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Beyond the News

Now Try This: A Mobile (Admissions) App

University Business, Nov 2011

A Prospective student attending an open house or career fair, who has just finished the LSAT, or even who has some time on a train commute can apply to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School on the spot—via smartphone or tablet. Officials there say it’s the first law school in the country facilitating the application process through the use of portable devices.

“It was a vision for the school to enable prospective law school students to be able to apply from multiple channels,” says Alan Boyer, associate dean of recruitment and marketing. Adding mobile devices to the paper and web options seemed like a logical step. “It’s about putting the process at their fingertips wherever they are at the time,” he adds. The five-minute iApply form, which mirrors what one would fill out via computer, is just the first step of the process. An applicant still must send transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement via mail. But, those applying using a mobile device, at least for now, get the $50 application fee waived.

If early interest is any indication, prospective students like the option. From the announcement about it on October 3 through the end of that month, a busy recruitment time, Boyer reports, about 100 applications had been submitted via mobile device. On the back end, these applications look the same. Once the applicant hits the submit button, a prepopulated application is sent directly to the admissions system and staff is notified that an application has come in.

Law school officials first discussed the idea in late July, and design concepts were created in August for development and testing in September, Boyer shares. An outside design firm and a consultant were used. He advises that other institutions consider multiple ways for students to apply and hopes the new option for his institution grows in popularity.

“We’re enthusiastic about the initial response.”

The mobile application can be viewed at