pageok
pageok
pageok
Harvard Law School Admissions Blog:
HLS Assistant Dean of Admissions Toby W. Stock has a blog. Hat tip: Brian Leiter.
tdsj:
wherein he tries to convince prospective students that HLS really is as good as YLS. (it really is! i swear!)
11.19.2005 2:57pm
Walker:
Harvard's admissions office was so thoroughly arrogant that I wound up telling them 'no' after they let me in. I ended up choosing Virginia instead, and I wasn't the only person in Charlottesville who made the decision based at least in part on that basis. Maybe Toby can author a post about that...
11.19.2005 3:22pm
SLS 1L:
I've never understood institutional blogs. Their purpose is always to promote the institution rather than to offer sincere expressions of opinion, and it's particularly transparent here. I turned down HLS for other reasons, but this blog would have made the decision any harder.
11.19.2005 6:42pm
SLS 1L:
Correction: wouldn't have made the decision any harder.
11.19.2005 6:43pm
A. Friend:
Walker -- I don't know if this would have made a difference to you, but the HLS admissions office is largely a marketing group autonomous from the main HLS administration. As a current HLS student, I can say that the main administrators -- especially the Dean and the Dean of Students -- have been unbelievable supportive of and attentive to their students. If you're referring to a few years ago -- when there was a different administration -- things might have been different; but my main point is that people should be wary of judging the whole school from the admissions office
11.19.2005 11:07pm
Walker:
Friend, that's interesting info that I didn't know. I started law school in 2001, so perhaps things were different then. Back then, the borderline incompetence of the admissions office was enough to induce me to turn down Harvard Law School (a decision I would have considered absurd the day I got my LSAT score).
11.20.2005 12:20am
Visitor Again:
my main point is that people should be wary of judging the whole school from the admissions office

Instead of relying on prospective students to view the admissions office with wariness, wouldn't it be simpler to change whatever is wrong with the admissions office?

But I don't understand in the first place why people are complaining about the admissions office. Admittedly it was a long time ago (I'm class of 1968), but I merely wrote in for an application, got one by return mail, filled it out, sent it in and then waited for a letter of admission/rejection, which came soon enough. How can an admissions office display arrogance during this simple process? Or have students taking to making phone calls and/or visits to the admissions office because written explanations of the process are not sufficient for them or because they want to try to push their chances for admission?
11.20.2005 12:26am
Brian G (mail) (www):
That blog seems like a waste of time. Really, who cares why Harvard picks some students over another, especially when you know the guy is being less than completely honest. Here's how Harvard makes their decisions, in this order of priority:

For whites:

1 - Did Mommy or Daddy go to HLS?
2 - How much money do you have?
3 - LSAT score

For minorities:

1- Did Mommy or Daddy go here?
2 - How much money do you have?
3 - Can we use this person as a good token example to show how diverse and multicultural we are?

If you believe that they look at anything else, they you believe they have 500 people or so on their staff devoted exclusively to reading admissions applications.
11.20.2005 12:51am
jc:
Walker,

How was HLS admissions arrogant?
11.20.2005 11:48am
paa:
Brian G, you have absolutely no idea how HLS admissions works. Legacy and financial status have almost no bearing on admissions. Harvard gets the best/second-best class in the nation based on gpa/lsat alone. Those rich legacies you think come to HLS in droves aren't driving down the numbers at all.

But if it makes you feel better to think that HLS is some sort of throwback to the anti-meritocracy of the 50s, continue in your ignorance.
11.20.2005 12:42pm
NYU Jew (mail):
Why would someone decide which law school to go to based on the Admissions staff? I transferred to NYU from another Tier 1 law school. I must say that once I actually began school (both last year and this year), I've had little if any contact with the Admissions people.
As the old saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover.
Likewise, I'm currently attempting to determine which law firm to go to. It would be pretty short-sighted to make this determination based on which firm has a better recruiting staff and gives better goodies.
11.20.2005 1:02pm
Justice Fuller:
"Likewise, I'm currently attempting to determine which law firm to go to. It would be pretty short-sighted to make this determination based on which firm has a better recruiting staff and gives better goodies."

Short-sighted, yes, but also common.
11.20.2005 1:21pm
akflave (mail):
I'll take it one step further. If it's short-sighted for someone to make a decision based on the admissions department, it's also foolhardy for the school not to heed the fact that people DO make decisions this way. Therefore, the school that tolerates a poor admissions department is reflected by the admissions department.
11.20.2005 6:18pm
A. Friend:
"If it's short-sighted for someone to make a decision based on the admissions department, it's also foolhardy for the school not to heed the fact that people DO make decisions this way. Therefore, the school that tolerates a poor admissions department is reflected by the admissions department."
Unless the school prefers that people who make foolhardy decisions don't go to that school anyway!
11.20.2005 7:45pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
Well, if I have no idea how Harvard Admissions works then I think I just have to somehow find the courage to carry on. I am going to a law school that for 3 years isn't costing me nearly as much as 1 year of Harvard and got a great paying job already. I don't care for Harvard and I never did, nor do I care for their admissions process. But c'mon, don't tell me legacy isn't a big deal. I'll bet one could find 100-200 people easily out of there 2000 that are legacies. Hell, my class is only 112 people and I could name 15 of them, and that is only those I know about.

I have been through the admission process. I got in all 3 top 15 schools I applied to. Why I am not at any of them? Because I am a not-rich white guy. Every single one of the top schools wanted financial information from both me and my parents. I could not afford to take $150,000 in loans. I am surely not close to the only one. I repsect those that get into and go to Harvard. But, I'd rather not be stuck with that kind of financial burden and I am surely not so dumb to think Harvard has this wonderful and fair admissions process that doesn't take legacy or financial worth into account.
11.20.2005 9:02pm
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
I'm just a poor shlub who's planning on going part time to a non-famous law school. After 4 years, I will be a lawyer, which means I will be able to practice law and get paid for it.

The upside of this humble path instead of Harvard is that I can work while I do it and not have to take out any loans.

I went to an expensive top tier undergrad school and did pretty well. I have seen first hand that it was completely irrelevant except for maybe my first set of job interviews. All of my employment since then has been gained through networking and word of mouth on my qualifications.

Is practicing law really that different? Do you think you can get away with slacking once you graduate from Harvard? Do you think that someone from Podunk Law School who turns out to be a talented and effective lawyer will languish forver in mediocrity because he missed out on a top 10 law school? I wouldnt hire a lawyer based on his law school any more than I would hire him based on his LSATs.
11.21.2005 1:20am
Guest2 (mail):
Brian G., I don't see the logic in your argument that a top school's refusal to give you financial aid shows that it admits people largely based on how much money their parents have.
11.21.2005 7:33am
Houston Lawyer:
If they wanted to make their blog useful, they could post some relevant statistical data, such as LSATs, GPAs and household incomes of admitted/denied applicants broken down by race, legacy status, geographical location, undergraduate university, undergraduate degree, age, previous vocation, etc. I would also like to see stats on people with high LSAT's and GPAs denied and those with low LSAT's and GPAs accepted. I won't hold my breath.
11.21.2005 12:17pm
Christine:
I don't see why anyone would have a problem with the blog. His style is very conversational, while conveying a true love of the school. Its nice for students to get a little insight into the process.
11.29.2005 6:54pm