Pre-Law Advisors Survey Results. Comparing how advisors prefer learning about law schools vs. how they really learn about schools. Best Experiences :
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Pre-Law Advisors Survey Results
Comparing how advisors prefer learning about law schools vs. how they really learn about schools.
*One law school rep phoned and asked if she could come to our college. It is a small rural college with only 600 students. But she took the time to visit our school and talk with interested students.
*Best experiences have been with law school reps who have gone above and beyond for my students, like staying after our law fair to do a mock admissions panel and interacting with our students. The local law school director of admissions does presentations about the application process, personal statements, and talks with my students. When they go the personal extra mile, that's the best.
*I have appreciated the times when a law school representative can give me some insight into where a certain applicant is relative to the pool for the year. The candor and helpful replies I've received from law reps have allowed me to give my advisees good advice about how to proceed.
*The best I ever had was when I met with an admissions officer totally by accident at a university event and we had a conversation that seemed more authentic and less rehearsed.
*Visits are most meaningful when law reps allow students ample time to ask questions so it is not just a canned presentation.
*When admissions officers give candid information and advice about everything from the application process, things to consider such as funding and fit, etc.
*I've had representatives come visit and just lecture me about their school -- a sales pitch that went on too long. I'd rather have a conversation, not hear a prepared list of features and benefits.
*The law school from which I graduated has been very unsupportive of me when I was on fellowships in their city and needed to use their law library and other resources. This same law school has sent my applicants inappropriate emails regarding their applications and potential scholarships. They are certainly losing our best students.
*Where the rep is there at the start of the recruiting cycle and gone before the final decisions are made.
*A representative from a school was very cold about chances of getting in based only on the numbers (particularly, LSAT score).
*Law rep cancelled just a few days before a visit planned well in advance saying the date was during their fall break. Needless to say, I haven't worked with them again.
*Easy: Many law school reps are not candid or not prepared to tell our students exactly what they will need to be admitted with significant scholarships to their law school. When our students are told relatively precisely what a prospective law school might consider for full or partial funding, most of our students try to rise to that challenge. There should be specific candor at the forums, and more financial aid advice before the applicant's application is submitted.
*Students were placed on a waiting list and were never informed of their final decision.
*Some law-school representatives--usually former law students just out of law school– are uncomfortably cynical and arch in their attempt to connect with students using "let me tell you what law school is really like" type stories in an attempt at humor. I find their cynicism embarrassing and a poor reflection on their schools.
Best ways to build relationships with Law Schools:
*Have a reception for making connections in the evening after law school fairs, or have a cocktail hour after the regional LSAC forum. As I think about it, though, the best conversations I've had with law school reps haven't been purely social -- they've been "hallway conversations" that followed an interesting workshop or panel discussion. I wonder if there's a way to duplicate that sort of experience in small regional panels around law school fairs or forums, with ample time afterwards for socializing and networking? Law school visits are great, too. My school only sends me to NAPLA, so can’t visit schools outside of the NE.
*Talk to representatives when a question arises (and not necessarily about a particular student.) Be polite and respectful. Learn what they consider important and what their schools are doing to help their students be prepared for the practice of law.
*There are some outstanding PLAs who are just wonderful networkers. They think it's important for their students, so they make it an effort to attend many law fairs, and to meet as many reps as they can. Of course it also pays to be a good advisor. I think that the law schools take notice when students from a particular school are well prepared, ask good questions, have excellent (accurate & thoughtful) recommendation letters from their advisor.
*Visits from law school representatives to our campus. Form relationships and network at PLA conferences or wherever possible. Visit the law schools.
*Person to person - genuine contact. I delete mass emails. I like short, quick - how can I help you emails and then engaging discussion/pointers. A point of contact makes a big difference.
*As a professor it is difficult for me to travel during the academic year, so I have to depend on them to come to see me. Prelaw advisor meetings at law schools are more helpful in many ways, but do not fit into my schedule nearly as well.
*I am limited geographically for going to forums and don’t get money to go to conferences. I like newsletters better than booklets. Wish more reps come to visit us, but our numbers are small.
*Sponsor law school info events at the undergraduate institution and attend every time the schools visit campus. Work with admissions reps on professional development programs, conferences and more. Ask appropriate, smart questions; i.e., use their time wisely.
*Have one rep responsible for my school's applicants and for me to know whom to connect with if I ever need to.
