Law School Admissions News Roundup

  • New Housing and Construction at Southwestern- According to The National Law Journal, Southwestern Law School has started work on its first on-campus housing project in the history of the school. The project will cost $20 million, and is funded through bonds and private donors. About 153 students will be able to live in the new units, which makes up about 40% of the school’s average entering class. In addition, James Camp has been named the school’s first assistant dean for property administration and development. Camp said that the school will be undergoing continuous construction and developmental changes over the next ten years, “And we’re starting off with a major construction project and major change in the way the campus is focused—from a commuter school to a residential school.”
  • Law School Transparency: Take Two- Law School Transparency is hoping for better luck and results this time around. The organization has asked every ABA-accredited law school to “release the graduate job employment report generated by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) for the class of 2010,” as reported by The National Law Journal. Last year, only one school agreed to share its information, and then reneged months later. According to Executive Director Kyle McEntee, LST wants to “plug some gaps in the information the ABA itself is compiling for the class of 2010, and to provide an apples-to-apples comparison of job and salary data to prospective law students before they decide where to apply.” So far, he has received more positive responses than last year, which can either be attributed to the added pressure law schools now feel to provide accurate information, or the ease in complying this time around, which merely involves forwarding a report from the NALP. While the ABA has added new categories to its questionnaire and some law schools have taken it upon themselves to provide salary and employment data on their web sites, most schools still don’t include all relevant data and don’t present it in a way most helpful to applicants. Accordingly, “Law School Transparency hopes to create a database that allows users to easily compare schools.” The organization also warned deans that refusing to share info could damage their reputation, especially among applicants wary of schools’ tendencies toward misinformation.
  • Personal Statement Tips from Chicago Law- Having trouble with your personal statement? The University of Chicago Law School offers advice on their website. The main two things they are looking for in a personal statement are a representation of who you are and your writing ability. When trying to represent yourself, make sure to be yourself and honest in the essay, and make it personal, writing in your own voice. There is no need to discuss anything legal-related in the essay and avoid name-dropping. You also don’t need to restate your resume or list your qualifications in the personal statement. Keep it concise and straightforward; don’t try to cover too much. And of course, proofread thoroughly, but remember to remove tracked changes. Last but not least, the school cautions not to write that you’ll be a good lawyer because you enjoy arguing: “For a number of reasons, it is best to leave this out.”
  • Washington and Lee Takes Hofstra Dean- Nora Demleitner, dean of Hoftra University Maurice A. Dean School of Law since 2008, will be the new dean at Washington and Lee University School of Law, The National Law Journal reports. Demleitner will be the school’s first female dean and is particularly interested in the school’s skills-based curriculum, in which third-years take a series of simulation courses. She also “plans to investigate ways to further incorporate international law—and the realities of a global legal market—into the curriculum.” Demleitner has made a significant jump up the U.S. News rankings, with Hofstra ranked No. 84, and Washington and Lee No. 30.
  • What’s Hot and Not- The National Jurist reveals what the hot legal practice areas are right now, at least according to the Robert Denney Associates Annual Market Report. “Red Hot” areas are Energy, Banking, Intellectual Property, and Health Care. Labor & Employment Law, Regulatory work, White Collar Crime, Immigration, Financial Services, and Cyber Crime are also “predicted to remain hot in 2012,” and Commercial Real Estate is “starting to get hot.” The country’s hot geographic markets are Washington, D.C. and Texas, especially Houston. Plus, India, Russia, China, and Brazil are the countries considered “major growth opportunities” by global firms.
  • Want a High GPA? Hope for the Best…- Law school may have a reputation for its impact on students’ mental health, but a new study has discovered that hope can help determine success. As reported by The National Law Journal, the study asked members of the incoming class at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law questions pertaining to their levels of hope and optimism. Researchers also analyzed the participants’ LSAT scores and undergrad GPAs. Then, the team “surveyed the participants after four months in law school and collected their first semester grades, performing a statistical analysis to determine how the factors related to each other.” The results? Higher law school and undergrad GPAs were both correlated with high rates of hope. The study also distinguished between hope and optimism, which can boost life satisfaction, but not necessarily GPAs. More surveys have been conducted at other schools, and the data is in the process of being analyzed.

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Interview with the VP of the Economist’s Which MBA? Online Fair

Which MBA? FairWe’d like to extend a big thank you to Isaac Showman, Vice President and Head of Which MBA? from The Economist Group, for taking the time to answer some of our most pressing questions about the Which MBA? Online Fair. The next Which MBA? virtual MBA event will take place on February 6-7. View the Live Chat schedule and register for free now!

Accepted: What is unique about Which MBA? fair?

Isaac: The Which MBA? Online Fair is a truly global event that allows visitors from over 130 countries to interact with business schools from around the world all in one place, at one time. These visitors can meet admissions staff face-to-face in video chat, in a group chat environment, or in a one-one-one instant message. In addition, visitors also have the opportunity to join over a dozen interactive webinars with business schools, for free. There’s nowhere else on the internet that brings together this much MBA expertise in an interactive environment.

Accepted: How should applicants prepare for your fair?

