In the same survey by Kaplan, which surveyed 869 students who took the October 2011 LSAT, 77 percent of respondents stated that as future lawyers they should be held to a higher ethical standard than other professionals. At the same time, 77 percent objected to having their online profiles included in the admissions process.
Caroline Bettis, a third-year law student at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, says that while she doesn't blame prospective students for being wary about admissions officials checking social media profiles, "it's not practical to say admissions counselors should divide your online personality from who you are in real life."
"I understand that who you are on Facebook might be less formal," Bettis notes. "However, it's still who you are and it still reflects on your morals. I think if your argument is, 'that's not who I am,' then don't put that out there on social networking sites."
Students should give some thought to how they present themselves to the world, whether that's in the classroom or on social media, says Robert Schwartz, dean of admissions and financial aid at the University of California—Los Angeles School of Law.
"This isn't rocket science," Schwartz says. "If you're applying to law school—this is a high ethical standard profession—think about how you want to represent yourself."
Still, some students fear that admissions may use social media to narrow a list of candidates vying for a limited number of spots in an admitted class. Williams College senior Freking, who says he utilizes privacy settings on Facebook, questions the accuracy of these practices.
"If [admissions officers] find something negative on Facebook or Twitter—such as alcohol photos—on one applicant, do they think this isn't happening on another [applicant] if they don't find anything?"
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