Berkeley / Boalt Hall Law School Admissions Dean | Interview

This is the 2nd post in the "Better Know a Law School" series. Edward G. Tom is the Assistant Dean for Admissions at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall). In his spare time, Mr. Tom builds, plays, and collects guitars. Boalt Hall ranked 6th among law schools in US News and World Report this year.

1. Boalt Hall received media coverage in recent months for its "Law School Admission Project: Looking Beyond the LSAT." Would you please comment on your office's involvement, if any? If your office is not involved, what is its opinion regarding the LSAT in light of this project?

The admissions office has been involved to the extent that it provided demographic and statistical information to the research committee and the dean of admissions is a member of the committee. The Admissions Office concurs with the Committee that the LSAT remains a valid tool in determining admission decisions but should be only one of many factors taken into consideration. If there are other valid measurements of success in the profession - something the LSAT does not predict at all - then these tools should be considered for the future.

2. How has the student body changed in recent years?

The student body has evolved in step with society over the years. Perhaps the biggest change has been the level of interest in our interdisciplinary options. Many students are interested in taking advantage of how Berkeley Law can train them to be great lawyers who have a comprehensive understanding of policy issues.

3. In a typical year, what percentage of spots are still open on the day that applications are due?

About 25 percent.

4. In your opinion, what's the best rock band of all time?

That is too hard a question! Too many choices to narrow it to one! Candidates are Grateful Dead, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Steely Dan, Cream, and Led Zeppelin.

1 comment:

  1. It's nice to know that Mr. Tom has a good taste in music. Students can start writing personal statements about how Led Zeppelin lyrics inspired them to become lawyers.