Isaac: A list of participating schools is sent to registrants in advance of the Which MBA? Online Fair.  Participants should spend some time familiarizing themselves with the list and coming up with any questions they may want to ask. Visitors should also prepare their resumes since they can upload them at the fair. Once uploaded, these resumes will be visible to every business school at the fair.

Accepted: What should applicants do to make the most of the event while they are there?

Isaac: After logging in, visitors should check out the fair schedule, which lists all of the webinars and chat sessions taking place throughout the two-day fair. We recommend that students join chat sessions where they can speak with admissions officers both in a group and one-on-one environment. In addition, visitors should consider completing a simple compatibility profile in order to find business schools that best match their preferences

Accepted: How can applicants make up for the lack of personal connection in a virtual event?

Isaac: No matter what stage in their MBA journey, a prospective candidate can make connections with the right people at the Which MBA? Online Fair. It could open the door for interviews and the important “next steps” in the process. Most importantly, the fair helps visitors find schools that best suit their needs and expectations, saving much time during their MBA search.

Accepted: Is there any follow-up you would recommend?

Isaac: Absolutely — visitors can gather key contact information from the representatives they speak to and follow up with them once the fair has ended.

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Sunny SoCal: USC Marshall MBA Admissions Q&A This Week!

USC Marshall

Popovich Hall at USC Marshall

Situated in sunny Southern California, USC’s Marshall School of Business offers its students remarkable opportunities to develop their careers in a global context. If you have questions about Marshall’s strong ties to media and entertainment, its in-depth international focus (especially in the Pacific Rim and Latin American countries), its extensive “Trojan Network” for job opportunities, and its strong entrepreneurial concentrations, then you’ll want to tune in to our Marshall Q&A with Kellee Scott, Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions. The event will take place on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 10:30 AM PT/1:30 PM ET/6:30 PM GMT. Join us then to learn more about how you’ll fit in to this world-class teamwork-based program!

Register now to reserve your spot for the USC Marshall MBA Q&A.

What time is that for me? Click on the link to find out the exact time for your location.

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Financial Times 2012 Rankings Are Out!

Winners and Losers in FT RankingsThe Financial Times published its annual ranking of MBA programs today. And the top 10 are:

  1. Stanford (3 year average: #3; last year tied for #4)
  2. Harvard (3 year average: #3; last year’s #3)
  3. Wharton (3 year average: #2; last year tied  for #1)
  4. London Business School (3 year average: #2; last year tied for #1)
  5. Columbia (3 year average: #6; last year’s #7)
  6. INSEAD (3 year average: #5; last year tied for #4)
  7. MIT Sloan (3 year average: #8; last year’s #tied for #9)
  8. IE (3 year average: #7; last year’s #8)
  9. IESE (3 year average #10: last year’s #9  )
  10. HKUST (3 year average: #8; last year’s #6)

The Financial Times rankings is based on two surveys: one of business schools and one of alumni who graduated in 2008. This ranking weighs salary growth for these alumni and attempts to adjust for purchasing power differences and even possible distortions caused by the size of the school. FT describes its methodology, and anyone who gives these numbers any credibility needs to understand what is being ranked and measured here.

One of the valuable aspects of this ranking is its global nature. US News and Businessweek do not rank U.S. schools with non-U.S. schools. The FT ranking compares both U.S. and international programs on several criteria, including increase in salary three years after graduation, the relative number of articles published by faculty at different institutions, diversity of teaching staff, and more. Again, for details, please see FT’s methodology.

How much should you pay attention to this ranking? Should you be combing it for schools that have gone up and abandon schools that have declined? If your criteria for a graduate MBA education match the survey elements exactly, pay a lot of attention to it. However, for most of you, while increase in salary is certainly important, it also has to be considered in the context of cost — something FT doesn’t consider. And FT uses salary across the board, not for the field you want to go into. That’s the figure that should matter to you. Then there are criteria that may or may not translate into a better educational experience for you — number of articles published by full-time faculty, for example. Is that really an important reflection of a quality educational experience? Or simply institutional bragging rights. Or could practitioner teachers also bring valuable insight and experience to the classroom without publishing a page, anywhere?

Use the results for the data, not for the ranking. If the data are important to you, then go into them more thoroughly, but don’t obsess about the ranking and changes in ranking, especially small ones. The Financial Times ranking is particularly known for its volatility. You don’t see it in the top 10, but fluctuations become more pronounced outside the top 10.

To learn more about the different MBA rankings, please see “MBA Rankings: Which Business Schools are the Best?”

For additional perspective and insight into this ranking, please see:

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted.com and co-author of MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

 

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London Business School Master in Management Chat Monday

Do you have questions about London Business School’s Masters in Management program? Do you want to hear more about the ideal MiM candidates—about their academic records, how much work experience they have, and what sorts of goals and careers they see in their futures? Are you interested in learning about how this internationally acclaimed top school’s curriculum will enrich your understanding of business fundamentals?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’ll want to tune in to Accepted’s upcoming Q&A during which Lisa Mortini, Recruitment and Admissions Manager, together with two Student Ambassadors at London’s Masters in Management program, will be available to address all your MiM concerns. Don’t miss this opportunity to ask your questions and hear more about London’s attractive pre-experience Masters in Management program! The live Q&A session will take place tomorrow, Monday, January 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT.

Register now to reserve your spot for the London Business School MiM Admissions Q&A.