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Why Communication Matters During Law School Admissions

Published October 18, 2021

Whether you want to argue cases in court, research intellectual property rights or negotiate contract disputes—impeccable communication is key for every lawyer. Whatever path you eventually choose within the legal field, great communication is a cornerstone and something you should develop from day one. And by day one, we mean right from the moment you start applying to law school.

With more than 25 years’ experience in admissions, UB School of Law’s admissions staff put together this helpful list of pointers to make sure you build great communication skills from the outset, so you can have a smoother admissions experience that hopefully transitions into the classroom and your career.

Your legal career starts with your first admissions interaction. Make it a professional one.

Make sure to be courteous and concise. Your time matters and so too does the admissions staff’s. Ask clear and direct questions that you’ve researched beforehand so you can not only show your interest in the program, but so you’ll get the most out of your interactions.

Every communication is an opportunity to leave an impression.

From admissions staff to faculty, admitted students to alumni, every conversation can benefit you now or in the future. It’s true that lots of people apply to law school, but phone and email conversations are always remembered. Positive interactions go a long way and since many admissions offices are small, you never know who you might be speaking with—it could be a member of the admissions committee!

Take the feedback you’re given—both favorable and not.

The UB School of Law Admissions staff has a combined 25+ years of experience, meaning they’ve seen all sorts of applicants and can offer you the best advice possible, even if it’s not something you want to hear. They are there to help, after all. Having solid conversations with the admissions staff about your law school goals can help them help you, turning a good application into a great one.

You can’t control everything during the admissions process, so take advantage of what you can.

Waiting is part of the law school admissions rollercoaster, and you can’t control it. Instead, you can make sure your communications about issues are courteous and descriptive, rather than an email or phone call just looking for a decision timeline. 

Being a good communicator means being a better listener, and a better lawyer.

Knowing how to communicate well translates into not just good admissions correspondence but helps build the foundation for articulating your thoughts and questions clearly, helping increase productivity and efficiency. This will all eventually carry over into faculty communication in law school and client communication in your legal career. 

Final tips

  • Don’t use slang. You won’t do it with clients, so don’t do it in communications.
  • Address staff by their title. Professionalism starts with courtesy and when you give it you will receive it!
  • Be on time for your appointments. If you must miss or cancel, do it promptly via email or phone with as much notice as possible.
  • Always be prepared! Like a well-thought paper or oral argument, good communication takes planning. You’ll get the most out of your admissions process when you plan ahead.

From your first email to the admissions staff to the first time you participate in a law lecture to the first time you converse with a client—great communication takes planning and practice. Be sure to develop your communication skills early so you can become exactly the type of well-spoken lawyer you wish to be!

Additional Resources

Photo of Rachael Herbst.

Rachael Herbst is the Admissions Coordinator at the University at Buffalo School of Law.


Office of Admissions
University at Buffalo School of Law
309 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260

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