LOCI article and samples

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Ken
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LOCI article and samples

Postby Ken » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:45 pm

Dear TLS members,

We are coming up on that period of the cycle when you may be considering sending out a letter of continued interest (LOCI). Below is an article I have written that answers questions about a LOCI and I also have a few sample LOCI below. If you know what a LOCI is you can likely jump to the samples. It would be greatly appreciated if members could submit any LOCI that they have already submitted.

The acronym LOCI is thrown around quite frequently on the forums at TLS, especially during admissions season. What exactly is a LOCI and what is its purpose? LOCI stands for letter of continued interest and is just that: a letter you send to a school that you’ve applied to that reminds the admissions committee that you are still very much interested in attending their school.

There are many questions about LOCI’s and the purpose of this article is to clear up some of the confusion. While there is no “right” way to write a LOCI, the following tips and advice have been gathered from TLS users who have had success with their LOCI’s.


When should I write my LOCI?

Typically, you write a LOCI to a school that has either waitlisted or deferred you (some schools put you on hold which is the same as being deferred). In both of these cases, the school has decided not to admit you after its initial review of your application. In addition to sending an updated transcript or letter of recommendation, sending a LOCI allows you to supplement your application and gives the admissions committee more material about you to help inform its decision.

Some applicants also send LOCI’s to schools that they haven’t heard anything from after being complete for 3 months. While there is no rule against doing this, you should think hard before you do it. You don’t want to run the risk of annoying an admissions committee by sending them unsolicited information before they reach an initial decision. Additionally, some admission committees will place your file at the back of the pile if you send any sort of addendum to your application after submitting it but before they reach a decision. If you’ve been waiting for 3 months, you probably don’t want to have your application delayed even more because you sent a LOCI.


What should I write about in my LOCI?

The purpose of the LOCI is to let the school know that you’re still interested in attending that school. By the time you are waitlisted or deferred, the school knows that you have been accepted to other places. They want to know that despite your other acceptances, you still are interested in their school. If you don’t show your interest, why would they give you a spot over someone who is dead set on their school?

Talk about why the school is a good match for you. Do some research and look for a specific program or student organization that is unique to the school that would help further your career goals. You have to seem sincere so pick something that is consistent with what is on your resume or in your personal statement. In addition to telling the school why you want them, tell them why they should want you. The school will have a long waitlist full of eager applicants. You need to tell the admissions committee why it should choose you over everyone else it is considering.

In addition to showing your continued interest, a LOCI is a great way to sell yourself a little more. Update the admissions committee on what you have been up to. Did you get a promotion? Did you find out that you will graduate with honors? Did you have an experience that impacted you? Tell them! The important thing to remember is to only tell the committee something they didn’t already know. It doesn’t want to read about something you wrote your personal statement on or is a large part of your resume.

When wait listing or deferring you, some schools ask for specific things you can send them to add to your file. If a school tells you what they want, do it! If the school requests another essay on a given topic and you want to send a LOCI in addition to the essay, go for it. The only time you should definitely not send a LOCI is if the school specifically asks you not to send any additional information.


How long should my LOCI be?

A standard LOCI is kept to one page. Admissions committees obviously have lots of reading to do so you don’t want to unnecessarily add to their reading load. If you do go over one page, make sure that you do not include anything the committee already knows about you and that you’re not just writing to make the letter longer. The committee can easily distinguish between a letter telling them what the applicant thinks they want to hear and a letter with sincere reasons why the applicant wants to go to their school.

Sometimes the school will give you a page limit on anything you send to them. If this is the case, treat this limit as strictly as you treated the parameters laid out for your personal statement.


When should I send my LOCI?

In most cases, you want to send your LOCI as quickly after getting waitlisted/deferred (especially if you were deferred) as possible. You don’t want to sacrifice quality for speed, so spend some time on the letter but send it off as soon as you are happy with the finished product.

If you were waitlisted, it’s a good idea to call the admissions office and ask when they will start reviewing waitlisted applicants. If they tell you they won’t start reviewing waitlisted files until April or May, you can take your time and send the LOCI so that it reaches by April 1 or May 1. The benefit of waiting until the deadline is that not only does it give you more time to write the letter but there is also a chance that something new will happen to you that you can write about. You can also be proactive and visit the school, sit in a class, and talk to students and write about the experience in your LOCI.


Whom should I send my LOCI to?

Often times, in your waitlist or deferral notification, the school will tell you who to send additional materials to. If that is the case for you, follow the directions laid out for you. It is best to send your LOCI to the person whose name appeared on the notice of waitlist or deferral you received, particularly if there is no mention of who to send additional materials to. If the waitlist or deferral letter had a generic sender (XXX School of Law Admissions Committee), send your letter to the Dean of Admissions.


How should I send my LOCI?

Assuming the school doesn’t specifically tell you how to send in additional materials, it is preferable to physically mail your LOCI as opposed to emailing it. By physically mailing the letter, you know that someone will have to open it and when they do, they will place it in your file. If you email it, you have to rely on whoever reads it to print it out and place it in your file. Additionally, emails have a greater chance of being overlooked than a hard copy letter. The deans and admissions committees are being flooded with emails around decision time. You want to eliminate any chance of administrative error and sending a physical letter helps you do that. A physical letter also takes more time and effort to send than an e-mail and is a sign that sending the LOCI was important to you.


