northwood wrote:I think all schools should have some sort of screening interview.
This, so much, this! I DO realize that time/resource constraints would severely hamper this. But, if the decision to admit/deny an applicant is so serious, then I believe the applicant should be able to logically/rationally defend why. That's really tough to do in a 2pg PS. Honestly, what better way to prove, as a practical matter, that an applicant has "it" for law school than some sort of panel/interview?? It would be highly discretionary, of course, but that's where the UGPA & LSAT comes in. It could REALLY put the LSAT in context for a lot of people, I think. I'll admit my bias about that up front - no question. I think UGPA isn't really looked at like it ought to be. College isn't exactly "grueling" - but a great many places are, I think. Besides, college isn't just 100% grades - it's about balance: social, personal, academic, financial, etc. Who would argue that being a 1L didn't require balance? I think that's one of the key factors to passing, myself.
Hmmm, I thought that this was an interesting idea, so I decided to play with it. What kind of time and resources would it take for an admissions committee to sort through all of the applicants and make the decisions?
Let's use UVA Law as our example, and assume that both directors of admissions participate in the interviews, after all it is ultimately their decision. Let's also assume that each student get's at least 10 minutes of interview time, not including 2.5 minutes to enter the room and get settled, and 2.5 minutes to collect him/herself before leaving: 15 minutes per.
Last year UVA Law had 8,560 students apply. Each director would have had to field 4280 interviews, on top of their other responsibilities. If performed back to back each director would spend 1070 hrs interviewing, which would be 26.75 (27 wks) 40hr work weeks, 6.69 (7 mos) 4 week months.
So yeah, I guess it's tentatively plausible, but no director would ever want to put him/herself through that. And let's face it, no law school would want to fork up the kind of money that it would take for that kind of time investment - their primary purpose is to serve as the cash cow of their university by attracting $$$ . . . ehem . . . students (which is why they continue to promise students 90% employment prospects in the face of record unemployment). When it comes down to it, as long as students are willing to pay $$$ for law school, they could care less how many of them are actually going to be successful at their trade.