Forum Decorum – Get the Most Out of LSAC Forums

Students talk with an admissions representative at a fair

The law school recruitment season starts fast and furious with LSAC sponsored forums back to back from the end of September all the way through mid-November. Each forum is a great opportunity for students interested in learning more about law schools to get a lot of information in one fell swoop, but it can also be very overwhelming. On average, there are more than 150 law schools at each event throughout the country, which can lead to large crowds and some tight situations. But we’ve put together our top tips for how to navigate these large-scale events so that you can be effective in your research!

Take advantage of the workshops

At every forum, there are workshops scheduled throughout the day in conjunction with the law school fair. These workshops cover an array of topics that are directly related to the law school search and application process. These are the real deal for making sure that you know what to expect! Is it your first forum? Forum 101 is for you. Are you curious about financial aid in law school? Make sure you go to Financing a Legal Education! These presentations are a wealth of information for those just starting the search process.

Have a list of questions ready

There is nothing wrong with looking at schools not on your “list” – in fact, you ABSOLUTELY should do that, because you never know what school might be your best fit! But there’s nothing worse than waiting in line at a table to talk to a rep, getting up to the front and saying, “Can you tell me about your school?” Of course we can tell you about it, but what do you want to know? Have a few standard questions that are applicable across law schools to get the ball rolling, and maybe you’ll come up with a few follow-up questions in the course of the conversation!

Don’t expect a full conversation at the table

There are a LOT of people who attend these forum, which means there is likely to be a line of interested candidates at some of the schools you want to talk to. Don’t expect to have a 15-20 minute conversation about your specific situation with these representatives. Forums are the perfect place to start gathering research and following up later. We always welcome an email, phone call, or campus visit after we’ve met you on the road, but we have a lot of students to talk with and want to make sure everyone has a chance to get their questions answered!

Grab-and-Go

A lot of times, you may walk by the same table two, three, or four times over the course of an hour and it seems like the line is never getting shorter! There is nothing wrong with standing at the side of the table, grabbing some information, and maybe putting your L number down on the paper for that school. The key here is to make sure you grab the business card of the rep that is there so that you can follow up later! Occasionally, there won’t be a business card because the rep is an alum or a faculty member – make sure you do your research and follow up with the Admissions Office later to get any questions you have answered.

Think outside the list

We alluded to this already, but it’s smart to come into the forum with a list of schools you want to talk to. It’s also smart to think outside that list and talk with schools that maybe you’ve heard of but never considered, or maybe you’ve just never heard of! There is a law school for everyone, it’s just about finding your right fit. So take a stab outside of the box and your comfort zone by taking a quick second to talk with a rep at a school that’s maybe not on your list.

There are SO MANY other tips, but these are the top 5 from our perspective. Remember, forums are about learning and you might leave feeling a bit overwhelmed. Call or email the Admissions Offices at the schools your considering to follow up and hopefully ask some additional questions if you feel like you need help. You can find William & Mary Law at all of the forums this fall – make sure you keep up to date with our recruitment calendar to see if we’re coming to your area!

10 Questions with Gabby Vance

Get to know this year’s student bloggers! And make sure you’re following us on Instagram for an inside look into William & Mary Law!  

Vance, Gabby 1

1. Who are you?
Hi! My name is Gabby Vance and I am a 2L from Severna Park, Maryland. I graduated from Elon University in 2018. I went straight through form undergrad to law school. In undergrad, I studied abroad in Prague twice! I am also a huge Washington Capitals fan. You will probably find me at the law school doing something SBA related (I am Secretary for our student government) or in my carrel on the second floor of the library with Dunkin’ coffee in hand.

2. What are you reading right now?
The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Highly recommend!

3. What is your Cheese Shop order?
The pastrami sandwich with the house dressing on focaccia! The house dressing is a must.

4. Favorite study spot in the law school?
I love study room K on the second floor of the library. Any student can reserve law school study rooms.

5. Who is your legal idol?
Bryan Stevenson. If you want to talk about the Equal Justice Initiative, I am your girl!

6. What is your go-to at Aromas?
William’s White! It is like a White Chocolate mocha but better. I also add whip cream.

7. Favorite arbitrary law?
In Montana, you are required to remain on stage throughout the duration of a performance. I personally could not imagine a Taylor Swift concert without a good crowd surf.

8. Favorite spot to eat in town?
Blaze Pizza in NewTown or Amber Ox in Colonial Williamsburg.

9. One thing you wish you would have known before applying to law school.
How important mentorship is to a law school experience, especially your first year. I am so fortunate to have had two really influential mentors here. I am not sure where I would be without them. You know who you are.

10. Your motivation for law school.
I grew up in a very homogeneous town. My sophomore year of college, I did a domestic study abroad throughout the Deep South where I was exposed to injustices taking place in the United States. I had thought about going to law school for a long time but this experience really solidified my decision to go straight through from undergrad.