BYU Law School Admissions Dean advises applicants to present themselves in ‘the most positive light possible’
BYU Law School Admissions Dean Anthony Grover advised pre-law students to do well in their law school applications.
According to the Law School Admission Council, students who wish to be considered for admission must prepare applications, pass the LSAT, submit letters of recommendation and more.
“I want candidates to take the time to present themselves in the most positive light possible,” Grover said. “I see a lot of grammar and spelling errors, leaving the name of another school they applied to and not following basic instructions.”
Grover also said it’s important for students to develop writing, analytical reasoning, editing, and relationships with professors who can write positive letters of recommendation.
“We look at law school entrance exam scores and GPA, but we also look for people who we think can handle the rigor of law school academically and those who we think can will add to the law school community,” Grover said.
Grover said the best way he’s seen students stand out is through their personal statements, resumes, letters of recommendation and elective essays.
These skills are important because the written parts of applications tend to be the weakest, according to Grover.
A common law school misconception that Grover said he often sees is the idea that there are certain majors, clubs, or jobs that will make pre-law students more palatable to admissions officers. .
“From an educational perspective, one of the best ways to prepare to go to law school would be to do well in your major,” Grover said. “Choose a major you like because you want to have the best GPA possible and if you like your studies, you’ll get better results.”
Kris Tina Carlston, director of the BYU Pre-Professional Advice Center, said legal work experience doesn’t make you a better candidate than those with work experience in other fields.
“It’s good for you so you can get a better idea of whether law school is right for you, so it provides personal value, but don’t do it if you think it’s going to make you more attractive to agents. admission,” says Carston.
Carlston advises students to gain experience in other fields of study or in the job market, as you can then incorporate that experience into the legal field. She believes that the law needs people from all walks of life.
“I did a study a few years ago to see if a major does better on the LSAT or gets more and it made no difference,” Carlston said. “Law schools want to know who you are as a person, so being interested in a variety of things makes you a more attractive candidate.”
BYU political science major Aurea Orencia is currently applying to law school and said pre-law students should branch out and get involved in the things that interest them.
“As a freshman, I was very afraid to push myself, but don’t be afraid to take every opportunity that comes your way,” Orencia said.
One opportunity that Orencia says helped her find out if law school was right for her was the BYU Pre-Law program. She said she wished she had been more involved with the pre-law exam and committee here on campus sooner.
“Take off the bandage and do an LSAT, enroll in an LSAT prep course, attend personal statement workshops offered on zoom, and check out our website,” Carlston said.
She said the Pre-Professional Counseling Center hosts an annual BYU Law School Fair, where there will be even more opportunities presented for pre-law students to take advantage of.
Jon Wayas, associate director of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion, said they also hold pre-law symposia at BYU.
“It’s a chance to step into a law school to learn about the application process, meet and hear from current law students and professors, see what a day at law school is like, and even attend a fictional class”, Wayas said.
Grover said the law school hosts a monthly event called World of Law where a BYU law professor or someone affiliated with the school gives a presentation on an area of law. Grover said there are also many other events at law school that students can attend to help them make their decision about law school and see that it’s not as scary as it is. it seems.
Grover said the misconception of the best law school he sees is that law school is too competitive and that students seek to get along.
He said that at BYU Law, although students face stress and a sense of competition, the waters really aren’t as infested with sharks as often depicted.
“There is a spirit of cooperation and understanding that we are all in this together that permeates our classrooms,” Grover said. “Students help each other, share grades, and develop relationships with each other that will benefit them both professionally and personally.”
Grover’s final advice to those applying to pre-law schools is to apply as early as possible, preferably at least before a law school’s JD priority deadline, since most law schools law conduct admissions on an ongoing basis.
“If you wait until later in the cycle, there are often far fewer unfilled spots and scholarship money can run out,” Grover said. “It’s much harder to get in later, you apply to schools.”