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Black Marks on Law School Applications

Podcast Highlight:

This week’s podcast discusses “black” or “red” marks on your law school applications. Our guests on the program are Susan Krinsky, Associate Dean of Admissions at Tulane University Law School; Joyce Curll, former Dean of Admissions at Harvard Law School and New York University School of Law, and author of Best Law School Admission Secrets; and Collins Byrd, Assistant Dean of Admissions at University of Iowa College of Law.

The negative aspects, also known as “black” or “red” marks, on a student’s law school application can range from the small (such as a failed class in college) to the extreme (such as a felony conviction for forgery). Our experts today discuss how students could potentially receive admission to law school even with a problem on their record, and how they should disclose this negative information on their applications.

Our first guest, Assistant Dean of Admissions at University of Iowa College of Law Collins Byrd, says that students should always disclose everything on their law school applications. He wants applicants to know that, although they may feel their actions are uniquely negative, many law school administrators have seen these problems on applications before. He warns, however, that without full disclosure, it’s hard to fully trust an applicant.

Susan Krinsky, Associate Dean of Admissions at Tulane University Law School, says that it is very important to discuss whatever issue you may have on your application-but that going overboard on your explanations can be a problem as well. She also talks about the differences between admission to law school and a state Bar, and comments that, while a law school may be willing to overlook past indiscretions and offer a student with a negative past admission, the Bar may still deny a law graduate’s eligibility to sit for the Bar Exam.

Our final guest, Joyce Curll, former Dean of Admissions at Harvard Law School and New York University School of Law, and author of Best Law School Admission Secrets, says that explaining yourself and your background is vital to being considered for admission to law school. She also talks about the best way to present your explanation in a law school application-through an addendum. She discourages students from discussing a problem on their record in their personal statement. Finally, she goes on to say that having a positive attitude and being willing to disclose your situation fully can help with overcoming the “black” or “red” marks on your law school application.

Guests:

Susan Krinsky – Associate Dean of Admissions at Tulane University Law School
Joyce Curll – Former Dean of Admission at Harvard Law School and New York University School of Law and author of Best Law School Admission Secrets
Collins Byrd – Associate Dean of Admissions at University of Iowa College of Law

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