The Daily Journal had a lengthy article on the controversy surrounding law school admissions consultants. "Admissions Essays Get Second Look: Law-School Officials Question Applicants’ Use of Professional Editors" by Anna Oberthur is only available to subscribers, so I will summarize it here, with a few editorial comments of my own.
In the comments quoted in this article, the school admissions representatives display the usual and abysmal ignorance of what admissions consultants actually do. They mistakenly assume that admissions consultants:
- Write the essays.
- Distort qualifications.
- Contribute to a lack of equity in the system.
A representative of Vault.com and I are quoted in the article. I addressed law school concerns as follows:
Linda Abraham, president and founder of Los Angeles-based Accepted.com, said her business offers the same service provided by many undergraduate schools’ preprofessional advising centers. Considering how many prospective law students apply while completing their undergraduate degrees, that is significant, she said.
"In terms of what we are actually doing, there is no difference," Abraham said.
Abraham founded Accepted.com 11 years ago. In addition to helping students with law-school applications, the company helps people apply to master’s programs, medical schools, undergraduate schools and other graduate programs.
The personal statement is important because it usually is the only way for schools to "meet" the student, she said. But after so many years of nonpersonal, academic writing, applicants frequently need coaching on how to put themselves back into their writing.
Some applicants, especially immigrants, might come from cultures in which they are uncomfortable revealing themselves, Abraham added.
"We help them do that," she said.
Most law-school applicants who come to Accepted.com have not thought through their decisions fully, Abraham said.
"When we sit down and talk with them and ask, ‘Why do you want to go to law school?,’ we start them on a road to self-reflection and thought they never had," she said. "The schools and the profession should be thanking us for it."