Waitlisted? Some strategies and perspectives

Private pre-law advisor Ann Levine has produced a great article of tips for waitlisted law school applicants. First she’s got some great perspectives on what the waitlist looks like from the law school’s side:

Most law schools don’t even think about the people on their waiting list until after they have the first deposits from those they have admitted. It’s pretty much a second admission cycle, so all those hopes you had of solidifying your decision by April 1 should be washed away. You see, only after schools see how those numbers come back do they start to evaluate waitlisted applicants.

When a law school reviews a waiting list to admit people, they may have specific needs. For example, if more women sent deposits than men, the school may need to balance out the class this way. If the LSAT numbers for the entering class are looking strong but the GPAs are looking lackluster, they may go to people with strong GPAs. They might see that they have too many people from a certain undergrad school and not enough from another, or by geographic region, or there is room to expand upon ethnic diversity. These are all considerations when deciding who will be admitted.

And, within each of these categories that need to be filled, the Dean of Admissions is thinking, “Who do I like? Whose day do I want to make?” After all, this is one of the most fun things an admission officer gets to do. I want to call someone who I know is going to be very happy to hear from me. I get to be a hero today! So who do I call? That nice kid who has been in touch with me for six months! The guy who works down the street as a paralegal! The young woman who traveled from Ohio to visit the law school! This is where making effort makes all the difference. After all, I don’t want to have to make 5 calls to get someone who is happy to hear from me. I want the person who is the sure thing, because what I don’t want is to admit someone at this point in the year who does not want to attend.

If you do absolutely nothing beyond accepting your place on the waiting list, you will not get into the law school. That’s all there is to it. You must go above and beyond. You must launch your campaign to get in.

Ann’s also got some great tips on how to best launch that campaign — click through to the full article for those.

By Diane Curtis
Diane Curtis Pre-Law Advisor & Senior Lecturer