Stephen Brown

Assistant Dean of Enrollment

Fordham Law School

The Basics

What are your best tips for asking for an application fee waiver?

We grant need-based fee waivers as well as service-related waivers, Americorps, JVC, Peace Corps, US Military.

Honestly, what is “yield protection” and does it really exist?

We admit all admissable students - though it is clear that many will have choices among the top 5 schools in the country. We want them here!

Understanding that all schools may have different procedures, but generally, if an applicant doesn’t get accepted to a school when they applied ED, do they automatically get rolled over to regular decision or is it possible that you can be rejected directly from ED?

We do not have an Early Decision Program. No commitments from the student. We have rolling admissions and will deny, admit, waitlist, hold applicants beginning in October.

Understanding that all schools may have different procedures, but generally, what is the latest you would recommend a student taking the LSAT if they wanted to apply to law school during a given admissions cycle?

Based on last year, we would encourage students to take the LSAT before February. Applicants seem to be applying earlier. We accept applications until March 15, but earlier seems to be better. We have a number at which we stop admitting before first deposits are received.

This year we waitlisted people in March who would have been admitted in November or December. Some we eventually admitted, but we are concerned about over enrolling, so a bit cautious with late applicants

Will K-JDs need to submit to LSAC another copy of their transcript after the fall semester and/or spring semester of their senior year? And, be honest, how much does a POST-admission GPA really matter to an admissions committee?

We will need a final transcript showing final GPA and degree conferred. We want to see students continue to do well in college. No Senioritis!

The Law School Application

In your view, what is the biggest impact that can be had by hiring a law school admissions consultant?

Sometimes it helps the student focus on schools, sometimes with writing, sometimes with strategies. Most students will do fine on their own.

When reviewing an applicant's file, where do you typically start and what part do you tend to spend the most time (and why)?

The Personal Statement gives us a sense of the student. Then we look to academics, references, resume, writing sample, etc.

The best personal statements I’ve read always contain:

A story that is interesting - and no grammar/spelling/typos.

If a law school has a page limit for their personal statement but does not list a font size min/max, what do you recommend?

We encourage 2 pages but if you get to needing to changes fonts, just go to 3. We read electronically, so it can increase screen size.

A resumé is a resumé, however, aside from typos, what are TWO things you've seen included on a resumé that can totally sink an applicant?

Over representation of high school success/work/activities and underrepresentation of college and/or professional.

Character & Fitness

What is the impact of failing to disclose something on the Character & Fitness section of the application?

We may withdraw your offer. You signed a statement telling us your application was accurate and complete. Worse than that, you may pass the bar exam and then not be admitted or have admission to practice delayed until you explain the omission.

What’s your best advice for students wrestling whether to disclose unflattering periods in their past?

Always disclose - I guarantee we have seen worse/more embarrassing!

The Dreaded Waitlist

For waitlisted candidates who would immediately accept an offer of admission, how would you recommend that they convey that enthusiasm with your admissions team (and how often)?

I am a fan of telling applicants the truth and expecting it in return. DOn't say it if you don't mean it. It may prevent someone who actually wants to attend from being admitted. We will give weeks or days to accept our offer - depending on timing.

We have seen - as recently as this year - being turned down by admitted students, making another offer only to find out that the second student took another offer or began planning while we held the space for the first student.

When you do go to your waitlist, what piece of information most significantly impacts your decision to extend an offer of admission?

Honestly mostly the same things as during the regular process, though being in touch helps put a personal face on the applicant. If it is during the summer and you are still living somewhere else, maybe letting us know you plan on attending another school within a reasonable commute - something to help us see you in NY and here at Fordham.

Aside from an outright denial of your offer, what is the most frustrating thing a student can do after being offered a spot from the waitlist?

An outright rejection is far better than total silence after the offer is made. It wastes the time of others on the WL.

Visits & Admitted Students Days

How do current students feel about the faculty, administration, culture and physical plant of the law school? How involved are faculty in the admitted student programming?

The behavior of current students and (subjective evaluation) happiness/frustration.

If you were a prospective student visiting a law school, what TWO questions you would ask current students?

What was your best experience at school this week? What was your worst experience at school this week?

If you were a prospective student visiting a law school, what TWO questions you would ask law school administrators or faculty?

You have committed far more time to this school than 3 years. Why did you choose the school and why have you stayed?

Social Media & Internet Forums

What role, if any, does an applicant’s social media presence play in the admission decision (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram)?

Very little - but don't claim to be something you are not. Sometimes we are curious and check. Mostly reinforces or enhances - sometimes not!

Do you, or members of your admission team, review Internet forums that discuss the law school admissions process (e.g., r/lawschooladmissions, LawSchoolNumbers) and, if so, what information do you typically learn or seek to learn?

Generally not. Don't believe everything you read!