Pre-law day gives students insider tips for admission

By: Chris Crisanti – Chief News Writer

Law school admission representatives from nearly 50 schools across the country met at the University of Dayton Tuesday, Oct. 29, for a series of activities, including a mock law class and admission panels, hosted by the UD Prelaw Program designed to prepare students for law school.

The law fair began at 9:00 a.m. in Kennedy Union where students engaged in a mock trial law school course lectured by UD law professor Dennis Greene. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., law school representatives gathered in KU ballroom and were seated at tables to display pamphlets, email signups, business cards and additional information pertaining to the specific school.

Schools represented at the event included Case Western Reserve University, Elon University, Notre Dame, Marquette University, Ohio Northern University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Tennessee, University of Cincinnati, the Ohio State University and more.

“As a junior, you want to be focusing on where you want to practice, getting good grades and studying for the LSAT,” said Elizabeth Mischke, University of Tennessee College of Law graduate recruiter.

Mischke said some aspects of the application process vary for each school, but the general requirements are all the same – GPA, LSAT score, letters of recommendation and personal statement.

Janet Hein, Indiana University Maurer School of Law director of admissions, Jerome Organ, University of St. Thomas School of Law professor and John Stiles, University of Cincinnati College of Law associate director of admissions & financial aid, paneled a mock admissions committee meeting in KU.

“A small thing to pay attention to when looking at applications is if you are a good employee,” Organ said. “That shows that you are hardworking and dependable.”

Hein said a student should submit two to four letters of recommendations, two from professors and one from an employer. The panel added that a fourth letter of recommendation may sometimes be “too much” and can hurt the applicant.

The panel proceeded to talk about applicants personal statements.

Hein said she would look at an applicant’s motivation and passion for the school when deciding admission. Hein said an applicant should not submit the same personal statement to each school and should rather write a specific personal statement for each school instead.

Organ said a student should express why the school is attractive and how he or she will contribute to it.

When evaluating an applicant’s past behavioral issues, the panel said it is OK to get speeding or parking tickets now and then. However, the panel said if an applicant’s unacceptable behavior shows trends, it will hurt the applicant.

Sophomore political science and psychology major Haley Roach said she found the admission panel informative because it provided an opportunity for her to see what happens after the school receives a prospective student’s application. She said the panel also helped determine what a student should put on their resume or personal statement to increase his or her chances of admission.

“Pre-Law Day and grad week in general helps the university and its students by introducing them to the possibility of further education after graduation,” Roach said. “The week was full of representatives from dozens of schools available to talk with students here, networking and answering any questions to help the sometimes-confusing process of applying and attending grad school easier to navigate.”

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