Factors List for Planning Your Law School Applications

By Brad Dobeck, Esq.
President, PrelawAdvisor.com

Do you know the seven factors and the 54 sub-factors that the Law School Admission Council is now urging law schools to consider in reviewing your application? Review of this comprehensive list may allow you to develop additional arguments for your applications.

Factor 1—Academic Factors:

    1. LSAT score(s)
    2. Undergraduate GPA
    3. Any advanced work and/or other degrees
    4. Major
    5. Difficulty of course work
    6. Relevance of course work to law school
    7. Grade trends
    8. Course loads
    9. College(s) attended and quality of competition
    10. English your first language?
    11. Quality of high school and prior academic experience
    12. Other test scores
    13. Number of hours worked and other responsibilities during college

Factor 2—Demographic and Diversity Factors:

    14. Age
    15. Gender
    16. Ethnic/racial background
    17. Geographic residence
    18. Socio-economic status (SES)
    19. Multi-cultural experiences

Factor 3—Work Experience:

    20. Position
    21. Level of responsibility achieved
    22. Full-time or part-time work
    23. Number of years worked
    24. Type of industry or business
    25. Evidence of follow-through ability
    26. Law-related experience or knowledge
    27. Military status

Factor 4—Leadership and Extracurricular Factors:

    28. Undergraduate leadership activities
    29. Community leadership and accomplishments
    30. Volunteer activities
    31. Academic leadership and organizations
    32. High school accomplishments
    33. Athletic activities
    34. Travel; foreign living and service

Factor 5—Accomplishments:

    35. Special skills and talents
    36. Debate, music, drama, writing, artistic accomplishments
    37. Overcoming/persevering in the face of adversity
    38. Significant personal accomplishments of any kind
    39. Overcoming substantial discrimination
    40. Helping in overcoming discrimination against others
    41. Serving under-served communities or peoples

Factor 6—Evidence Supporting Character and Fitness; Personal Qualities:

    42. Integrity
    43. Problem-solving skills
    44. Maturity
    45. Honesty
    46. Compassion
    47. Judgment
    48. Motivation
    49. Perseverance, tenacity
    50. Unique perspectives

Factor 7—Skills and Abilities:

    51. Communications skills
    52. Planning Ability
    53. Analytical skills
    54. Advocacy skills

(Source: Beth Cobb O'Neil, Associate Executive Director, Law School Admissions Council, in "NAPLA Notes," Summer 1999.)

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