Hi TLSers - this is Ethan Rosenzweig, the Dean of Admission at Emory Law. I hope your winter break (if you are still in school) was restful. We received snow today in Atlanta, and although the school is closed, our office is working thanks to the beauty of technology and wireless internet! As I posted previously, I appreciate your indulging my posts from time-to-time in response to discussion points.
With the December 2010 LSAT scores released recently, it may prove helpful to shed some light on fee waivers.
First, similar to most law schools, Emory Law utilizes the LSAC's Candidate Referral Service to identify applicants with whom we wish to learn more about. We rely on CRS to help us attract outstanding applicants who may not have investigated Emory Law when thinking about where to apply. And, CRS provides us much more information than simply LSAT score and self-reported GPAs.
Second, EVERY application is reviewed thoroughly. You spent considerable time preparing your submission, and we will give your file a comprehensive reading in return. The notion that an LSAT score below our published median automatically signifies rejection is simply not true. As such, we would never send someone a fee waiver who did not have a legitimate opportunity to matriculate at Emory Law. That would run counter to the fairness in the process that Emory Law strives so hard to maintain.
I will give one example to illustrate how we issue fee waivers. We are very proud of our TI:GER program at Emory Law (http://www.law.emory.edu/tiger
). As such, we may decide to encourage biology and chemistry majors to apply and learn about the program as we think there may be a strong match. We utilize fee waivers as part of this process to attract applicants with a science background.
Third, Emory Law does not provide merit-based fee waivers upon request. I know it is frustrating when our office is unable to offer a candidate a fee waiver, and I hope my explanation makes the process more transparent. If the application fee is a deterrent to your applying, we do provide financial fee waivers if LSAC provides you one to take the LSAT exam. We also provide fee waivers to Teach For America participants as part of our relationship with that organization.
If you do receive a fee waiver, I strongly recommend learning about Emory Law a little bit before quickly hitting the submit button at LSAC.org. I cringe when I read a file where the applicant submitted their documents to us 20 minutes after receiving a fee waiver; yet, they referenced a different law school in their application and forgot to answer the Emory-specific questions appropriately. On the other hand, we look highly upon an applicant who received a fee waiver, did a little investigation, learned if there is a match of interest with Emory Law, and then artfully articulates this match somehow in their application.
Finally, my personal plea: Please do not use Law School Numbers as a sole arbiter of where to apply. EmoryRob (who posts in the “Discuss Your Law School” forum) sits next to me in the office, and he produced an actual spreadsheet of LSATs and GPAs from last year’s entering class. It was remarkable to see how much the statistics differed from the website. I hope that we do not lose potential, quality applicants simply because they thought our median LSAT score was our sole decision-making tool. We wait until mid-February to issue decisions because we take a great deal of time looking beyond the LSAT score when reviewing files.
My best for a prosperous New Year. Don’t hesitate to contact us at admission(a)law.emory.edu or stop by for a visit…just not when it is snowing!