Daniel J. Sullivan, Esq.
Principal and
Sole Proprietor


Why hire Sullivan Law School Admissions Consulting?

Why Hire a Law School Admissions Consultant?

Your future depends on the quality of the law school you attend. After investing some $350,000 in tuition alone for college and law school, you will recoup that investment at a rate that is based on how highly your law school is ranked. The top firms in New York, for example, will not even look at your résumé if you did not attend one of the top 10 or 12 law schools (or one of 2 or 3 local schools considered only as a public relations gesture). In other cities, the top firms are equally demanding, with only a slightly different roster of law schools. Moving down the rankings, one still has more career success with higher ranking law schools. It is not just about money – it is also about career flexibility, mobility and marketing later in your career. In short, where you went to law school matters. Simply put: you need to get into the best law school you can get into.


Law School Admissions Factors

There are 4 factors that help you do that: your LSAT score; your GPA; your “softs”; and your application.


As to the Law School Admissions Test, LSAT, there is no question that it is the single most important factor in your getting into law school at all, and in your getting into a good law school; but its value at getting you into the best law school you can has been diminished greatly by the changed scale of the possible scores. Thirty years ago the LSAT was based on the familiar 200 to 800 scale, and the value of comparing one applicant’s score to another was great. Today, the scale of 120 to 180 has compressed the scores so that so many more scores are similar to each other. Thirty years ago, Stanford’s median LSAT was 715 and Georgetown’s was 680; today #3 Stanford’s and #14 Georgetown’s median LSAT score is identical at 170. Getting a 170 on the LSAT will do much to distinguish you from the crowd, but it will do nothing standing alone to distinguish you from the crowd of other people who have distinguished themselves from the crowd – which is what you need to do to get into a top law school, to get into #3 Stanford instead of #14 Georgetown. Getting a 178 on the LSAT does much to relieve this problem, but only .2% of the test takers get above 175 – point 2 percent – and 8 of the top 15 law schools have median LSAT scores of 170 or 171.


The second factor, your GPA, is even less helpful at allowing you to distinguish yourself. The GPA has always been of dubious value in this regard, as different colleges, different majors, different courses within majors, and even different professors within courses rendered GPAs difficult to compare, but when recent grade inflation is added, the GPA, like the LSAT, has become a means of distinguishing you from the crowd, but useless as a means of distinguishing you from the crowd of other people who have distinguished themselves from the crowd. It should be no surprise that #1 Yale’s and #10 Virginia’s average GPAs are identical at 3.9.


The quality of “softs” and applications. As a consequence of these two phenomena, the difference between being the 170/3.8 economics major from Penn who gets admitted to #3 Stanford and being the 170/3.8 government major from Cornell who gets admitted only to #14 Georgetown, lies in the quality of their “softs” and in the quality of their applications. As to each factor a law school admission consultant can provide invaluable and indeed consequential advice. To get into the top law schools, or even just into a better one, you need these two items to shine in a way that your LSAT score and GPA, under today’s circumstances, most often cannot. Today law school admissions consulting is a big business; twenty years ago it wasn’t even a job. That is because law school admissions consultants can help you do that.


In her excellent book on law school admissions, Susan Estrich retells the joke about the respective contributions of the chicken and the pig to the making of a breakfast of bacon and eggs. The chicken was definitely involved, but only the pig was truly committed. Hiring a law school admissions consultant is the true measure of your commitment to getting into the best law school you can.