The Weight of the Law School Waitlist
- Mar 25, 2010
It’s the middle of March now, and among other things this signifies March Madness, a completely unnecessary and somewhat disastrous trip to Las Vegas on my part, and rapidly warming weather. It also ushers in Part 2 of my discussion of waitlists. If you can cast your memory all the way back to late January, I posted about how to deal with getting put on a waitlist, and I promised that I would post about how to improve your chances for admission while waiting.
I sincerely hope that none of you were holding your breath.
But now, at long last, here it is.
The waitlist, as described previously, is obviously the semi-sadistic construct of a malicious deity. Ostensibly, a waitlist leaves you at the mercy of a faceless admissions committee who we all suspect in our heart of hearts is nothing more than a circa-1980 computer into which is submitted your LSAT score and GPA and out of which is spat either a red “Reject” slip or a black “Accept” slip.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyhoo, there actually is something you can do to improve your chances once you’ve been thrust into this purgatorial existence: reaffirm your interest in the school. How do you do this? I have just the answers for you, and what’s more, I will include them in list form because that is friendly to the reader and, more important to me, completely absolves me of any real organizational responsibilities with this post.
1) Update your transcript
If you’ve gotten new grades since you sent in your transcript, and they reflect your newfound love of Cartesian coordinate planes or whateverthehell, rather than your newfound love of cheap pint nights, then you should send them into law schools which have you on the waitlist. This serves to not only give them a slightly better GPA to throw into their old, gigantic computer, but it also shows you remain really interested in attending their school.
2) Send in a new letter of recommendation
When people apply, it’s a rare occurrence that they have too many letters to send to a school. But if you’re one of those bright, shining lights of overachievement, then now would be the time to send that tertiary one that you weren’t sure was all that great, or you thought said much the same thing as another. If you want to be so energized as to get an entirely new letter and send that in, that’s also on the table. Again, this is huge not only because it gives them more information, but because it shows you are really interested in attending their school.
3) Update them with anything new in your life
If you’ve gotten a new job, joined a new club, taken a new leadership position, or had something newly tragic in your life (we’re talking cancer here, people, not a broken foot), send your friendly neighborhood law school a letter about these new and exciting things in your life. Again, they’d like to have more information, especially if it improves your holistic profile (though apparently that is mattering less and less these days), but most importantly, it SHOWS YOU’RE INTERESTED IN THE SCHOOL.
4) Send them a letter saying you’re interested in the school
Just do it. Write about how you’ve always loved the University of Blusterbutt Montana, that it’s the only law school for you, and then you’ll wait til September if that’s what it takes to gain admission. These are lies, but you’re preparing to be a lawyer anyway.
Really, the best thing to do is to demonstrate that, weeks after your initial application, you’re still really interested in that particular law school. Law schools, like everything else in life, really just want to be loved. So show them some sweet affection and start collecting acceptances.
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