We posed questions to admissions officials at the University of Florida Levin College of Law regarding the application process, what they look for in applicants and what sets their school apart. These are their responses:
1. What can applicants do to set themselves apart from their peers?
Through our admissions process, the University of Florida Levin College of Law seeks to admit and enroll students who will excel academically, attain the highest standards of professional excellence and integrity, and bring vision, creativity and commitment to the legal profession. Substantial weight is given to numerical predictors of academic success (undergraduate grade point average and LSAT scores). Numbers alone, however, are not dispositive.
All information submitted by applicants will be considered carefully. Factors such as the difficulty of prior academic programs, academic honors, letters of evaluation from instructors, or graduate training may provide additional information about academic preparation and potential. In some cases, demonstrated interest, prior training, or a variety of experiences may indicate that an applicant is particularly well suited to take advantage of specialized educational opportunities. Information about work experience, leadership, community service, overcoming prior disadvantages or commitment to serve those for whom legal services have been unavailable or difficult to obtain may show that an applicant is in a unique position to add diversity to the law school community or to make significant contributions to the practice of law.
Students who can convey much of this information may be able to set themselves apart from other applicants.
2. What do you look for in the application essays? What do the essays tell you about a candidate?
Effective essays are those that provide information about the applicant that is not already available in other parts of the application. Essays that follow the instructions, are well written and without typos, and that provide information about the applicant that goes beyond "the numbers" can be very helpful in the evaluation process.
3. How important is the applicant's LSAT score? How do you weigh it against undergraduate GPA and work/internship experience? Which of these carry the most weight? The least?
The Levin College of Law seeks to admit and enroll students who, collectively, bring to its educational program a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, interests and perspectives. With this in mind, selection is based on the applicant's academic credentials, including LSAT score, undergraduate GPA, level of writing skills, breadth of studies, and on other criteria, including—but not limited to— the applicant's work and other life experience, leadership experience, depth of particular interest, and any other aspect of an applicant's background suggesting a suitability for the study and practice of law. Ours is a holistic review process where no one factor carries more weight that another.
4. How much does prior work/internship experience weigh into your decision making? What's the typical or expected amount of work experience from an applicant?
As stated above, work experience is one of many factors that will be considered in the review process. It is not required and while some successful candidates have substantial work experience, other successful candidates may have lesser or no work experience.
5. What sets you apart from other schools? What can students gain from your school that they might not be able to find anywhere else?
We feel we offer one of the best educational values in the country, combining low tuition with an outstanding academic experience. Our graduates become very special members of the "Gator Nation," the University of Florida's large, loyal and powerful alumni network. Many of UF Law's 18,000-plus alumni serve in leadership positions, and include the 2010 president and four previous presidents of the American Bar Association, more than any other college since 1973, the majority of The Florida Bar presidents, four governors of Florida, and hundreds of state senators and representatives and Florida Cabinet members. Nine became university presidents, including at UF. A dozen have served as deans of law schools. We are ranked fourth among public law schools (eighth overall) in the number of graduates serving as federal district and circuit court judges.