which is usually about 151 or 152).  If you are not among the top 50% of those taking the LSAT then statistically you are probably ill-equipped to undergo the rigors of law school, pass the bar exam, and get a job in a very tight legal market — but not too ill-equipped to get admitted in the first place, which is the very problem. You are at that point very much in a “rock-meet-hard-place” situation. Forget law school.  Instead, go be someone that lawyers work for!


By the way, there’s no shame in not getting in the top 50% on the LSAT. Remember, like the SAT, the LSAT measures your ability not in relation to some standard, but as compared on a curve with all others taking the test.  With the SAT, that meant every 17 year old with a pulse.  With the LSAT, you are measured only against that small subset of those that took the SAT who did well enough to get admitted to college, and probably to a very good one, and then did well enough in that college that they thought it a serious possibility that they could get admitted to law school.  I hate to sound elitist, but that’s an elite group! If it’s any consolation, congratulations on being one of their number.

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Medians for the Class of 2018


The indispensable top-law-schools.com has just published the median LSAT scores and GPAs for the class of 2018, i.e., the students entering law school this fall.  There are no big surprises, but I like to work with the most recent numbers, and I am sure you do as well, so I thought I would pass them along.  Enjoy:


New Medians

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What to expect when you’re expecting…

…to begin law school, that is.  Congratulations to my clients who are about to start law school in the next several weeks.  We had a great season here at SLSAC, and every client from the past season will soon begin at a law school to which they are – as they should be – proud to have been admitted.  As I do every year at this time, I write (OK, I copy from last year) a piece with advice just for these now former clients as they begin law school.  As to the new clients out there, stop reading.  You’ll see this next year.


First, get in shape.  Physical stamina is as important as intellectual ability in law school, as you will see, so start exercising.  Even if you just walk for thirty minutes a day, that will do, and if you keep it up through the fall, it will do wonders to clear your head and relieve stress.


Second, don’t be overwhelmed by your classmates.  Your first full day at law school will include a period when you are thrown into the pool with your classmates.  It will be sort of your first grown-up cocktail party.  Now I don’t care how humble or modest you are, admit it, you haven’t met more than 7 or 8 people in your life who are as smart or accomplished or smarter or more accomplished than you think you are.  Well, join the party.  You are, at this gathering, going to meet HUNDREDS of people just like you.  EVERYONE you meet will be as smart or as accomplished or smarter or more accomplished than you, and the nightmare is that no matter how humble or modest you are, you’ll realize it.  It’s like they have all been here, all the time, just waiting for you, just to rub it in your face.  At my “cocktail party” at the University of Chicago, a Dartmouth summa said as he was shaking my hand “if you’re as impressive as the last 3 guys I met, I’m leaving.” (He left.  OK, three years later, and with a degree, but he left.) Don’t be intimidated.  If you are among them, believe me, you deserve to be among them.  Keep your cool.  Keep your head down.  Focus on your work.


Finally, after the first 2 or 3 weeks of craziness in class, where concepts seem to be coming out of nowhere, and making sense of it all is a distant memory, do this: go to the library and ask for last year’s exams and exam answers in each of your classes. Go to a quiet place for several hours and go through them.  Look at them.  Guess what.  THAT’S IT.  That exam and that exam answer are what all this craziness is about.  There is no class participation, no paper, no quiz, no midterm, no nothing.  Just an exam like this and an answer like that.  Use the experience to reorient yourself as you go back to class and to your studies.  Just getting an answer like that onto a piece of paper is all that this is about.  (It might also behoove you to remember the answer.  I know the question will be different when you get it, but the way the A+ last year described causation on his tort exam was probably the right way.)


Good luck to you all, and thank you for using SLSAC.  It was a pleasure working with you, and if you need help during the coming year, please don’t hesitate to call me.


Dan Sullivan

Sullivan Law School Admissions Consulting

(781) 862-0701


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Still Waiting?

If you’re not one of the lucky few who got admitted directly to a top school, or who got in off a wait list right after deposit deadline season (whom I don’t consider true waitlisted applicants but rather admitted students whose admittance was decided but held in abeyance as a sort of insurance policy against a wildly high yield), AND you were properly advised on where to apply, then you are probably on a wait list at a school one gradation better than the school or schools to which you were admitted outright.  This post is for you.


