On Hold? Law School Application Limbo….

Posted by Ann Levine | February 15, 2011

It can be confusing – you’re not on a waitlist, you’re not just told a simple “yes” or “no.”  When your law school application is being “held” it really just means more waiting. There can be a lot of reasons for this. The primary reason is that the school is waiting to get a sense of whether they’ve admitted too many or too few people at this point. In that way, it’s like a wait list. Therefore, you need to decide whether to pursue admission in the same way you would if you were waitlisted.

Here are some things you can do if your application is “on hold.”

1.  If it’s feasible to arrange a campus visit, do so. Call the admission office and arrange a tour and classroom visit, and see if it’s possible to speak with an admission counselor.

2. You should absolutely update your application with accomplishments and activities since submitting your application.

3.  Let the law school know that you appreciate that your application remains under review.

4. If you neglected to respond to an optional essay prompt for that application, you may wish to submit one at this time.

5. If you only submitted 2 letters of recommendation and no evaluations, and the school accepts more, consider adding a new perspective to your application through this outlet.

 

Categories: Law School Application Tips

10 Comments »


10 Responses to “On Hold? Law School Application Limbo….”

  1. Will says:

    Hello Ms. Levine,

    I’m curious if you know why law schools use rolling admissions, other than to help them avoid a glut of paperwork at one time. Rolling admissions seems unfair. If I understand correctly, if two students with the same statistics apply, the one who applies earlier has a better chance of being accepted. Granted, students with the same or similar numbers face disparate outcomes all of the time. But why should their time of submission matter so long as both applications meet the deadline? Not everyone has a chance to uproot one’s life to apply to law schools earlier rather than later. And if a snafu occurs during the admissions process, depending on the school and the individual student, the best course of action may be to delay matriculation a whole year.

    In my case, I made an unfortunate error on the LSAT and had to wait two months to re-take the test. I was so disturbed upon realizing my error not so much because of what I had done, but because I thought that I would have to wait another entire year to begin school.

    With all the controversy about unfairness in the LSAT, unfair admissions criteria, etc., nobody talks about the timetable.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Will,
      I definitely hear your frustration. I think this is one of those things that isn’t going to change. Administratively, it would be a nightmare. If you are qualified for a school, you won’t be rejected because your application is late in the cycle. But it is harder to get into a reach school at that time of year. And, yes, snafus happen. But that’s why you should apply early – to eliminate the danger of snafus causing delays. I think people who apply earlier and are ready earlier would argue that they should have some advantage. Many people in your situation, especially those who find they aren’t getting into schools that they feel they should be getting into, do decide to wait a year and apply early for the following cycle because they will find themselves with more options.

  2. Carmen says:

    Hi Ann:

    I got waitlisted at a couple of school including my first choice Pace. I have a 150 lsat and 3.2 gpa. I visited the campus, spoke to some of the admissions people, wrote a LOCI and sent an updated resume. two days later my file went complete and a decision mailed.

    now, could i possibly be rejected from the waitlist? just seems like the letter worked to have them re-review my file, but could they have decided to just reject me early on or something? I havent received a decision letter in the mail yet but the suspense is killing me.

  3. Leah says:

    Hi Ann,

    I have a few questions regarding what you stated above in your post.

    Do you recommend updating your application and expressing continued interest in a letter, or is it better that they receive an email (faster)? Would an updated resume be superfluous as an attachment or enclosure? Is it better to write separate notes indicating continued interest and an update on accomplishments?

    Eagerly awaiting your reply,
    Leah

  4. Kieth says:

    Can a new test score change anything? For example I have a 176, but I am seriously considering taking the Dec/Jan test even though I already finished applying because I believe I am or will be placed in application limbo for a lot of schools (My cumulative GPA is low and my transcript is irregular).

    • Ann Levine says:

      Keith, It is really hard to raise your score from a 176… You’re already at the top of the LSAT scale. If your applications are strong, I’d sit back and wait to see what happens unless you are very sure that you are likely to raise your score.

      • Kieth says:

        90% of my apps have been under review for 3 months or more (only 1 accept and 1 WL thus far out of over 20+ applications). My PS, LORs, Evaluations are all strong, but my GPA is irregular (3.0 for 3 years, 6 year hiatus for business, 4.0 for 1.5 years). I’m 90% confident I can get a 180 especially since my 176 was actually a 179 except for one huge bubbling error. Main problem is that it would have to be the Feb. test which is 2 months away. Would you recommend (a) maintain status quo, (b) ask schools to delay their decision until my final test in Feb, (c) just take 3rd test and wait for results prior to notifying schools, (d) become a doctor/comedian/hobo.

        • Ann Levine says:

          Kieth, definitely not option (d). Wait and hear back from schools. Your LSAT shows you can hack it in law school. It’s not like you do better in law school by going from a 99th percentile LSAT score to a 99th percentile LSAT score. Hang on to what you have and just be patient…

          • Kieth says:

            Thank you for your advice. I will heed your words as they offer the most comfort. Yet, I still believe option (d) is equally viable if not more so in these troubling times as Ken Jeong is my role model.

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