Law School Admissions Officer

Questions To Ask A Law School Admissions Officer

One of the best things you can do to decide which law school is right for you is to go on a school visit. Most of these visits will consist of a school tour, a class visit and a meeting with an admissions officer.  (If you’re preparing for a class visit, be sure to check out the Dos and Don’ts of a 1L Class Visit.) The types of questions you want to ask might differ greatly depending on whether you already applied, were admitted, or haven’t yet started the application process. Keep reading to see our advice on wht questions to ask a law school admissions officer!

Questions To Ask A Law School Admissions Officer

In general, your questions to a law school admissions officer should be specific to your interest. Try not using your time to solicit information that’s readily available on their website. Ask questions you can’t get answers to from research alone. Keep in mind that the meeting with a law school admissions officer is for YOU, not them. Don’t worry so much about asking the “right” questions. This is not an interview (I repeat: this is not an interview). You do not need to treat the meeting as such unless specified otherwise.

Below is a list of questions to ask in a meeting with a law school admissions officer to guide the conversation. They are categorized based on your application status!

If you applied AND are admitted: (most pertinent at the time of publication)

  • Are there any admitted student events coming up? Do you offer any travel stipend for these events? (Where applicable)
  • Housing questions:
    • Is there housing available for students through the school?
    • Where is it located?
    • How do I apply?
    • How are roommate parings done?
    • Are there stipends available for housing?
  • Scholarship questions if you have not already been notified of an award:
    • Do I need to apply separately for scholarships or will I receive automatic consideration through the admissions process?
    • When and how would I be notified if I receive a scholarship?
    • What percentage of first-year students receives scholarships?
    • Do you offer need-based scholarships? What are the financial qualifications?
    • What are other available scholarships based on? Merit, experience, LSAT, GPA, minority status, undergraduate institution, ect?
    • What is the average award of a scholarship?
  • Scholarship questions if you’ve already been given an award:
    • I received scholarship in the amount of “X” from “Y” school. Is there any possibility of my application being re-reviewed to match this offer?
    • Is the scholarship renewable for all 3 years? If the scholarship is not renewable, what are the metrics to retain it?
    • How many students retain it/lost it from year-to-year?
    • If you lose a scholarship after your 1L year, can you earn it back in your 3L year?
  • Are there mentorship programs with upperclassmen and alumni?
  • When does orientation begin?
  • When should I plan to move to the area?
  • Is there a recommended summer reading list?

If you applied but did not yet receive a decision:

  • What does the review process look like?
  • When can I expect a decision back? / How long does it typically take to receive a decision? (Keep in mind this answer will change depending on the time of year and how competitive your application may be.)
  • When are your deposit deadlines for currently admitted students? If admission is frozen right now, will you admit students again after those dates?
  • Do you waitlist students?
  • At this time of year, is most of your class filled?
  • At this time of year, is scholarship funding still available to students?
  • Do you accept additional letters of recommendation to help boost my application?
  • Do you accept letters of continued interest for consideration?

If you applied and are waitlisted:

  • What does the waitlist process look like?
  • In the last few years, have you gone to your waitlist?
  • Are there multiple waitlists, such as a priority waitlist and a regular waitlist?
  • What time of year do you typically start admitting from your waitlist?
  • If given an offer of admission from the waitlist, how long do students have to accept it?
  • What is the last possible day to be moved off the waitlist?

(If you are waitlisted, be sure to check out this post on what you should be doing now to increase your chances of admission!)

If you haven’t yet applied:

  • When do you begin accepting applications?
  • When is the application deadline?
  • Is there a priority deadline?
  • Do you offer an early action program? What are the details of that?
  • What is your acceptance rate? (how many applications do you receive and how many students are admitted)
  • When do you receive the bulk of your applications? (You’ll want to apply before this time.)
  • How long after I apply can I expect a decision to be rendered?
  • When do you begin reviewing applications decisions and handing out decisions?
  • How will applicants be notified a decision is made?
  • Do you employ rolling admissions?
  • Are interviews a part of the application process?
  • Do you waitlist students?
  • How do you treat multiple LSAT scores? Do you average the schools, consider all scores, or look at the highest score?
  • How do you evaluate advanced/honors/graduate-level courses on my transcript?
  • How is my choice of major evaluated in the context of my transcript?

General questions about the program:

  • Academic Offerings and Co-Curricular Questions:
    • What are some of the competitive advantages of your school?
    • Does the school specialize in any area of law? What are some of the biggest centers and programs anchored in the school?
    • How is the student/professor ratio?
    • What are your clinic offerings?
    • How competitive are the clinics?
    • How many courses do you offer in “X” field? (fill in the blank with: corporate law, environmental law, international law, ect.)
    • What is the grading curve structured for first-year students?
    • What journals do you offer?
    • Do students participate in co-curricular activities? (E.g., Moot court, mock trial, etc.)
    • How are students chosen to be a part of law review/moot court/other co-curricular? (Can you write-on or must you “grade-on”?)
    • What percentages of students are able to participate in those programs?
  • Employment Questions
    • What is the job placement rate for students that graduated last year?
    • Is that higher or lower than in past years?
    • Are those students all working in the legal field? (You don’t want to hear job statistics that include a part-time gig at Starbucks).
    • Of the students that found long-term, bar-passage required jobs, how many found those positions through the career services office?
    • What kind of support does the career services office offer to students in their 1L, 2L, 3L years and after graduation (if you’re looking to switch jobs after a few years into practice)?
    • Does the school have on-campus interviews (OCIs) for students in their 1L and 2L year?
    • What does that process look like?
    • How many firms participate?
    • Do OCIs occur once or twice a year? (fall and spring?)

In conclusion, remember that a meeting with an admissions officer is informal. It will be a one-on-one meeting in their office. No one is going to grill you about your candidacy. Instead, you should prepare questions ahead of time to ensure that you use your face-to-face time wisely and gather the information you need to make an informed decision on where to attend. Good luck!

Rachel Margiewicz, Director of Pre-Law Services, wrote this post. Rachel is a licensed attorney with years of admissions experience across three law school programs in different markets of the country. She knows what schools are looking for and how to make your application stand out.  Contact us with questions and for more information on our application assistance services! We look forward to hearing from you!