It’s the time of year for acceptances and waitlists. What can you do if you are waitlisted at the law school of your dreams? Below are seven tips you can follow to improve your chance of getting accepted off of a law school waitlist.
- Keep your expectations realistic.
Getting waitlisted is positive, right?! Yes, it is. The admission committee recognizes the strengths in your application. Unfortunately, in the middle of an application cycle, getting waitlisted is harder than getting rejected, because you find yourself in limbo. What can you expect with no firm yes or no status? While there are certainly things you can do to maximize your chances at getting accepted to a top law school off the waitlist, it is by no means a sure thing. Often, it just comes down to numbers, and there aren’t enough spaces for everyone, even highly qualified candidates.
- Submit a letter of continued interest.
Everything you do at this point should highlight a recent achievement not mentioned in your app, if you can, and reiterate your interest in the law school. You don’t want to flood the admissions office with letters or essays, but a well-written letter (sent via email) can address your weaknesses, shine a spotlight on accomplishments, and reiterate your interest in the school. A school will likely take a second look at people who have concrete reasons to be there.
- Take stock of your weaknesses.
Think about what you believe the weaknesses of your application are before you take any further steps. What have you done that mitigates them?
Don’t send correspondence that’s sloppy, rambling, or filled with errors. This is your last chance to make a good impression. Don’t blow it by being messy.
- Remember that the waitlist is a marathon, not a sprint
The waitlist process generally begins after the deposit deadlines for law schools and can last until the first day of orientation – April to August. There is a reason it is called the “WAIT”list. Be prepared to wait and patience is a virtue which leads to the next hint…
- Don’t be a stalker
Don’t write or call the admissions office daily – that is the quickest way to move from the waitlist to the stalker list. Prepare a schedule of correspondence, once a month or every three weeks at most. When you write, be sure to mention anything new that has come up since you filed your LSAC application or since your last outreach– a new honor, a new internship, a job, a promotion, etc. All correspondence with admissions should be a timely update.
- Consider transferring or taking a year off.
If you didn’t get accepted to your dream school, you may want to consider starting at another school and transferring. If the LSAT or the timing of your application was this year’s problem, and you can take a year and reapply with a new score or earlier in the cycle – go for it.
While being waitlisted at the school of your dreams can be frustrating, remember that it is also an opportunity! Reach out for your free consultation to learn how Accepted can help you navigate the waitlist process. We are available to assist you in writing the best letter of continued interest and answering any questions you may have to best position yourself to get accepted!
Christine Carr is a Harvard graduate with over 15 years of admissions experience, including nine years as Associate Director of Admissions at Boston University School of Law. She has read over 10,000 personal statements and counseled thousands of prospective applicants through the application process. Want Christine to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!