Tips for Prospective Students
Your application will give our admissions committee a three-dimensional picture of your academic accomplishments, personal strengths, and professional goals. Here are some suggestions to ensure we see you and your application in the most positive light.
- Data from the Law School Admission Council forms the foundation of your application. This includes copies of your undergraduate transcripts, your writing sample from the LSAT, your test score, and letters of recommendation.
- Oregon uses no statistical cutoff point and we read every application submitted holistically, an approach that ensures that we learn of the unique strengths and background that each applicant brings. Since law school is undertaken at the post-baccalaureate level, we are principally concerned with how well-prepared you are for graduate and professional school. We consider the strength of your GPA, grade trend, and the rigor of coursework and undergraduate institution. The LSAT score provides us with some helpful indication of your analytical and reasoning abilities. To help us identify characteristics that help us determine what kind of law student and lawyer you might become, we consider your accomplishments and interests, whether in sports or in the arts. Personal experiences, cultural background, and community leadership are qualities that make good people into great lawyers and are also important to our admissions committee.
- The letters of recommendation you submit will be read by law professors, not potential employers. The letters should address your skills as a student and give specific examples of your academic abilities. If you have completed a thesis or special project, worked as a research assistant, or gone well beyond the basic requirements of a course, our admissions committee wants to read about these accomplishments. If you are far removed from undergraduate or academic life, letters from those other than professors are acceptable. While it is helpful to be given some insight into your professional accomplishments and personal character, we strongly recommend that your references know that our committee is interested in how well prepared you are for graduate study in a professional school setting.
- The admissions committee always is pleased to read a well-written and engaging personal statement. It need not resemble a research paper, but it should be well-developed and well-constructed, following grammatical and spelling conventions in a way that casual communications like email, blogs, or text messages do not. Remember that law professors are your audience. They love language and value clear thinking, precision, and perceptive insight. Please see page 5 of the current application for more information about the personal statement and resume requirements.
- Carefully proof your application before you send it. Don’t be satisfied with your first draft of your personal statement or resume. Write and rewrite. Make sure your references know your academic experience, your background, and your goals so that they can craft a letter of reference that genuinely speaks in your support.
- Finally, if you have any questions, speak directly with a law school admissions officer. A blog, an online discussion board, surveys, and rankings are not always accurate and may not provide you with the information that you really need to be a competitive applicant. We do our best to treat applicants as individuals in the process. We trust that you will do the same for each law school.
Each year, we have many more talented applicants than we have seats in our small first-year class of 180 students. The care and thoughtfulness you bring to the application process is greatly appreciated by all of us at the University of Oregon School of Law. Thank you very much.