Random LOR tips

Recently asked and answered on the pre-law advisors listserv:

Q: Is it possible to edit a current recommender’s contact info [on the LSAC website], or do I need to recreate them?  I can’t seem to update this information any longer after generating the form.

A: (from LSAC) Applicants cannot edit the recommender information once it has been entered, but they may write the corrections on the printed form and LSAC will make the changes when the form and letter arrive.

Q: Is it possible to fax the LORs (to LSAC), or do they have to be physically mailed?

A: (from LSAC) LSAC will accept faxes that are signed, although originals are strongly preferred because it is easier to create a clear image of the letter to send to law schools.

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Is your Facebook profile part of your law school application?

Maybe.  According to a recent article in the National Jurist, at least 15% of law school admissions officers check applicants’ Facebook pages as part of the application evaluation process. (I say “at least” because of the way the survey question was phrased, asking officers if they “personally” had checked an applicant’s social networking page—honestly, if I were an admissions officer, I probably wouldn’t do it “personally,” but would farm the work out to an assistant or student worker.)

[O]f those 15 percent, more than half (52 per cent) said that what they did see impacted the applicant negatively.

So what’s the takeaway? Review your FB privacy settings NOW and limit the availability of all your information to just your friends.  If you’re going to keep things public, remember that “public” includes law schools (and employers) and post accordingly.

Most importantly,... read more »

Law schools beginning to offer more practical skills training

Interesting article from the National Law Journal on a variety of new offerings at law schools to increase the marketability of their grads.  Certainly something to keep in mind as you are deciding which schools to apply to.

Graduates face stiff competition for law firm positions, and clients are balking at footing the bill to train new attorneys. Consequently, law school leaders consider it more important than ever to send students into the profession armed with practical skills, not just extensive knowledge of case law and legal theory. More law schools are modifying coursework and adding practical classes to help students develop the skills past graduates have had the luxury of learning on the job. In that vein, a growing number of law schools are emphasizing teamwork, leadership, professional judgment and the ability to view issues from the clients’ perspective.

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It just gets uglier

From today’s New York Times, Downturn Dims Prospects Even at Top Law Schools.

This fall, law students are competing for half as many openings at big firms as they were last year in what is shaping up to be the most wrenching job search season in over 50 years.

There’s not much I can add to that, but you really should read the entire article.  Law school is an investment on the order of $100,000 - $150,000.  You need to scrutinize carefully what kind of return that investment is likely to yield, at this particular moment in history.  As this article makes clear, the law world is changing dramatically over the next few years, and while it’s anybody’s guess what it will eventually look like, it’s clear that the biggest law firms are very likely to become a lot smaller.  The most direct... read more »

The future of the legal job market

Prof. Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago Law School is one of the foremost observers and commentators on law schools.  His blog is worth following for a number of reasons, but this post in particular speculates on the future of the big law firm world.  In the comments, you’ll note the observations of one of the foremost commentators on the law firm world, Prof. William Henderson of the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University Bloomington.  He predicts a permanent restructuring of the large law firms, and a concomitant rise in fortunes for regional firms. This is good news for students headed to the regional law schools that fill the regional firms.


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