Getting into UCLA School of Law: Advice from Dean Robert Schwartz

By David Greenberg   , , No comments

Dean Robert Schwartz

Thank you to Dean Robert Schwartz from UCLA School of Law for participating in our Admissions Spotlight Series. coque iphone xr Dean Schwartz is the acting Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. Joseph Fernandez from Parliament Tutors conducted this interview.

As the Senior Assistant Dean for Admissions, Financial Aid, and Career Planning, what are your day-to-day responsibilities?

My day to day responsibilities vary considerably depending on the time of the year. I am always responsible for overseeing the entire admissions office operation and supervising all of our employees.

What do you consider the most significant parts of an application for admission, the parts which applicants should prepare the most carefully?

All parts of the application are important but the personal statement is the one which applicants need to spend considerable time on.

Is there anything you frequently see on an admission application that you hope to never see again?

I have seen applicants write the name of another law school in their personal statement. That is an error we prefer not to see.

What common pitfalls should financial aid applicants be careful to avoid?

My best advice is to follow the application instructions. For example, do not provide a statement that is longer than the limit we set. coque samsung a20 Answer the question we ask. And make sure you answer (in an addendum if necessary) any questions that you think an admissions counselor will have when reviewing your file.

Are there any myths about the application process which you would like to dispel?

We read each and every application; there are no numerical cut-offs. That said, numbers are important and we do publish detailed information regarding our admission rates.

What advice would you give to an admissions applicant with below-average test scores but significant work experience?

Emphasize how the work experience will enable the applicant to contribute to the law school community and classroom and how it will enable the applicant to succeed in the legal profession.

Does your program frequently have to turn away applicants whom you wish you could admit? If so, what could those applicants have done differently to be admitted?

Yes, we do need to turn away thousands of applicants each year. We are fortunate to receive so many highly qualified applicants. I do not have any magic advice other than to encourage applicants to “put their best foot forward”; write the best personal statement, obtain the best letters of recommendation they can, and indicate why they are interested in UCLA and how they could contribute to our community. If an applicant is not admitted, I encourage them to consider applying to transfer to UCLA after their first year at another law school.

How much faith do you have in the ability of an LSAT, to predict success in law school?

As a general rule, the LSAT is a good predictor of law school performance. It is not a matter of “faith”; the Law School Admission Council has completed detailed reports which indicate that fact. That said, it is not predictive in every case. coque iphone 4 And that is why we review each application carefully and admit students with a wide range of LSAT scores.

What do you look for in a recommendation letter?

We look carefully at letters of recommendation. coque autres galaxy samsung Ideally the recommender will provide detailed information regarding the applicant’s chances of success in law school and as a lawyer. We hope that the recommender has observed the applicant demonstrate skills that will be useful in law school and in the legal profession.

Suppose an applicant has little or no experience relevant to your program, but has significant experience in other fields. coque iphone 5 What can that applicant do to distinguish himself or herself in your eyes as a good candidate for your program?

We do not expect applicants to have experience in the legal profession. We admit students each year that have majored in a wide variety of areas and have worked in many different fields, from Archaeology to Zoology.

Joseph Fernandez specializes in LSAT Tutoring.