There was a great series in the “New York Times” recently on graduate school admissions and on trends in students attending graduate school during these tough economic times. One piece entitled “The Next Gate” by Jacques Steinberg discusses how similar the graduate school admissions process is to the college admissions process. Like in college admissions, graduate schools are searching for students with great grades and scores whose essays, jobs/activities, and recommendations share a unique personal story.
For many law schools, as Mr. Steinberg describes, there is an index for admission. In college admissions, many schools have an algorithm as well such as The Ivy League’s Academic Index. This index does not eliminate subjective thinking…far from it! It’s simply a measure by which admissions counselors can compare all students. At law schools, college GPA or LSAT score will be weighted differently in the index depending upon the school.
And like in the college admissions process, those essays and letters of recommendations need to shed great insight on the candidate for that candidate to be successful. These components of the application – be it in the business school personal statement or the PhD statement of purpose or the recommendation letter from a previous employer – should show a clear and demonstrated intellectual curiosity and love of learning.