September 2007 - Posts
I am planning on taking the December 2007 LSAT. Will taking the exam so late hurt my chances of gaining admission for Fall 2008?
Excellent question. The short answer is no.
I realize this contradicts the common wisdom for law school applicants, namely that because most schools have a rolling admissions process in which slots are filled on an ongoing basis, it’s to an applicant’s advantage to apply as early as possible. I’ll delve into our file reading process, which also involves offering admission on a rolling basis, in more detail soon. But for now let me just say that based on the way we distribute files for review – which is unique, as far as I am aware – your admission chances stay more or less constant throughout the season. The most important thing is to have the strongest application possible, and if that means you need until December to prepare for and take the LSAT, so be it.
There are a couple of disadvantages to taking the December LSAT. The first is that it is the last LSAT you can take in order to apply for Fall 2008. So, if you are unhappy with your score for any reason, you either have to apply with what you’ve got or take the test again and wait to apply next year. The second is that since our application volume increases as we approach the deadline, and since our review process is fairly lengthy to begin with (we are very thorough), the later you apply, the longer the delay between when your application becomes complete and when you receive a decision. I mention this because some applicants receive scholarships with early deadlines from other schools, and depending on where your application is in the review process, we may be unable to expedite a decision based on such factors.
Finally, let me add a personal note about getting too anxious about the LSAT. Sometimes, when I am wading through hundreds of LSDAS reports, I have flashbacks to my own LSAT trauma back in 1995 (you don’t need to do the math, I’m 32). It was the last section, and I felt really good, having just eaten the Rice Krispies treat I had diligently packed for energy over the break. I sped through the last section just in time, sat back, and handed my test to the proctor…only to notice to my horror as I handed over the test that I HAD BUBBLED 27 ANSWERS TO 26 QUESTIONS. Yeah, those words went through my mind, too.
Whatever I wrote in the writing portion was jibberish, since at that point I was sobbing uncontrollably. I went home, tortured myself over whether to cancel my score, ultimately decided to keep it (it was the September test, see paragraph 2), and then spent the next six weeks wearing sweatpants and staring at the ceiling of my dorm room. This was back when you had to wait for your results to come in the mail. Yes, like in an envelope.
Anyway, the story ends well, i.e., I got into law school (though I still have major issues with Scantron answer sheets). The point is that I was once a neurotic law school applicant myself, and in the words of a famous Yalie, I feel your pain. But it’ll be fine…trust me.
To submit questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christopher Martins Pub
860 State Street
Location and décor: East Rock, the "Grad Ghetto", probably a 15 minute walk from YLS. Traditional pub interior, with a few tables outside if you want to people-watch.
-Steak Wrapped Asparagus
-Mesclun Greens with Pecans, Blue Cheese, and Pears
-Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich on Focaccia - "Christopher Martins' Best Sandwich"
Though my expectations were rather modest when I arrived at the pub for a Sunday night bite, I left Christopher Martins full, content, and rather surprised. I was prepared to "dine" on greasy chicken fingers, fries, or perhaps a hamburger ... you know, your typical pub food. The game was on the TV set and a group at the bar behind us was doing shots and roaring in drunken laughter.
The steak wrapped asparagus is an appetizer worthy of some of New Haven's "best" restaurants. The asparagus was warm, with the perfect amount of thinly sliced steak wrapped around the stem. It was accompanied by a bed of jicama salad that was gobbled up almost as fast.
The pear, pecan, and blue cheese salad had such light, varied, and complimentary flavors that I had seconds, and thirds. The pear was perfectly grilled and served warm; the pecans were candied, but not too sweet; and the dressing light and flavorful. I really would have been happy simply with the appetizers, but I felt compelled to try "Christopher Martins' Best Sandwich", grilled chicken on focaccia.
I must admit, I'm a sucker for focaccia - you could stick a slice of bologna on focaccia and I'd be happy. But, the sandwich was tasty (though it probably would have been even better had I let them put their pesto mayonnaise on it) and I was perfectly content. I'm not qualified to say that it's their best sandwich, at least until I try a few more, but I am looking forward to going back again. View Larger Map
This summer New Haven played host to filming for the fourth
installment of the Indiana Jones film
franchise. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was shot in various locations in New Haven and at Yale
University. Virtually overnight,
downtown New Haven
was transformed into a 50’s-era city, complete with vintage storefronts, period
vehicles, and extras that appeared to have walked out of a Norman Rockwell
print. Spectators from across
Connecticut and surrounding states flocked to New Haven to look at the city
transformed, try out as extras, and perhaps catch a glimpse of Harrison
Ford. Ford sightings abounded, but most
proved to be his stunt double. I didn’t
see Ford (or his double), but I did have dinner two tables down from George
Lucas, who refused to refund the money I spent seeing those awful Star Wars
The Law School was the site for several days of shooting. The
faculty dining room and the seminar corridor became sets for the fictional Marshall
College, the school at which Indiana Jones teaches. The scenes shot at the Law School
were tame compared to the motorcycle chase filmed inside of neighboring
Sterling Memorial Library (we’ve been assured that no animals or 14th-century
illuminated manuscripts were harmed in the filming of the movie). I’m certain the Law School would have hosted more
action-packed scenes had they chosen to film a few years ago, prior to our $110
million renovation which rid the School of most of its snakes, falling stones,
and spiked pitfalls.
Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to post photos of the actors,
sets, or actual filming. So, please
enjoy this captivating photo of Associate Dean Mike
Thompson coordinating filming at the Law School with Location
Assistant Tim Slacker. A quick Google
search should produce more interesting photos.
Indiana Jones may
be in the vanguard of movies filming in New Haven during the next few years. Drawn by the proximity to NYC (1 hour by car,
1.5 by train), the picturesque architecture of Yale’s campus, and the
generous tax breaks recently offered by the Connecticut State Legislature,
studios are looking to New Haven as a site for their productions like never
before. In fact, Al Pacino and Robert De
Niro were in the area a few weeks ago shooting a heartwarming film entitled Righteous Kill.
So, the next time you’re in New Haven you may find yourself
rubbing elbows with Hollywood glitterati (or their stunt doubles), dodging a
motorcycle chase in the library, or waiting in line at a casting call for
extras. And while you’re enjoying your
dinner at one of New Haven’s many terrific restaurants, look around – you may
be dining next to a star.
Dear Asha,I plan to apply to Yale Law School this fall and have some questions about your courses and programs. I’ve looked through your website, but it would be really helpful to talk with someone from the Admissions Office. I live in Atlanta and won’t be able to visit in person – would it be best to call?
R.S., Atlanta, GA
Though we would love to gab with you, the honest truth is that if you call, we won’t be able to get back to you for a while. The fall is our recruiting season, so we are out of the office most of the time (and when we are here, we’re frantically gearing up for the next trip!).
The good news is that since you live in Atlanta, you can chat with one of us at the LSAC Forum in Atlanta on Friday and Saturday, October 26 and 27. Someone from the Admissions Office will also be at each of the other LSAC Forums in Boston, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco (for a complete list of dates and locations, please visit www.LSAC.org) as well as at law fairs in Miami and Philadelphia. We’ll also be making visits to several individual schools – please check our recruiting schedule to see whether we’ll be coming to your city or campus this fall.
If our paths won’t be able to cross at one of our recruitment events, you can send your question to email@example.com. We’ll respond as soon as we are able, though given our email volume it may take a few days. If you have a question which you think may be relevant to other applicants, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will answer it here. I hope we’ll get a chance to meet sometime this fall!
I’m quite certain my grandfather didn’t intend for his twelve gauge pump-action shotgun to be handed down to me. In fact, after nearly thirty years without ever so much as touching a firearm, I never expected to find myself shooting a clay target, then jumping up and down at the victory with a shotgun in my hands.
Skeet and trap shooting is just one of the more interesting courses offered through Yale’s Payne Whitney Gym (PWG). I suppose being the second largest gym in the world has something to do with that. This year I also took classes in Pilates and horseback riding. Yes, Yale has its own Equestrian and Polo Center for equine enthusiasts, a fly tying course for fishermen, an Outdoor Education Center for campers, and ballet classes for dancers. (For a complete list of facilities and classes, click here.)
In all honesty, the biggest single factor helping me get through a New England winter with a smile on my face has been PWG. Just one block from the Law School, there is really no excuse for missing a day, even on the snowiest of days. I have run into YLS students, staff, and even faculty at the fitness center; on the flip side, I’ve met law school applicants at the barn and at the shooting range.
In the fall PWG offers a much talked about deep-sea fishing course and we take a chartered boat out to where the Long Island Sound opens into the Atlantic. Although I’m a bit squeamish about baiting my hooks, I can’t wait to sign up!
Sarah skeet shooting in a course offered by the Payne Whitney Gymnasium
Dear Asha,I went to the Washington, D.C. law fair last July and picked up a Yale brochure, but I don’t see an application inside. Where can I get one?
Thanks for stopping by our table at the D.C. Forum and picking up a viewbook!
You can also obtain a copy of our viewbook
online, and if you have some time we encourage you to take a tour through our website
, which can answer many of your questions about the academic programs and events at the Law School.
Since last year, we’ve gone completely electronic with our applications, so you won’t find a paper application in the viewbook or online. You can access our e-app at www.LSAC.org. The application fee is $75; if you are applying for a need-based fee waiver, you should send an email requesting a fee waiver form to email@example.com. You should return this form along with your certification letter.
