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Archive for the ‘Online Application’ Category

How to Write a Personal Statement If You’re Just the “Average Joe”

September 28th, 2011 No comments

So you have no idea what to write and you don’t think you’re special.  What should you do?

  • Think positive.  You’re not that average, you’re applying to law school.  Not everyone has that privilege.  In fact, only around 10% of the U.S. population earns a professional degree.  That in itself is remarkable!   So how did you get into this elite group?  You might be judging yourself more harshly than you realize.  Although cliché, everyone really does have a different perspective to offer in a classroom discussion.  In the U.S., it seems ordinary for some to go to college and graduate school.  But this is certainly not true.  Even if you had support along the way, you didn’t just sleep your way through high school and college (hopefully).  Take the typical and turn it around.
  • Take the pressure off and just write whatever comes to mind.   Once you have exhausted your thoughts and then review your brainstorming session.  Collect what’s relevant and form it into a paper.  You know how to do this because you’ve been trained to write since childhood.  But if you’re struggling organizing your thoughts, then visit the writing center at your college or alma mater.
  • DO NOT start with “although I’m not traditionally diverse . . .” Widener Law’s Admissions Committee seeks diversity in many ways, some you may not even consider in yourself – reflect.  What have you done that your friends or family have not?  How have you been praised?  What’s your favorite hobby?  Where have you traveled?  Who raised you?  Anything that has led you to the point of considering law school is significant.  You have a story to tell, no matter what your background.
  • The personal statement is important but it certainly does not make or break your application.  Make sure it is well written, grammatically correct, and purposeful.  Keep in mind, however, that Admissions uses your scores (LSAT and undergraduate GPA) as the objective indicator of success in the first year of law school.  Spend time on every component of your application, all of it is important, but if you have to choose between mulling over a sentence in your personal statement or mastering an LSAT question – go with the LSAT.

Finally, watch Dodgeball for some inspiration (and probably a much needed break).  The Average Joes come out on top!

Questions about applying to law school?  Email me – asdelpuerto@mail.widener.edu or visit law.widener.edu/admissions

Application Deadline May 15

May 9th, 2011 No comments

It’s been a while!  The Admissions office is busy preparing for the new class and continuing to read files.  Remember our deadline to apply is May 15!  Take advantage of our free application through our website to be considered for Fall 2011.  We will accept a June LSAT score, visit LSAC.org for registration information.

Lately, I’ve received many questions from applicants who were not offered a seat this year.  First, remember that you can achieve your goals with dedication and persistence.  Work hard for what you seek.  Secondly, the Committee carefully reviews every application in its entirety.  However, your LSAT score and undergraduate GPA are significant when making a decision.  They are an objective way for the Committee to gauge your skill level.  Although these scores are not directly pertaining to law, they do indicate your level of reasoning and scholarly potential.  If your scores do not approach our medians, admission will be more challenging.  A strong personal statement, persuasive letters of recommendation and supporting materials can help offset lower scores.  Additionally, if you have any weaknesses in your file then address them in an addendum, or separate statement.  You may email any supporting documents to lawadmissions@widener.edu to add to your file.

As another application season winds down, we will continue to offer events and guidance for the entering class.  I welcome any questions or comments, please email me at asdelpuerto@widener.edu.

Stand Out From the Crowd

February 22nd, 2011 2 comments

It’s the height of application season and making your application stand out can be challenging.  Here are a few points to consider:

What were your accomplishments?

You want to highlight your strengths in your personal statement. Try not to summarize your resume or extracurricular activities.  What makes you different and extraordinary?  What is most meaningful in your life?  How does this relate to law school?  Discuss any weaknesses or standardized scores in a separate statement, NOT in the personal statement.

Who knows you well academically and/or professionally?

Does this person write well?  Can he or she provide specific examples of your outstanding abilities?  Never rely on a well known name or persona for a good recommendation.  A mentor or coworker might provide more detail than a Senator.

Did you get to the point?

Review all of your documents; remember that Admissions Committees are reviewing hundreds of applications a week.  Be concise, be precise, be coherent.  Can you easily skim your statements?  How long do they take to read?  Always ask others to edit your documents and ask for a general overview.  How do others describe your statement in a word or sentence?  Were there any sentences they had to review for clarity?

Although scores are a vital factor to your application, asking yourself these questions can give you an edge.

