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Law School Admissions Tip: Dealing With a Ding, Part I

Posted in Test Prep on April 27, 2011 by

Every other Wednesday, our friends at Clear Admit will share a helpful law school admissions tip. For more, check out their blog.

With many law schools releasing their decisions, the spring notification season will soon be coming to a close. While we would like to hope that today’s topic isn’t apropos for too many of our readers, we wanted to offer some advice to applicants who’ve been rejected from their preferred programs and are planning on reapplying next season. While it’s important to take some time to deal with the disappointment, it’s never too early to begin thinking about the next season, and there are a number of steps you can take to improve your candidacy and move toward a stronger application.

1) Reevaluate. While it’s certainly difficult when things don’t go to plan, this is actually a great chance to take stock of your career and goals, and make sure that a law degree is still a logical and necessary step at this point. It’s this sort of reflection that can lead to refined career goals and a clearer sense of the reasons you need a legal education.

2) Revisit your applications. Once you’ve gained some distance from the emotional and time-consuming application process, it’s wise to review the materials you submitted to the schools with a critical eye. Having learned much about the process simply by applying, it’s likely that you’ll be able to identify a number of things that you could have done better. Whether you suspect your downfall was something like a strategic misstep in an essay, or a more glaring weakness like a low LSAT, there is plenty of time to address your shortcomings before submitting an application next year.

3) Consider your data points. Your results this year may reflect some valuable information about your competitiveness at a top program. It’s important that you only apply to schools that you would be happy attending, but if you were unsuccessful at all of the programs to which you applied, it might be time to think about how realistic your list of target schools was and to add a few more to the mix. This is especially true for applicants who only applied to one or two programs this time around; there is an element of randomness and luck in the admissions process, and no matter how qualified the applicant, we recommend that a candidate target at least four programs to have a strong chance of success.

Best of luck to those who are considering their next steps after receiving rejections from their target law schools.