Most applicants do a very good job of putting their "best foot forward." A few do not take the time and care to look over their applications to make sure that they have not made typos or other careless errors that can be corrected easily. When it appears that an applicant has not taken the time to present himself or herself in the best possible manner, the Committee questions the applicant's readiness for law school.
Applicants do not always use the personal statement to best advantage. They might talk about an obscure travel adventure when our concern might be with their academic performance. The personal statement is the only "interview" they will have with the Admission Committee.
Applicants who have survived a disadvantaged background sometimes spend a lot of time explaining the challenges and disadvantages but forget to show how they have overcome the disadvantage and, more importantly, explain how they are now at a point where they are fully prepared for the formidable challenges of law school.
10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?
UC Davis prides itself on enrolling a diverse student body. As such, we don't think there is an archetype for the "ideal" student. We admit many different kinds of students. Some want to pursue public interest law, while others know they will practice at a large firm and still others pursue a joint J.D./M.B.A. in preparation for working in corporate America. Some come from a family of lawyers, while many are the first in their family to go to college.
Of course the academic preparation and overall skill set must be solid, but beyond that, we want to enroll students who are intellectually curious, motivated, and interesting. Students should learn from each other, and our admission process considers carefully all facets of the individual to ensure that the makeup of each class contributes to and enhances the overall learning experience. We are trying to put together a well-rounded student body comprised of bright, talented, interesting, and collegial folks.