We’ll be addressing the components of our application in more detail in the coming weeks, but please note that our application is different from most schools’ in that we require not one, but two essays. One is the 250-word essay, which many students find to be both challenging and extremely fun to write (OK, maybe "extremely" is stretching it a little, but people do find it fun). The other required essay is a personal statement, for which most applicants submit the personal statement they have written for their other applications. We’ll send you an email once we receive your application, and will keep you updated on anything that’s missing until it is complete. Good luck!
To submit questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yale Law School recently welcomed its 196th-ish class of
students. Before classes began on
September 5, the 189 members of the Class of 2010 enjoyed a weeklong
orientation program designed to introduce them to the study of law and help
acclimate them to New Haven and life at YLS.
Throughout the week incoming students enjoyed meeting each other, upperclassmen,
and their professors.
Orientation events included Dean Koh's convocation, a
reception at the Yale Center for British Art, Shakespeare in the Park, lectures by YLS faculty as part of the Dean's Introductory Lecture Series, a
carnival, and, capitalizing on New Haven's claim to the best pizza in the country, a pizza party in the courtyard which, sadly, did not feature the best
pizza in New Haven. Orientation wrapped
up with a hike and picnic with Dean Koh in Sleeping Giant State Park, a journey
that will be repeated at the end of these students' final term, book ending
their time at the Law School.
In his welcome Dean Koh enumerated some of the details about
this year's incoming class. The Class of 2010:
- has representatives from 72 undergraduate institutions
- lived or worked in 65 countries (1/3 of the world's countries)
- earned 35 Masters degrees, 13 doctoral degrees, and 14 foreign
- speaks and reads 25 languages
During his speech Dean Koh emphasized that this is a community committed to excellence, humanity, and service, and that students here are committed to each other. He offered many pieces of advice to the class as they took their first steps into the legal profession, but one especially resonated with the students to whom I spoke: the people who will teach you the most during your time at YLS, the people who will get you through law school, are your classmates. You'll draw upon the personal, professional, and educational experiences of your fellow students to make the most of your time at YLS. Scanning through the backgrounds of the incoming class, it's not difficult to imagine how their skills can help you succeed in law school:
- eight marathon runners (wake up, dress, and make it to
class in under 10 minutes)
- a cartoonist (doodle professionally in class)
- a fingerpainter (doodle professionally in the Dining Hall)
- an Army Reservist, a competitive wrestler, and six martial artists (easily
obtain paper extensions)
- a competitive figure skater and a former member of the U.S. National Speedskating team (navigate New Haven winters)
- Miss Venezuela beauty pageant staffer (look your best for the winter formal)
- cryptanalyst (decipher professors' comments scrawled on your exams)
- an internationally ranked Minesweeper player (pass
time in class in a meaningful fashion)
- a professional gambler (ditto)
- a ballet dancer and a belly dancer (entertain the class when it's your day to be "on call")
- a pool inspector (??? If you have a suggestion for this one, email us at email@example.com)
Dean Koh accurately summed up the entering class in his convocation:
"You are, quite simply, the finest
group of entering law students assembled anywhere on the planet this year. Each year, one school in the world gets to
say that, and this year, happily, it is us."
Dean Koh announces the winners of the raffle held during the orientation carnival
The Law School community enjoys traditional carnival fare during orientation
We know, we know.
It seems that there’re just too many law school admissions blogs to read as you prepare to submit your applications this year.
Given the amount of “required reading” you have – in addition to studying for the LSAT, writing essays, and oh, by the way, keeping up your schoolwork or your job – we thought we’d mix it up a little here in New Haven to make things a bit more interesting.
First, if you’re visiting this blog, you’re probably most interested in our admissions process, as well as information on the reasons why Yale might be a great fit for you. So we’re going to focus on these topics by offering three columns. The first, “Ask Asha,” will answer your questions about applying to Yale and the courses and programs offered here. You can submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org – I will get to as many as I can! In addition, our Director of Admissions, Craig Janecek, will provide regular updates (a “Craig’s List,” if you will) on people and events of note at the Law School. Finally, Associate Director of Admissions, Sarah Arimoto-Mercer, will give you a glimpse of life in New Haven through “Sarah and the City,” a column about activities, restaurants, and social events around town.
We know you are also interested in hearing about student life here at YLS. Rather than ask students to filter their thoughts through the “official” lens of the Admissions Office, we have created a separate Student Perspectives Blog where students will offer their honest input on a number of student issues. We hope that you’ll find both of these blogs informative and that you’ll decide to apply to YLS this fall!
Dean of Admissions, YLS