If you are applying to law school, you don’t just have to pass the LSAT, you have to pass Google, too. According to a recent study by Kaplan Test Prep of admissions officers at the top law schools, business schools and colleges across the U.S., 41% of law school admissions officers have "Googled" an applicant, while 37% have checked out an applicant’s profile on Facebook or another social networking site. In contrast, according to the same study, 20% of college admissions officers and 27% of business school admissions officers have "Googled" applicants.
I recently had the opportunity to weigh in on the importance of managing your online reputation during the business school admissions process. Much of the same online reputation management advice holds true for law school candidates.
Law school admissions officers are not only going online to learn more about their candidates, they are digging up some dirt too. 32% of respondents found content online that negatively impacted an applicant’s law school admissions chances.
In comparison, only 12% of college admission officers and 14% of business school admissions officers found content online that negatively impacted an applicant’s admissions chances.
I’m not sure why America’s future lawyers seem to have more problems online than their business school counterparts, it’s not like they are running for Congress, yet.
Maybe college and business school admissions officers have some catching up to do and should be scrutinizing social media profiles more closely? Or maybe law school admissions are imposing higher ethics standards — setting the "bar" higher?
The jury is still out on why the big difference, but you don't need to be Perry Mason to know that if you want to attend a top law school, you need to take charge of your online reputation.