The application deadline is rapidly approaching. February 1, 2010 (11:59:59 PM PST) to be exact…
Take note of this date and mark it clearly on your calendar if you’ve not already done so as I must confess I’m not all that generous when it comes to applicants who ask for special consideration in submitting a late application. If you’ve only discovered today that you want to go to law school next fall and you’ve not even taken the LSAT yet, you are not in an enviable position. 4000-plus candidates will have managed to hit that “submit” button in a timely fashion. What might your reason be for not making the deadline? Am I being harsh? Perhaps. Probably. But deadlines are important and they are plentiful in law school – paper deadlines, clinic application deadlines, add/drop deadlines, financial aid deadlines and the list goes on. Let’s not even get started on “real life” deadlines. So, if you’ve not been good about meeting deadlines in the past, make a change and chart a new course starting today. Now, of course, if there truly is a compelling reason for a late submission, let me know and I will give it full and careful consideration. I’m not that harsh all the time.
If you’ve not yet gotten that application in – but have every intention of doing so by the deadline noted above - and are wringing your hands because you think you’re late and behind the eight ball, stop the worrying. The class is not yet full. There are seats still waiting to be filled. Take that nervous energy and use it instead to put the finishing touches on that personal statement. And, savor the moment when you are done and have turned things over to us.
OK, we’re back in business. Walking through the SLS doors on Monday was a tad difficult. Two weeks away from the workplace – even though it comes at one of the worst times of the admissions season – allowed some downtime to travel, to get to books that have sat too long unread, to get caught up on episodes of Criminal Minds (Hotch retire from the BAU? Hah.) and, of course, to start that new exercise regime for the sixth time in the last three months. But, I digress here as this blog is not about me. It’s about you so let me get back on point. We’re back in business. We’ve spent the week opening the mail that accumulated while we were away. We’re trying to respond to the huge volume of email that went unanswered in our absence. We accessed all the applications that were submitted electronically in that two-week period. We are working like crazy to get back on schedule. Remember the Grimm Brothers fairy tale about the elves and the shoemaker? Well, a few elves here at SLS would certainly be welcome right about now!
As an applicant, what can you do if you’ve not yet heard from us regarding a decision? This would be an excellent opportunity to get us more information. If your fall grades are now available, get an updated transcript to LSAC so that our records are updated. If you’ve received any new honors or awards, send us details on that. If you’ve started a new job or taken on new responsibilities at your current job, let us know. Approach this as an opportunity to further your case – if there is something that could affect or impact our review of your application, get that information to us. Email is the quickest and most efficient way to accomplish this.
If you are thinking about coming out to Palo Alto for a visit, check our website to see what classes you might want to sit in on. I’d strongly recommend Constitutional Law as an option. The class meets on Monday and Tuesday (9:50 to 11:00) and on Wednesday (8:30 to 9:40). There are three sections of the course – one section is taught by Gerhard Casper who served as President of Stanford University from 1992 to 2000; one section is taught by Pam Karlan who is one of the founding directors of our extremely successful Supreme Court Litigation Clinic; one section is taught by Kathleen Sullivan who served as Dean of SLS from 1999 to 2004. All three faculty members are simply extraordinary. Come and see for yourself.
Keep in touch…
[For those of you who are now extremely stressed because you think we’ll take even longer to make decisions, I’m kidding about the elves. We’re in good shape.]
Just a heads-up that the law school (and the greater University) is shutting down for the winter break at the end of the day today and will not be open for business until January 4. What this means – for those of you waiting to hear from us – is that no decisions (good news or bad news) will be going out until we return from the break. All submission functions will still be in place and mail will still be delivered, but you won’t be hearing a peep out of us until winter quarter starts up in early January.
For those of you still working, feverishly perhaps, on your applications, know that you’ve got time on your side given this shut-down. Make good use of this gift of time and put together a well-crafted application.
For those of you who sat for the December LSAT and are a tad nervous that this score puts your application at a disadvantage over those who took the test earlier, no worries. The December score is absolutely fine in terms of timing.
Happy holidays to all. We’ll be back in touch in 2010…
Stanford blogging? Yes, indeed. Come along for the ride – you’ll find tips, you’ll get advice, you’ll hear from me, you’ll hear from guest bloggers, you’ll learn more about the school, you’ll have access to the SLS inside scoop.
And, while we’re on the subject of inside scoop, here’s something that should be of interest to all of you. While I traveled across the country with my co-panelists (Rick Geiger from Cornell, Bill Hoye from Duke and Ken Kleinrock from NYU – the best traveling companions, by the way), a pesky little rumor would surface here and there. The rumor? SLS has changed its admissions policies and will now place more weight on the LSAT. Worried looks and general nervousness accompanied the question as applicants sought me out at events for clarification on the change. When I was back in the office, pre-law advisors called on behalf of their students wanting to know more about why we were instituting the change. I was surprised by the rumor, but I completely understood the concern. Afterall, SLS has managed over the years to convey its philosophical stance on the importance of the LSAT by not placing undue weight on this factor alone. Think of each individual application as a puzzle and think of how pieces will fit differently depending on each individual. For us, the LSAT has just been that – another puzzle piece. But, let’s get back to that annoying rumor. Two words…not true. Put your concerns and worries aside – we have not changed our policies. You heard it from me. Trust the source. Now, go forth and spread the word.