In addition to telling us about applicant's academic potential, recommenders can highlight talents and characteristics in ways that the GPA and LSAT cannot. Choose recommenders who not only know you well but whom you feel will take the time to write you a strong letter (unfortunately, plugging in names on canned letters has become more commonplace). Once individuals have agreed to write the letter, give them your résumé and ask to spend a few minutes with them to answer any questions they may have. The more a recommender knows about the applicant, the more relevant and genuine the LOR will be. Give recommenders plenty of advance notice—you don't want your LORs to be written in haste.
Miami Law asks for two LORs. At least one (and preferably both) of these recommendations should be from a faculty member who is familiar with your academic performance. LORs can be very useful in our assessment of your ability to succeed and willingness to work hard. If you have two strong academic LORs and wish to submit additional letters, e.g., from someone who has knowledge of you in a professional setting or a leadership role, you may submit those as well (up to four). As far as LSAC's new optional standard evaluation, Miami will accept any combination of LORs and/or LSAC evaluation forms (whichever your recommender feels the most comfortable submitting for you).
7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?
We start receiving applications in early September, begin the review process in early November, and continue on a rolling basis thereafter. Applicants are encouraged to complete their file prior to the December holidays (avoid the holiday rush) to be in prime position for review and possible scholarship. Decisions are posted on the myUM portal and take anywhere from two to four weeks after a file is complete.
8. Which firms/organizations recruit heavily from your school? Which ones hire the highest percentage of your graduates?
Reflecting the geographic and academic diversity of our student body, a wide array of employers from both the private and public sector recruit and hire our students for summer as well as post graduate positions. A majority of our graduates are employed by law firms ranging from boutique firms focused exclusively on one area of practice to national and international law firms with numerous practice groups. Over 15% of our graduates are employed in the public sector with government agencies, members of the judiciary or public interest employers. Another 9 percent are employed in business and industry, reflecting the close relationship that exists between the legal and business sectors. Students seeking employment within the region as well as nationally can participate in ample job fairs throughout the United States.
9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?
The obvious mistake is not taking the proper time to put together a strong overall application packet. This lack of attention results in grammatical errors, poorly written essays, rushed letters of recommendation, the name of another school inserted instead of Miami Law, late submission, etc. Also, some candidates spend too much time dwelling on weaknesses rather than highlighting strengths. It makes sense to explain issues that may raise a red flag (such as a significant decrease in grades caused by a personal or health issue); however, extensive explanation is not advised.
10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?
While it goes without saying that we look for bright, diligent, and resourceful applicants, we hope to draw students who want to be inspired and to inspire others. Our mission is to celebrate the individual but also look to the whole because this is, after all, a community striving to accomplish much on many levels. Students—past, current and future—are a critical component of who we are as an institution; therefore, we feel strongly about generating a student body with multifaceted strengths, serious engagement, and ownership in building a career here as a student, as a member of our law school community, and in the world at large.