To begin with, don’t despair. Unlike college wait lists, law school wait lists are very real, and hundreds of applicants each season get into a better law school than they initially did. Remember who you are: you’re not among millions of high school students looking at thousands of colleges with dozens of different reasons for wanting a particular school. You are among a relatively small number of people looking at seven or eight schools with one reason for wanting a particular school:  it’s higher up the rankings than the one you’re going to go to now.  And most of you got into more schools than you can go to.  Everyone who got into Yale got into Harvard, and lots who got into Harvard got into Yale, yet all of them can go only to one.  Come July and August, applicants are going to really finalize their plans and things will start to get very fluid.  An opening will be created at, say, Harvard, and someone will get in off its wait list.  Then someone will get offered that person’s newly created opening at, say, Stanford, and on and on, cascading down the rankings.  In short, a law school wait list is not death row.


Let me tell you how to make it more like … well … purgatory.  Begin by understanding how wait lists like this – the drip-drip-drip wait lists that move slowly through the late spring and summer – work, from a very, very practical viewpoint.  It’s July 17.  9:12 a.m. It’s hot out; really hot out.  The Dean of Admissions lumbers in with a coffee in one hand and a New York Times in the other.  He is greeted by a colleague who informs him that Accepted Applicant A has just withdrawn from the incoming class because she got in off the wait list at another school.  He is not going to sit down and start sifting through the files of waitlisted applicants.  Instead, he immediately thinks of Waitlisted Applicant B.  You want to BE Waitlisted Applicant B.  The only way to BECOME Waitlisted Applicant B is to spend your spring and summer keeping your waitlisted file out of the cobwebs.



What you need to do is send in, throughout the period, a series of Letters of Continuing Interest (“LOCIs”).  First, send a letter simply expressing, well, CI. I advise clients to include in this first letter an expression of thanks for having honored you by placing you on the wait list. The Dean will not get those from many people, and it’s nice for him to see that you will not be a bruised ego who goes around for three years with a chip on her shoulders—or a bitter alumnus (they’ll wind up with enough of those; there’s no reason to start creating them at this point). Believe me, these people think that they’ve honored you, and they’re right. Don’t grovel, but do thank.  Then, in a second LOCI, include any information you were asked in your wait list letter to add to your file.  And go ahead, have another recommendation letter sent; you probably can’t cover it with an LOCI, but it will get your name seen and your file opened.   Then send in additional LOCIs to inform the Dean of your final semester grades, any significant awards you get, and of the great things that happen to you during the summer, etc.  Each time, at least tell him of your CI in his school, and, if you mean it, go so far as to tell him (and only ONE him, by the way) that you will accept if he offers you admission. He will not want to wade through ten waitlisted people in late August before he finally finds someone to accept the offer.


A few warnings about LOCIs.  First, don’t overdo it.  We’re talking about keeping your file out of the cobwebs, not carpet bombing the admissions office. You want to be Waitlisted Applicant B, not Pain-in-the-Ass Applicant B.  Second, one way to limit yourself is to avoid subsequent LOCIs with nothing in them but more CI. Subsequent LOCIs with nothing in them but more CI look more like LOWTFs!  So after your first LOCI, which can contain little more than CI, subsequent LOCIs must traffic in goods, and good goods, not just that you got a new car. Finally, do not revisit—and, God forbid, do not relitigate—your application. The only things you should raise at this point are things not already in there, like your final semester’s grades.


At this point send everything to the Dean of Admissions directly and by name.  Don’t send it to the admissions committee, or to some professor who is on the committee, or to “some guy” you met in the admissions office.  At most schools, at this point in the process, you will be passed those people; they are no longer deciders.  You’ve broken through the defensemen and it’s just you against the goalie.


In addition to the LOCI campaign, if you are good in person and have the resources, you should arrange a visit to the school.  Naturally your visit should include a “tour” of the admissions office.  Meet the Dean of Admissions and be prepared for having an informal chat transform into an interview, which will include an exchange about whether you will accept if admitted.  Be nice to everyone in the office, and I mean everyone.  Even non-deciders can have feelings, egos and big mouths.


Keep your cellphone charged all summer long. You don’t want to miss the call and have an impatient Dean of Admissions call someone else. And check your e-mail often.  I’ve never heard of a written offer getting retracted, but why poke your new best friend in the eye by making him wait?