*I would love to hear if it makes a difference -- meaning, will a school more likely admit a student from my college if they know me personally?
*I'm amazed at the number of pre-law advisors who don't take the time to get to know the law school admission officers. Most of them are very helpful and forthcoming about sharing information about the admission process and specific situations.
*Offer candid assessments of students' abilities. Communicate students whose interests and preferences would be met by specific schools. I communicate directly with the admissions and financial aid folks at schools which have responded well to my students in the previous year.
*Establish a record of quality students who attend those law schools. Make it possible for recruiters/reps to visit our campus, keep in touch with alumni as the experiences of recent alumni offer clear guidance to prospective students as to what they can reasonably expect.
*Visit the admissions officers; attend law schools events for pre-law advisors (in which the law schools pay the expenses for the attendees).
*Try to learn what truly makes a good fit, and gently remind admissions officers when I have sent them a client who IS a good fit.
*Start with the schools that students have traditionally applied and been admitted. Work to improve the relationship. Talk with my alumni who have gone to those law schools.
*Personal contacts with admissions reps are very helpful. As a professor it is difficult for me to travel during the academic year, so I have to depend on them to come to see me. I have gone to prelaw advisor meetings at the law schools and they are more helpful in many ways, but do not fit into my schedule nearly as well.
*Send them students and follow-up with admissions to see how they are doing while mentioning other candidates in the pipeline. The legacy of past undergraduate and their success in law school is something that cannot be fabricated!
*Long term admissions reps. I wince at the recent law grads who are now working in admissions since they could not get a lawyer job. Turnover in admissions offices seems high.
*More conferences or maybe quarter meetings should be set up where there is a group of schools for advisors to get to know or visit.
Other Comments & Suggestions:
*I am a professor in a school with a half-time pre-law advisor staff person, and this shapes my responses. For myself I think it is pointless to meet with law school representatives. My staff person may learn some useful things about trends in admissions/how law schools are thinking about applicants through this contact, but that is all. Our job is not to become experts in particular schools, or to "build relationships" with them. Our job is to get students to think carefully about what they want out of law school, how realistic those goals are, and how to figure out which schools are most likely to advance those goals. The students need to do the research on law schools and figure this out for themselves; we can advise them as they go through this process. The idea that we as pre-law advisors are to be cultivated by particular schools so that we in turn will influence our students to attend those schools seems to me not very useful and even a bit repellent. As law schools become increasingly desperate for students, I'm sure that these tactics will proliferate.
*I'm a firm believer in my role being to guide students -- I don't have to know the ins and outs of financial aid, but I have to know when and how to guide students to learn how financial aid may impact their individual situation. The same with helping students to develop the list of where they apply -- they need to develop their own criteria and assess schools based on their criteria. I can guide them in that, but I can't develop the list for them. Essentially, I try to be knowledgeable about the process, the trends and issues, the resources, and strategies to help support each student in finding their own way in this application and decision process.
*Thanks for having this survey and addressing this issue so well!! I may not be able to come to this session - So hoping you will share what is learned on the website or thru email?? I am very curious - would love a list of Dos and Don’ts.
*The PLANC conferences that HBCU's get assistance in travel, registration and housing is greatly helpful!
*Invite law school advisors from HBCUs to visit the law schools. Provide financial assistance that would not require you to go through a complete background search. Most pre-law advisors are university professors, not criminals. I don't bother to complete such applications, and never visit the law schools, or associations, that make such request.
Other Comments & Suggestions:
*I serve as curriculum advisor for students contemplating entry to law school. As such, my focus is on insuring their judicious selection of electives to enable them to become a competitive applicant as well as perform competitively on the LSAT. The college is a small private institution (c. 1,400) with a highly diverse population of students who typically are first generation college students. Accordingly, I am most interested in programs that will provide funded opportunities for socialization into the law school culture.
*Anything you can do to open admissions officers to talking to pre-law advisors (and letting pl advisors know how to connect to the right admissions officers) would be a help.
*ABA SHOULD WITHDRAW ACCREDITATION FROM 25 LAW SCHOOLS
*I've not been at all happy with the combined SAPLA/NAPLA meetings. I find large conferences pretty well worthless. Regional meetings, in contrast, have been quite helpful.
*I appreciate that this is an electronic age and most students connect with schools electronically. There is still a place for printed material - maybe not the traditional law school view book - but something to have in-hand during an office conversation to highlight a school for a student.