Also, remember that Widener Law’s admissions process is paperless.  Please apply through lsac.org or law.widener.edu and we will request your LSAC CAS report upon receiving your application.  Every applicant must register through our website portal, law.widener.edu/admissions, to receive a decision.

As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns, asdelpuerto@mail.widener.edu.  Good luck!

New Year, New Applicants!

August 24th, 2010 No comments

Classes are in session and our new class is officially inaugurated.  We wish our incoming and current students the best of luck!  A brand new year brings a brand new admission season.

This year, we transitioned into a paperless format.  That means that you can apply online for free beginning in September.  Our portal is comprehensive and walks you through each step of the admission process.  We will also be traveling the country answering your questions and offering advice.  Check out the events calendar to see if we will be near you!

Additionally, I came across some excellent articles starting on page 32 of the latest PreLaw Magazine issue.  The articles “Law School Admission Secrets”, “6 Big Mistakes” and “4 Common Admissions Myths” all offer the same advice I give applicants.  These are broad comments that apply to most schools so take advantage of the quotes from the experts!

As always please do not hesitate to contact me as you tackle law school admissions!

LSDAS vs. Portal Application

February 17th, 2010 3 comments

We have received MANY questions about applying.  There seems to be confusion about our preferred process so here’s the general idea:

  • Create a portal account.
  • Apply for free through law.widener.edu.
  • Register for LSDAS. They collect your transcripts, letters of recommendation and LSAT scores.
  • Pay for an LSDAS report.
  • Your file is complete once we receive your application and LSDAS report.  If you want to add anything else contact the Admissions Office to hold your file.
  • Keep checking the portal at law.widener.edu.  A decision will be available a few weeks after completing your file.  Exceptions:  wait listed candidates and Trial Admissions Program candidates, these applicants will receive a decision around March and April.
  • If you apply through LSDAS after Dec. 31 you will be charged a $60 application fee! So skip the payment and apply here!

Hope that clarifies things!  It may seem confusing but everything is streamlined by following these steps.  Good luck and happy applying!

Mid-Semester Crunch

November 17th, 2009 No comments

Being a student and working in higher education, I know what you’re all going through.  Midterms, finals and projects are creeping up on you as applications are put on hold.  I understand!  Keep in mind, however, that our application can be easily completed online in just a few minutes.  Visit https://law.widener.edu/Admissions/Portal/CreateYourAccount.aspx to start the process.  You can save your application and return at a later date if you’re really crunched on time.  And the best part – the application is free!

Fortunately, we have Thanksgiving approaching for a break.  This is a great season for campus visits so please call to schedule a tour.  We are available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays from 10  am to 4 pm.  Tours typically last about half an hour.  You can also schedule a class visit which are typically around an hour.  Call 1-888-WIDENER or email me, asdelpuerto@mail.widener.edu, for more information.

Good luck and please don’t hesitate to e-mail me with questions!

Overwhelmed? We're Here to Help!

September 22nd, 2009 No comments

Hello future law students!  My name is Ana and I can help you apply to law school.  Overwhelmed?  Don’t sweat it; the Admissions office is here to answer your questions.

After four years as an Admissions Counselor, I have gathered a wealth of information and many stories from the road.  Each of your towns have something unique to offer – like great steak in Dallas, fabulous barbeque in Kansas City and awesome sights in Tucson.  Some of the perks of the job!  I also met extraordinary applicants on both the Harrisburg and Delaware campuses through my employment at each location.  Both of our campuses have an abundance of resources and particular concentrations to meet your needs.  The Widener Law community can help you decide whether we are a good fit for your goals.

To help you decide which schools are right for you, please stop by your college’s law and graduate fairs.  Career Development offices often arrange such events.  LSAC (www.lsac.org) also hosts forums to meet admissions representatives from practically any law school in the nation!  Take advantage of these opportunities, they are priceless.  I will be at many of these fairs and hope you can stop by!  Tell me if you are following my blog!

Admissions representatives should be somewhere near you this fall, check our calendar.

For the time being, there are three things you should be working on:

  1. Preparing for the LSAT
  2. Gathering applications
  3. Finding recommendors

The LSAT is offered four times per year.  I recommend preparing and sitting for the exam in the fall if possible.  Widener Law’s admission season runs on a rolling basis.  That means first come, first served – so make sure you apply early!  This will increase your chances for consideration to all programs and scholarship opportunities.  I wish you all the best during this process.

Please feel free to leave a comment, question or concern and I will reply a.s.a.p.