Finally, never give up. Even after you’ve enrolled at a school it’s not over until the school at which you were waitlisted begins.  I had a classmate who had put in a week’s work at a school when he found out he got in off the wait list at Chicago, which didn’t begin until October. I’m not sure which would excite greater euphoria: getting admitted to the University of Chicago Law School or finding out after the toughest week of your life that you have the next 3 weeks completely off!


Good luck everyone. July 17 and heaven aren’t that far off.


Dan Sullivan

Sullivan Law School Admissions Consulting LLC




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Look at that.  I managed to steal from not one, not two, but three great ad campaigns for that title.


Anyway, having spent the last three or four months focused exclusively on current applicants to law school, I’m finally turning to clients who approach me earlier in their careers for advice on such things as majors and softs.  By way of apology for my neglect, I am devoting a blog post to them alone.


Now, what you need to get into law school is a good LSAT score and a good GPA, but what you need to get into a top law school, which is defined here as a law school to which your LSAT score and GPA – your vital signs – alone should not entitle you to be admitted, is a good LSAT score, a good GPA, a good application, and SOMETHING.  You need to add to the mix something special that defines you.  When you were in high school that was just “active,” as represented by the eighty-two activities in which you were allegedly involved.  But just as you major in college, you must major in an extracurricular activity in college to impress law schools.  That means picking something to which you can devote yourself.  Pick one thing and become very good at it.  I often, half in jest, select as examples a varsity hockey player and a world-class ballerina, and they’re good examples, but we can’t all be varsity athletes, and I, for one, can’t even watch ballet.  Fortunately, there are innumerable other things that can be done to be SOMETHING.  Join the school newspaper, join the theatre troupe, join the glee club. Heck, one of my classmates at the University of Chicago was Miss Hawaii.  Throughout a youth where she developed a brain capable of ringing the bell on the LSAT and graduating magna from Stanford she was Little Miss Sunshine. (Go see the movie.  Now.) Law schools don’t care what you are as “something,” just be something.  She was a wonderful addition to our class, and not just because she was pleasant to look at.


Those things might not be for everyone, but there is one thing we can all do: speak.  And yes, even in front of other people. Which brings me, at looong last (get used to it future lawyers), to the subject of this blog post:  the extracurricular activity of forensics.  I don’t mean doing autopsies (although that would be a great soft), and I don’t  mean rewatching the entire corpus of “Law and Order” (although that would be just plain great). I mean engaging, on a continuous basis, in one of the activities that fall under the rubric “forensic events.”  In short, speaking in front of judges in some format and being evaluated as a consequence.  Sounds like being a lawyer (OK, not like the ones who sit in a room and eat danish all day, but like the lawyers with whom I worked as a litigator).


The nearest and dearest to my heart among forensic activities is intercollegiate debate. You and a partner alternate through the course of a tournament between defending and attacking a proposition in front of several judges.  You vigorously argue with your adversaries over policy.  Believe me, as an 18 or 19 year-old it takes you WAY out of your comfort zone and teaches you a new way of life.  I can tell you as someone who has spent the last 25 years arguing before judges and juries and adversaries and a wife and children, that there is no better training for such fools’ errands than participation in intercollegiate debate.


If yelling at people isn’t your thing, then there’s always after-dinner speaking.  I’m not kidding.  There are people who get up after dinner, at age 18 or 19, and speak for 4 or 5 minutes about something … entertaining.  I used to watch them in awe after the banquets that usually concluded forensics tournaments, as they competed in the finals of their event.  Jay Leno would have felt inadequate in their company, they were so impressive.  Get ready to meet these people in law school.


There’s also something known as impromptu speaking.  You enter a classroom and face three judges and an overturned piece of paper.  You will be directed to read what is written on the paper.  It will say something like “As with fish, guests start to stink after three days.  Discuss.”   You will then have five minutes to expound on the subject.  As with other forensic activities, in addition to being “something,” this trains you in profound ways.  You are looking to spend three years in a classroom where at any given moment Professor Kingsfield (go see the movie The Paper Chase. Now.) will bark out your name and bellow “AS WITH FISH, GUESTS START TO STINK AFTER THREE DAYS.  EXPLAIN FOR US ALL THE COURT’S REASONING IN THIS REGARD,” and if not for your training in impromptu speaking, you would spend the next minute or so doing little more than languishing under the mistaken but not at all unreasonable belief that you are babbling in front of 100 people who are smarter than you are. Law school admissions committees know this.


