“How to get into Law School,” with UT Law

For our first official meeting of the semester, we welcomed all the new and returning members, it was a very informational, yet fun meeting. Heather Barodi, President of the PLS made an introduction by voting on the new officers to be approved as well as the update of the signature card. She introduced the new officers, discussed orglink, upcoming meetings and upcoming activities like the Kat Safety Bash, Old Town Theatre Cleanup/Pizza Party/ showing of “My Cousin Vinny” and the Scare on the Square.

Next, she introduced our guest speaker for the evening, Dave Farnum, the Assistant Director of Recruitment at the University of Texas Law. Farnum is from Rhode Island and moved here for his career at UT. He is immensely proud of his school and even more proud to be a Longhorn. He visited our organization to give us insight on how to get into UT’s prestigious law school, and for the most part, how to get into any law school. It was definitely worth listening to.

After he described the school as the “Top Law School in Texas,” he went on to discuss employment after attending the school. Seventy-five percent of students that graduate from the law program choose to work in Texas after they complete school. Twenty-five percent of students that graduate leave Texas , usually going to New York, Washington D.C or California.

Some unique facts he shared about UT:  

Bar Passage Rates in Texas were at 91%, while the state average is only about 75%.

There is a 10:1 professor to student ratio, with 201 courses offered, suggesting they have plenty of options for students . They have an alumni-mentor program that is hand-selected to match uniquely to the student.

Lastly, UT Law offers many experiential learning opportunities. Examples of this included working with immigrants, indigent suspects, and assistance with the Innocent Project.

Some quick facts are that his year’s class had a median score of 169 on the LSAT, a median GPA of 3.80, and more women than men (for the first time ever!).

Next, he discussed the key factors in the admission process: the LSAT, GPA, personal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation.

Consistent with a philosophy that emphasizes admitting “humans, not robots,” UT tries to delve deep into the applicants’ backgrounds. Indeed, they will accept up to a three-page resume, and Farnum encouraged us to “make use of that space.” Farnum further recommended to freshmen and sophomores to (1) get GPAs as high as possible, (2) make connections with professors, (3) and to stay out of trouble.

For juniors and seniors who may not be ready to apply, Farnum noted that it’s okay to take a gap year, although he did encourage students to ensure that gap year is productive.

During the Q & A, Jade asked whether it was better to get her supervisor at her law firm or a professor to write a letter of recommendation. Farnum suggested that the person who knows the student best would write the best letter, but that the student should submit a letter from at least one professor.

Mr. Farnum concluded with offering the students some swag from UT Law–items that proved very popular!

We are incredibly grateful that he came out to give us this very useful knowledge of all the things to expect when applying to law school.

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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