Law School Interviews

My oldest is applying to law school, and I’m curious what role interviews play in the process. If one is offered to everyone who applies, should an applicant always request it? (He did.) If it’s by invitation only and an applicant is invited, are the schools looking for something specific, or does everyone who makes a certain cut get invited to interview? He applied to some T14s and some others. High LSAT (175) and decent GPA (I think it’s 3.7-something).

Law school interviews are more consequential than undergrad admissions interviews. They’re conducted by the admissions department, not alumni. Not everyone who has a certain LSAT or certain GPA will get an interview. Law schools are still looking for someone who is a good fit.

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Thank you! He was invited to one by a T14, so I take it that’s an encouraging sign (although I’m pretty sure he said it was with an alumnus, so I don’t know).

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My son has a 175 LSAT, great internship turned into legal assistant job and a 3.96 GPA. He did not get an interview at Harvard Law, but he still survived the first round of rejections; just got rejected.
However, he was invited to interview at U Chicago, did so and was accepted there in January, early in the acceptance cycle.


Congratulations to your son! When did he submit his applications?

A bit surprised that your son was denied admission to HLS with a 175/3.96; seems like he should have at least been placed on the waitlist.

That’s what he thought - and is very disappointed. We (his parents) were very surprised. He also has had an internship at a venture capital firm and was promoted to a part time staffer last fall. Also does legal research for an attorney. It couldn’t not have been the quality of his essay - at least, It was good enough for Chicago and Columbia.

Early - in October.

I think the role that interviews play in the admissions process varies by school. Some schools interview a relatively small percentage of applicants, then go on to accept the majority of those they interview (I’m specifically thinking of Harvard where, until this very strange cycle, something like 2/3 of people interviewed were accepted, and you cannot be accepted unless you have interviewed. Chicago probably falls into this camp too). Some schools interview a far larger percentage of applicants (I’m thinking of Georgetown and Northwestern, although I know there are others). Some schools do not interview anybody (Yale, Stanford, NYU, Penn, Michigan and Duke come to mind), and some have what seems to be a very random approach to deciding who to invite to interview (definitely Columbia, maybe others). As you noted, it’s not a great idea to turn down an opportunity to interview, even if optional. At the same time, I do not think the adcomms are looking for anything specific in the interviews beyond trying to find a class of individuals who can do well academically, will contribute to the community, and are well-balanced in terms of backgrounds, interests, and goals.

I’d also like to add that it is not at all unusual for a candidate to be accepted at some very highly ranked schools and not others (especially this year, due to a dramatic increase in both the number of applications and the number of applicants with high LSAT scores). It’s a wild - and not always logical - ride.


It could have been his essay or might have been something in a letter of recommendation.

Was your son offered any scholarship money from Chicago or Columbia ?

If you would like an opinion regarding his essay, I will be glad to offer a critique if you PM it to me (law school personal statement).

Best of luck in the interview!

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There is also a lot of chatter on reddit etc. about increase in high scores this year, presumably because the LSAT went to “flex” model, with only 3 sections and all online. The original test has more sections, a longer test, and has stress associated with in-person test sites – such as technology failing, inconsistent proctor practices, and the stress of not being able to bring in your phone, worrying about being kicked out if you have items in your “see-through” bag which are not permitted in the room etc., all of which are things students report as serious problems with in-person testing. By removing all of those stressors from the experience has contributed to a spike in high scores.

It may be that HLS has plenty of 175s to choose from, and didn’t need this particular score.


But it wasn’t just a 175 LSAT score, it came with a 3.96 uGPA and didn’t even generate a place on the waitlist.

I agree, that’s a head scratcher. I agree with you that admission to Chicago etc. – if it was without merit – would signal that there was something else going on in the application which contributed to less interest. If there were merit at Chicago etc., then it’s just a puzzle why a 175 and a 3.96 didn’t get at least get an interview and perhaps WL at Harvard. Are there character and fitness issues? Still, one would expect those would impact admission across the board and not selectively.


@Midwestmomofboys : I think that we agree.

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