Friday, January 29, 2010

1L interview with Brandon Hamilton tackles admissions process at Louisville Law


Law school applications are up this year at U of L, but students with scores that fall below the school's medians should not feel disparaged -- at least not completely. That's the upshot of a recent interview with Brandon Hamilton (above right), our assistant dean for admissions. I hope to conduct more interviews with faculty, staff, and students at the school in the weeks to come. If you have an idea for an interview, or want to sit in the hot seat yourself, send me an email at acdavi07@louisville.edu.

1L at U of L: We've heard that a record number of applications are expected for the Class of 2013. Is this true, and if so, what are the reasons?

Dean Hamilton: We have seen a significant increase in applications this year. The Office of Admissions expanded the areas in which we recruit in hopes of attracting a large number of qualified candidates. Of course, we believe that the economy has a role. We are excited too that there has been such a positive response to UofL Law.

1L at U of L: How should an applicant assess his or her chances of being accepted? If their grades and LSAT are below the school's medians, is that student in major trouble?

Dean Hamilton: We are a school that reviews applications holistically, although the LSAT and undergraduate GPA are important. It certainly helps if you have at least one (LSAT or Undergrad GPA) at or above the median. I wouldn’t, however, discourage someone from applying, if both are below the median. We have been known to take risks based on other characteristics of the applicant.

1L at U of L: Louisville obviously has a tremendous reach when it comes to finding a legal job in Kentucky. What about all the students who come here from out of state and plan to practice elsewhere?

Dean Hamilton: Great question. One of the benefits of being a school that has been around for a long time is that we have a strong alumni base from which we can pull. Our goal is for students to network with our alumni in the region they are interested in practicing. We would work to get you an internship or associate position in that region, so that the student could further continue to network, etc. This past year, our students gained employment in 14 states and 3 countries.

1L at U of L: Louisville was recently named one of the best "values" for a law school in the nation. What are the school's other strengths?

Dean Hamilton: We are a school that is interested in making sure that you graduate with the tools necessary to be successful. While you will receive an excellent theoretical education, we are committed to providing a skill based education and training. This is demonstrated through our expansive moot court teams, law clinics, externships, law reviews, and public service program.

In addition, we have an exceptional faculty, who are not only accomplished scholars, but have a commitment to the community and student success. To learn more: https://www.law.louisville.edu/faculty/scholarship

1L at U of L: Is it OK for an applicant to call you and ask questions about their application? Does it ever hurt to call?

Dean Hamilton: It’s perfectly acceptable to call and ask questions. It doesn’t hurt to call, but, of course, professionalism is important.

1L at U of L: What are some of the strangest things that applicants have said to you, either in their personal statements or elsewhere?

Dean Hamilton: I hear a lot of stories, but consider them to be a part of one’s life journey. I am fascinated, inspired, and often motivated by the life perspective that an applicant might bring.

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