It’s the time of year for acceptances and waitlists. What should you do if you got 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.
1. Keep your expectations realistic.
Sometimes, getting waitlisted is harder than getting rejected, mainly because you find yourself in a position of limbo where you don’t know what to 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.
2. Carefully consider what to include in your waitlist letter.
Everything you do at this point should specifically address a weakness in your application, highlight a recent achievement not mentioned in your app, or reiterate your interest in the law school.
3. 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?
4. Write to express 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.
5. Be sure to only point out new information.
Don’t write to the admissions office to discuss awards or honors that you left out of your original application. When you write, be sure to mention anything new that has come up since you filed your LSAC application – a new honor, a new internship, a job, a promotion, etc. All correspondence with admissions should be a timely update.
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.
7. 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 or working for a year. Sometimes, people are successful on reapplication or as a transfer application, especially if the problem is a low LSAT score.
While being waitlisted at the school of your dreams can be frustrating, remember that it is also an opportunity!
Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s Postbac Program and teaches writing at all levels. Want Jessica to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!