Today I was on the waiting list for UC Irvine (they say they don`t rank the waiting list if it makes a difference). My first choice was UCLA, but I would be very happy to go to UCI. I didn`t score as well on LSAT as I expected (163). My practice test average (with test masters) was a shadow above 169, and my final practice tests were consistently between 170 and 174. But I had a bad day of testing. Honestly, I expected to be rejected by the UCI and repeat the LSAT in June to get closer to my training result. But now that I`m on the waiting list, I have some hope. I would prefer not to repeat the LSAT and participate in the UCI if it is in the cards. However, I am more than willing to make an effort to get back to my average training result and apply again next year. My plan to give myself the best chance of getting off the waiting list is to first schedule a visit in the coming weeks to show my interest and hopefully give my application a face. They told me in my letter that they would start reviewing the waiting list later in the spring. So, in a few months, I would submit a letter of ongoing interest stating that I will participate 100% if I am offered admission. Do you think this is a good course of action and do you have any additional advice specific to my situation? At the same time as sending the LOCI, you may want to update the school with everything that has happened to you academically or professionally since you submitted your application.
If you`re a high school graduate, you`ll definitely want to send them your updated transcript when your grades have improved (hint: If you really tried to get into your dream school, your grades should have improved or remained exceptional if they were already outstanding. There is no seniorite for law school applicants). These trials will be very specific to the school and will likely depend on the research you do individually on the school. Most schools need an essay that answers the question “Why this school?” while others may ask for a variation in writing of continuous interest. When you join your waiting list, what information most influences your decision to extend an offer of admission? If you do absolutely nothing but accept your place on the waiting list, you will not enter law school. There you go. They have to go beyond that. You will need to launch your campaign to participate. While remaining on the waiting list, you can experience promotions, receive updated transcripts with higher grades, win an award, or accept a new job. All of these things can increase your chances of admission, and you should take the time to email the admissions office with such updates. However, if you have done your due diligence from the moment you have been placed on the law school waiting list and have made sure to stay in touch with the admissions office, submit ongoing letters of interest, and demonstrate your commitment to the school, you will be more likely to be considered as a candidate and then accepted into the school.
Some law schools may require you to submit additional essays if you are on the waiting list. It is important to read all instructions and guidelines when you receive your waitlist notice, as this will tell you if there are any additional requirements you need to be aware of. 3. Don`t expect to get scholarships on waiting lists. Sometimes people are offered merit scholarships from a waiting list, but this is unusual. In general, most law schools (all except Harvard, Yale, and Stanford) use scholarship money as a recruitment tool to try to attract their high-level decisions and encourage them to be adopted. If they had wanted to recruit you, they probably would have accepted you by now and you wouldn`t be on a waiting list. Scholarships come from waiting lists, but don`t rely on them. 1. Law schools have ridiculously long waiting lists. The chances of getting an offer from one of them are slim. Mentally prepare yourself to attend the school where you left your deposit in April, or make completely different plans.
(You don`t need to go to law school.) But don`t let law schools play with your head like a bad ex all summer. Manage your expectations. Over the next few months, you can decide which schools on the waiting list you actually want to fight for over the summer and which you want to lay off. Not all of them will be worth fighting for, depending on the offers you already have. Is a “wait” the same as a waiting list? Some schools (NYU cough) have sent “holdback” letters, and I interpret that to mean they`re just buying more time. Admissions offices across the country (undergraduate, law school, MBA, etc.) have been understaffed since the onset of Covid and are desperately trying to get through all their applications. I`m sure you`ll want to get an answer sooner, but at the same time, I`m also sure you want them to look carefully at your request. So a “holdback” letter is their way of politely asking for more time. Ann K.
Levine is the founder and chief law school admissions consultant at Law School Expert. Prior to founding Law School Expert, Ann served as Director of Admissions at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and Director of Admissions at California Western School of Law in San Diego. As Director of Admissions for two ABA-accredited law schools, Ann reviewed thousands of applications each year and was primarily responsible for all admissions decisions, including scholarships. She is the author of The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert. Most law schools don`t even think about the people on their waiting list until they have the first filings from those who approved them. It`s pretty much a second intake cycle, so any hopes you had of solidifying your decision by April 1 should be dashed away. You see, it`s only after schools see these numbers come back that they start evaluating candidates on the waiting list. Failure to do so can be frustrating for the admissions committee, which works very hard to ensure that all students have an equal chance to take their place on the waiting list or in the new law course, and can even slow down the waitlist process for others. After your visit, it`s a good idea to contact the admissions office with a thank you email and a few sentences confirming your interest in the school. This step is especially important if you met an admissions officer during your visit, as you want to make a good impression. You can also improve some aspects of your application to increase your chances of admission. If you are still in school, send your transcripts at the end of the semester for further review.
If your grades are mostly completed or if your new transcripts aren`t giving you the boost you were looking for, then the “easiest” and most important way to give your application a boost is to repeat the LSAT if you`re below a school`s median. Taking the LSAT may not be very beneficial for you if you are above your median LSAT or 75 percentiles.