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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Kay

Law School Admissions Formula

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

As a law school admissions consultant, I am frequently asked, “What is the surest way to get into the law school of my dreams?” Based upon my experience practicing law and mentoring potential law school applicants, I’d have to say that there is a law school admissions formula, or special recipe, for getting into your dream school. And it’s pretty simplistic.


The first step to any productive relationship, whether personal or professional, is to know your audience. When writing your personal statement ask yourself: Who will be reviewing my application? What are they looking for? When deciding between law schools ask yourself: Who will be teaching me, leading me, mentoring me? When litigating a case before a jury of twelve ask yourself: Who are these people? What is their background and experience? Know your audience, and you will know your environment.


Your law school application will be reviewed by the admissions team and often by law school faculty and professors. This is an extremely intelligent, well-versed, educated group of readers and every single one of them will be looking for your score on the IQ + EQ law school admissions formula.


What is IQ? In general, your Intelligence Quotient (“IQ”) is your ability to use logic to solve problems, to plan, strategize, and understand abstract ideas. Your IQ tells the audience your ability to learn and grasp and use language. It’s your ability to talk to the Judge on the bench, draft an appellate brief, absorb, and assimilate massive quantities of data. The average IQ is between 85-115. Elon Musk’s is 155. Bill Gates is 160. On your law school application, your IQ qualities for purposes of the admission formula will be captured in the LSAT and to some extend your GPA depending upon where you went to school and what you studied.


What is EQ? Conversely, your Emotional Quotient (“EQ”) is your ability to identify emotions in yourself and others and use them to your advantage, to adjust your behavior to different situations, resolve conflict and communicate effectively. Your EQ tells the audience your ability to adapt to changing circumstances and your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses. It’s your ability to talk to the jury, recognize power dynamics, pick up on emotional cues and develop successful relationships. On your law school application, your EQ qualities for purposes of the admission formula will be captured through your personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation and optional essays.


Most law school applicants come into the application process with relatively high GPAs and a healthy determination to devote the time and effort required for studies on the LSAT. What’s often overlooked or possibly underestimated by applicants is the work required to fully develop and present that higher EQ evidenced in the personal statement, resume and letters of recommendation. I have found that with concentrated time, attention to detail and self-reflection these components of the application can be fine-tuned and honed to tell a complete and compelling story of who you are and why you should go to law school. Well-crafted, cohesive essays woven with the experiences on your resume and the third-party feedback of your recommenders can be the tipping point for an admissions decision and often the deciding factor in scholarship potential.

I would welcome the opportunity to help you fine tune evidence of your EQ in your law school application. Contact me today.

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