Not to fan the flames of this discussion, NOR to give credence to an industry that I believe to be full of A LOT of snake-oil salesmen...
...but I'm a longtime MBA admissions consultant who had a happy former client refer me to a younger sibling for a law school application a couple of years ago. I figured the overall "packaging" process was probably the same for all sorts of schools (i.e., the principles of marketing are fundamentally the same for any / every product, after all), so I did some research on what law schools look for and gave it a shot.
This person was right on the cusp of the bottom 25% for LSAT for the top programs (HYS + a few others). GPA was solid but in a totally fluffy major -- so net/net, I'd call the GPA neutral. In sum, on the scores level, I'd say this person was in the "admissible" range but near the bottom. No idea what the recommenders said.
The first draft essays sent to me were written so poorly they made my eyeballs bleed -- no cohesiveness, no "story", and the sea of cliches / overly-big words made me laugh out loud. He wrote some totally impassioned b.s. about wanting to go into law to help immigrants, despite never actually having helped an immigrant in real life -- ie, no proof of ANY volunteering, etc., not even from an immigrant family himself. Pathetic. Oh, and the candidate in question came from a long family of lawyers but did not himself actually want to be a lawyer (something he confessed to me), and let me tell you -- that ambivalence SHOWED. No pre-law activities, no community anything, etc. (oh, some b.s. "service trip" to a tropical destination -- yeah, right -- I'm sure a LOT of help was rendered to the community during that trip, eh?)
After working with me on a few schools, this person decided that they didn't need my help and went it alone for another top school application. He didn't like how blunt I was being (I was eviscerating his early writing, in part b/c he was so freakin' unlikeable) and decided to "go with [his] gut" and submit a version of the original personal statement for a 5th school. 'Twas the only top-5 school he did not get in to.
I think either this year or next year he's going to graduate from one of the top 3 schools (HYS are the top 3 in law, right? If so, then yeah, it's one of those). Barf. I usually keep in touch with clients re: graduation / career plans but this one nauseated me so I don't give a shiny shoe what he does with his life. I can tell you though, it probably has NOTHING to do with immigrants. Rich brat. Shoulda charged him 5X what I did, ha ha.
Admissions hindsight is 20/20 -- would they have gotten in with their original personal statement, etc.? Um, sure....possibly. But I highly doubt it. I can't say that I can take the full responsibility ("blame"? ha ha) for getting this person in, but the original essays were....I mean, to call them "garbage" is being too nice.
I don't think you need to pay for advice, but this is simply one data point of one person who, I regret to inform you, had a positive admissions decision (despite, frankly, probably not deserving it) upon using the services of someone like me. To clarify, I'm not a former anything wrt to a law school -- not a former dean, not a former admissions person, etc.
I just used a very commonsense "packaging" process. Marketing is marketing. Just use common sense, and ask yourself, "Would anything here set off someone's b.s. detection sensor?", and you'll be fine.