Yale Law School Admission Tips

LSAT Blog Yale Law School Admission Tips
LSAT Blog reader Samson scored a 174 on the LSAT and was accepted to Yale Law School.

After writing an LSAT Diary for the blog and telling us about his study schedule, he provided some tips on applying to Yale.

Samson's Yale Law School admission tips:

YLS students have the highest numbers and, at the same time, have pretty incredible life experiences. In my view, LSAT and GPA are very important threshold considerations. That is, your application will hunt for the simple reason that your numbers are quite strong. But other aspects of your application must radiate light and heat. The personal statement, which I will discuss further, should be revelatory.

The 250-word essay should make some important point and have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Speak with your recommenders now, and be very direct about expectations. In your list of extracurricular activities and employment, be precise and comprehensive. Each component of your application should contribute energy to the whole. Envision other applicants lobbing in Hail Mary applications and yourself serving up a bullet pass right at the chest of a faculty wide receiver. Finally, throughout the application, demonstrate that you can write clearly and cogently.

On the personal statement:

The personal statement should not summarize your accomplishments or other parts of your application. The personal statement should address (a) who you are at your core and (b) why who-you-are-at-your-core should attend law school. The first part requires years of reflection; the second part is simply a corollary of the first part. The personal statement should be part biographical and part mission statement. Bring the reader into your world. What are the key events? Who are the key characters? Only you can decide what is important. Take your time. Write and re-write. Show that you are multi-dimensional.

On my application to Yale:

Aside from my GPA and my LSAT, I devoted the most attention to my personal statement. This was a very important part of my application and, I believe, differentiated my application from others’. I wrote ten substantially different drafts. I showed the drafts to advisors, mentors, faculty, and friends. My personal statement was among the most thoroughly vetted documents I have ever produced.

Also, I did not squander the 250-word essay. I opined on an important campus issue from my days as a student. I did this to reinforce my connection with the university.

Finally, it’s unclear whether my current job played a decisive role in my being admitted. I believe my scores, grades, and experiences are strong on a standalone basis. But my application pro forma for investment banking was certainly stronger: my boss wrote one of my letters of recommendation; in addition, my job is inherently very challenging, which Yale might have appreciated.

Photo via Wikipedia


  1. Thanks for this, Samson. It's inspiring.

    I'm curious to hear how early in the admissions process you sent your application in. What month did you apply?

  2. "I opined on an important campus issue from my days as a student"....why i'm not impressed by this story

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