Gaebler: Googling law school applicants is time consuming

By Dan Martynowicz

According to a recent Kaplan study, 41 percent of law school admissions officers Google search applicants’ names.

This is compared to 27 percent of business school admissions officers, and 20 percent of college admissions officers, as shown by the same survey.

David Gaebler, associate dean and associate professor of law, said he could find little reason why an admissions officer would search an applicant’s name.

“My own personal view is that I wouldn’t bother; it would take too much time,” Gaebler said. “I doubt you would turn up particularly useful information.”

Gaebler said the law schools may be looking for evidence of an applicant’s character. All law schools ask questions regarding character and fitness on the application, as they must attest to state BAR exams regarding a graduates’ character.

Gaebler said he was the admissions chair at NIU for a number of years and could remember no circumstance when an applicant’s name was searched online.

“I’ve never run into that,” Gaebler said.

Gaebler said he never asked the other NIU admissions officers if they google applicants’ names because the idea never occurred to him.

Senior finance major Brian Schwerdtfeger, who was on his way to a job interview at the time, said he was not concerned in the least that employers may search his name online because his Facebook profile and Google search held no negative information.

“My Facebook is set to the highest security, and I’m not on it that much anyway,” Schwerdtfeger said.

Social Media Specialist Holly Nicholson said she felt the process of googling applicants would be very time consuming, and dispelled rumors that schools or businesses could override social networking sites’ privacy settings. Nichols advised having privacy settings on maximum, and using the “approve-tag” feature on Facebook to insure control over your pictures.

“I wouldn’t recommend that people search their applicants online; what they find is almost always out of context,” Nicholson said. “It’s a dangerous road to go down.”