Yale Law admissions pointers

Yale Law School recently shared with us some helpful advice and pointers about applying to their program. We are in the process of scheduling a Yale Admissions webinar for University of Illinois students, but in the meantime, check out these helpful resources for future Yalie success.

The Associate Dean of Admissions, Asha Rangappa, writes a very candid and extremely helpful blog called the (203) Admissions Blog. She writes, for example, about how to write an effective personal statement, including what she dislikes seeing. http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissions/

Yale also posts a helpful Incoming Class Profile at http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/profile.htm.  They also indicated that roughly 80% of Yale’s incoming students have been out of college for one or more years.

In addition, Yale Law shared with us the following tips and suggestions for applying to their school. Enjoy!

Application Tips 2012, from the Yale Law Admissions Office

1.         Timing

  • All applications must be submitted electronically.
  •  We encourage you to take the October LSAT.  If you choose to take the December or February LSAT, we will not be able to begin reviewing your file until late January or late February, respectively.
  •  We cannot hold or re-review a file for an updated LSAT score.  If you will be retaking the LSAT, please wait to release your LSAC report until all scores are on file with LSAC.
  • Your chances of admission to Yale are not affected based on when you apply.  However, applying later will mean a longer processing time and later notification of a final decision.
  • In order to avoid delays with your financial aid package, please submit your financial aid applications (FAFSA and Need Access) by March 15, 2013, even if you have not yet received a decision from us.
  • Due to our lengthy (and thorough) review process, Yale releases its decisions much later than most other law schools.  Mid-March is a typical time to receive your decision.  Our goal is to have all decisions completed by mid-April.

2.         Letters of Recommendation

  •  We strongly recommend that you submit your letters of recommendation through the Law School Credential Assembly Service (CAS).  Please do not have duplicate copies sent to the Law School.
  • Academic letters of recommendation are given the most weight in our admissions process.  We strongly recommend that students submit at least two recommendations from professors who can evaluate their academic work.
  • Once we receive all application materials and two letters of recommendation, your file will be reviewed.  We cannot hold a file for review for additional letters.  If you want to ensure that additional letters of recommendation are in your file before it is reviewed, please wait to submit your application until all of the letters are on file with LSAC.
  • Be sure to include your full name and LSAC number on all materials and correspondence (including letters of recommendation).

 3.         Personal Statements

  •  Your 250 word essay (Question 7) can be about any subject.  Some essays that have been successful in the past have been about subjects studied in school (string theory, French opera, historical movements), current events (local elections, national controversies), and personal anecdotes.  Topics like “Why I want to go to Yale,” creative writing, or abbreviated versions of personal statements are typically less successful.
  • Please note that the personal statement (Question 8) is a required part of the application.  Most students submit the personal statement they have prepared for other law schools.

4.         Other Materials

  •  You may include a resume with your application, but please answer questions 4 (scholastic honors), 5 (activities outside of school), and 6 (activities since graduation) separately.  Not providing these answers will delay the completion of your application.
  • Yale does not require a dean’s certification form as part of the application.  Admitted students will be required to submit a Dean’s Certification after deposit; all admission offers are contingent upon the student’s Dean’s Certifications matching the self-disclosures provided in the character and fitness section of the application.