Tips on Building Relationships with Law School Admissions Offices

ICYMI: Recently Nicole Vilches, Assistant Dean for Admissions at IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law visited to share her insight about how to effectively build relationships with law school admissions office professionals. Here are some highlights and tips she shared.

Why should you make an effort to build these relationships?
For prospective students–You can gain more insight into an institution and enhance your chances of admission.
For admitted students–You can develop your networking skills and begin to build your legal reputation.

Making a good impression at a law fair

  • Dress well–casual but neat is fine at a fair. Business casual is a good bet for most events.
  • Make eye contact and use a firm handshake.
  • Bring specific questions–beyond what you could easily get from a website. (For example, instead of asking for median LSAT scores, ask about a clinic or externship offered by the school.)
  • Don’t approach representatives as salespeople or challenge them to “tell me why I should attend” their school. They want to share information and help you make the right choice.

Tips for law school open houses or school visits

  • Realize that everyone you interact with–from the receptionist to the dean of the law school–can influence the decision of whether to admit you.
  • It’s okay to bring parents, but don’t let them dominate the conversation. It’s your career–you should be the one asking questions and engaging with the law school community.
  • Don’t overindulge (in alcohol) at admitted student events. View it as a business function rather than a happy hour.
  • Pay attention to titles and roles so that you can ask appropriate questions in a respectful way. (Don’t ask the dean about campus parking–ask him/her about the school’s employment outcomes or recently developed programs.)
  • Don’t ask very personal questions in a public forum. Ask for a private conversation or appointment.

Correspondence 

  • Create an appropriate email address (meaning one that is not offensive or unprofessional) and check it regularly.
  • Take care to edit all of your written correspondence the same way you would edit your personal statement. Remember that you are still making an impression and typos or overly casual emails will be remembered.
  • Proofread. Make sure to submit final versions of all of your documents rather than drafts.

Linked In Etiquette

  • Don’t send Linked In requests to admissions professionals of schools where you were denied admission. This is very awkward for them.
  • Realize that many professionals only accept Linked In requests from people they know. Don’t be offended if your request is not accepted.
  • Don’t request admission status or information from admissions office professionals via Linked In.

Our thanks to Dean Vilches for sharing her insight during her visit. For more information about law school admissions, visit her website at http://ask.kentlaw.iit.edu/.

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