Admission & Acceptance Decisions
What the school’s admissions policy is, when the school receives the last of your application materials and whether you are a borderline candidate (this often delays a definite decision) will all affect when you are notified of the admissions committee’ decision.
Offers of Admission and Wait Lists
Once you are accepted and once you decide which school you will attend, please notify the other law schools that you are no longer a candidate. Each June, the LSAC will notify law schools of candidates who have made seat deposits at multiple schools. Make sure you have completed applications for financial aid if necessary.
Law school admissions offices can fairly accurately predict the percentage of "yield" from the number of students offered admission. When the yield does not produce a large enough class, applicants are taken off the wait list and invited to matriculate. In general, the more prominent schools take fewer people off the wait list. Beyond this it's difficult to predict your chances of being taken off the wait list. Calling the law school will generally produce little helpful information.
As a rule, it's probably best not to be overly optimistic unless you are at the very top of the wait list, (if, in fact, the law school will inform you of where your position is on the list), and even then there are never any guarantees. If you do find yourself on a law school's wait list it is important to maintain contact with the admissions office. Update your file with work projects or an additional letter of recommendation. Use whatever additional ammunition you have which may help your cause, including a personal note or statement.
Many law schools have a deferral policy whereby, once accepted, you can defer entry to law school for a year (policy varies from school to school but is almost always a case-by-case decision). Some schools allow deferral on a first-come-first-served basis, others may require a good reason. Regardless of policy, the number of deferrals is usually limited each year, if available at all.
- You can request a deferral only after you accept admission to the law school.
- Moreover, deferring entry to a school is a commitment to that school. It would be unethical to defer matriculation to more than one school or to apply to another law school once you had received a deferment from your original choice.
- If you don't plan to go to law school right away, it is best not to apply right away.
Whether accepted or rejected for admission in a given year at a given law school, you can always reapply at a later time. However, if rejected initially, in many cases the law school will look for some significant improvement in your candidacy between applications. Such "improvement" might take the form a significantly improved LSAT score, additional work or life experience(s), etc.