Whatever you decide to be, be something.  Be a varsity hockey player, be a world-class ballerina, be a newspaper editor, be an actor, be a debater, be an after-dinner speaker, be an autopsy doctor, be Miss Hawaii, be Jay Leno, but BE SOMETHING. If you can’t be any of those things, consider forensics.  A law school admissions committee somewhere will reward you for it.


Dan Sullivan

Sullivan Law School Admissions Consulting LLC



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Submit Those Law School Applications!

Happy New Year everyone.  I am sorry that I’ve been out of touch with my blog, but as I am sure you are aware, the last two months or so have been extremely busy in the law school application business.  I advise my clients to submit their applications as early as possible.  Besides having good numbers, or “vital signs” as I call them, admission to most schools requires that you have something special.  Well that something becomes less special very fast if the law school has already admitted one or two people with good vital signs and your particular special thing.  If you’ve got good vital signs and you’re captain of the varsity hockey team, or a world-class ballerina, then you’re in, unless they’ve already admitted into what would have been your class a captain of a varsity hockey team or a world-class ballerina, then you’re not.  That’s a bit of an oversimplification, but not if you’re a 170/3.6 with her heart set on Harvard.


They say in law that first in time is first in right, and sometimes it gets that practical in law school admissions.  So get those applications in soon.  At SLSAC, I advise more particularly to set a self-imposed deadline of December 31 (and under no circumstances start the Spring semester without having submitted). My congratulations to all of my many clients who followed this advice.  Now, enjoy the new year, and good luck.


Dan Sullivan

Sullivan Law School Admissions Consulting LLC



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Books on How to Get into Law School

Hiring a law school admissions consultant is the new-fashioned way to get into the law school of your choice, but like all new-fashioned ways they never fully supplant the old-fashioned ways. In this case: reading books on the topic. Yes, that’s the way it used to be done, and as you will see, that’s the way it still can be done. There are quite a few good books on the subject of how to get into law school. Set forth below are the titles to several of the best, in no particular order…


1. except for this one: Richard Montauk’s How to Get Into the Top Law Schools. This is the Encyclopedia Britannica, eh, I mean the Wikipedia, of law school admissions advice. Get it, and don’t just borrow your older sister’s second edition; the newly released fifth edition has enough new information that it alone is worth the 20 bucks.


Also, now in no particular order:

2. Joyce Putnam Curll’s The Best Law Schools’ Admissions Secrets. Curll is a former Dean of Admissions at Harvard Law School.


3. Susan Estrich’s How to Get Into Law School. Estrich is an estimable law professor at University of Southern California, the former campaign manager for Michael Dukakis’ 1988 presidential campaign, and the former president (i.e., editor-in-chief) of the Harvard Law Review. Why she wrote a book on this topic I do not know, but she sure did a nice job.


4. Anne Ivey’s The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions. Ivey is a former dean of admissions at the University of Chicago Law School (NOT the one disgraced for having admitted me), and a leading law school admissions consultant.


5. Ann K. Levine’s The Law School Admission Game. Levine is a leading law school admissions consultant.


6. Anonymous’ Law School Undercover. Allegedly written by a current law professor who wished to remain anonymous, this book covers admissions as well as law school itself, but is worth buying both because you will find this latter information useful someday, and because the admissions advice is quite helpful, especially his or her advice on softs, which I intend to elaborate upon in a later blog post.


You will need to hire a law school admissions consultant to get the assistance that no book alone can provide, but if you want at least to make the most efficient and cost-effective use of the new-fashioned way, start with some time with the old-fashioned way. The summer before you apply, pick up Montauk’s book and one or two others and at least read in them. (Montauk’s book, for example, has a guide at pages xiv-xv of the fifth edition to how best to use the book without having to traverse its 600 pages.) When you approach a law school admissions consultant you will find it much easier if you are already up the learning curve. Good luck.


Dan Sullivan

Sullivan Law School Admissions Consulting LLC




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