We posed questions to admissions officials at the Creighton University School 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?
Our Admissions Committee strives to enroll a diverse entering class, representing a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. We encourage applicants to highlight their educational, work, leadership, military, and other experiences in their application. We also encourage applicants to research the school(s) they are applying to; let us know why you are interested in Creighton Law School.
In addition, we recommend applicants visit the law school. Take the time to meet with our students and faculty and to learn more about our program.
2. What do you look for in the application essays? What do the essays tell you about a candidate?
The application essay is the applicant's opportunity to "speak" to the Admissions Committee. It provides the applicant with a chance to share his/her passion for pursuing a career in law. We also encourage applicants to call attention to factors in their background that may be indicative of their potential success as a law student and a member of the bar.
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?
At Creighton Law School, we take a holistic approach in reviewing application files. Each file we receive is carefully reviewed and the entire application file is considered in the decision process. Primary consideration is given to undergraduate grade point average and LSAT score; however, the Admissions Committee recognizes that these factors are not always indicative of motivation, character, and capability. Other factors which have significant impact on admission decisions are the type of courses completed, grade patterns, extracurricular and community activities, honors, work experience, military achievements, graduate studies, and adjustment to individual hardship. The Admissions Committee also considers personal qualities that suggest the application will be a successful student and a competent attorney.
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?
We do not have a requirement that an applicant must have work/internship experience prior to law school. Each year, approximately 40 percent to 45 percent of our incoming students have been out of school for one year or more prior to beginning law school. Such work/internship experiences are considered valuable by the committee during the review process.
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?
Faculty offices surround the Commons, making them easily accessible to students. Faculty members maintain an "open door" policy that encourages students to come visit, ask questions, test theories, or just chat. Creighton can achieve this because it decided to be a small, highly interactive law school. Consequently, students are not a number to us; they are people.
Creighton Law School graduates are prepared to practice across the country. Each year, our graduates take the bar exam in approximately 18 to 24 different states. The 2009 graduating class had an overall bar passage rate of 92 percent.
Like all Jesuit schools, Creighton adheres to the tradition of cura personalis, Latin for care of the whole person. Basically, for the mind to flourish and intellectual curiosity to thrive, the person must develop as a whole. In practice, this means that professors spend more time with students, counseling them, cajoling them, and challenging them to go farther than they think they can.
6. What do you look for in recommendation letters? How important is it that the letter's writer has worked regularly with the candidate in an office or school setting?