Other points about LOCI’s

1. In some cases, you may be waitlisted from a school that you were fairly confident you would be accepted to based on your LSAT and GPA. Often times, this is a case of yield protection. All law schools are conscious of their US News & World Report ranking and one of the factors in the rankings is a school’s yield (the percentage of accepted applicants who attend the school). If a school thinks you applied to it as your safety school and will probably get in to higher ranked schools, they may waitlist you so that you will not lower their yield. If you are truly interested in that school, write a solid LOCI and you have a good shot of being bumped off the waitlist. In a case like this, the school wants to see whether you truly are interested in attending the school or if you just applied to it as a safety school and have no real intention of going if you get into a higher ranked school. A good LOCI will show them that you are sincerely interested.

2. Carefully follow whatever directions a school sends you in regards to sending additional information. If it doesn’t want you to send anything else, don’t write a LOCI no matter how good or important you think yours is. If it has page limits, a deadline, or a preferred method of submission for any additional materials, adhere to its guidelines as closely as you possibly can.


Sample LOCI:

Eager Applicant
Street
City, State, Zip
LSAC#: L12345678

Month, Day, Year


Desirable School of Law
Street
City, State, Zip

Dear Dean of Admissions of Desirable School of Law:


I am writing to reiterate my interest in attending Desirable School of Law. Aside from being an excellent law school, the program at Desirable perfectly complements my legal interests. Specifically, the [insert certificate program, professor’s work, academic center, etc.] is something I find exciting because of my interest in the field of [your favorite field of law] law. Fleshing out this point…

In addition to my interest in [the above mentioned factor], I feel that I will bring a unique perspective to the Desirable School of Law community. Due to my [relevant past experience, unique background, etc], I will bring a [something that nobody else but me has] to the community.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to update my application. Since submitting my application in the fall, I have [earned a 4.0 last semester, was promoted, was awarded the Nobel prize]. In addition to that, I [started a volunteer job at the public defender’s office, was selected by my professor to be a research assistant, found a cure for baldness].

Desirable School of Law remains one of my top choices. The programs offered fit extremely well with my legal interests, [location of Desirable] is a place I can see myself living, and the student body at Desirable is one that I will not only learn a great deal from but also contribute a great deal to. I would be honored to be offered a place in the Desirable Class of [whatever class you would be a part of].

Thank you very much for your time.


Sincerely,

Eager Applicant

Another LOCI from a TLS member sent last year:

Some background info for context about my situation: I was deferred back on 2/14; admitted by e-mail on 3/27. I chose to speak directly to a specific curricular opportunity at CLS rather than general traits of a school (location, LRAP, whatever) because I wanted to prove I was seriously considering their school and had done my research about why it would be a good fit for me/why I was unique. However, CLS was the only school to which I applied that deferred me, so I felt okay being a bit direct in the final paragraph - I would want the same kind of transparency.
(More details here, if you care: http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display ... rabbit9198)

Dear Dean Iwerebon and Members of the Admissions Committee,

Good morning! I am writing to express my strong continued interest in being granted admission to Columbia University School of Law.

Columbia Law, with its opportunity to cross register at Teachers College, is uniquely attractive as an institution because it would allow me to mix two of my passions, law and education policy, in a single cross-disciplinary atmosphere. I am deeply intrigued by opportunities to take courses in the Law and Educational Institutions or the Education Policy Studies program. I would also be interested in a concurrent degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education. Dr. XYZ, my undergraduate research adviser who wrote one of my letters of recommendation, served previously as an assistant professor at Teachers College and has nothing but fantastic things to say about the opportunities there with regard to my own areas of interest.

Columbia's unique programmatic strengths are intriguing to me because for the past four years, I have worked in various capacities in a number of education-related institutions. From a privileged private university and intensive special needs birth-to-three programs to dangerous inner-city schools, I have seen students progress through many different facets of America’s education system. Educational institutions are of great interest to me because they are always changing. The influx of new students, their needs, and the ideas they carry with them often creates challenging situations for instructors and administrators. Lawyers working within or advising schools have insight into a number of society’s most contentious issues and are responsible, in part, for the fate of millions of children. Only by truly immersing oneself in the educational side of the equation can those lawyers understand the unique demands of such organizations. I cannot think of a more encouraging setting to gain such a perspective than at Columbia.

Thank you very much for your continued consideration. To be frank, although I have presently been admitted to a number of other fantastic law schools, Columbia’s School of Law/Teachers College combination is truly unique; an offer of admission (and certainly, an offer of financial aid or a scholarship) would make enrolling at Columbia extremely attractive. I look forward to hearing from you soon; I would be happy to answer any question you have about my application.

Kind regards,

XX

Would greatly appreciate a few more LOCI samples from TLS members.

azlawlady
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby azlawlady » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:45 pm

As always Ken, thanks for the awesome information! :D

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elisecolette
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby elisecolette » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:55 pm

Thanks SO much for this, perfect timing... i was put on hold yesterday and I'm working on my LOCI now.

A couple questions though for anyone who can help:

-If I'm also sending an updated transcript, should I have my schools registrar send it directly to the law school, or should I get it myself and send it with my LOCI?

-Should I mention the other school(s) I'm considering? i.e. "I can attend another great law school in the same city as your school but I still REALLY REALLY REALLY want to go to your school instead."

Thanks!

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Veritas
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby Veritas » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:32 pm

thanks for the sticky, I was forever searching through "LOCI" in the search function.

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Ken
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby Ken » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:47 am

Glad this article and example are helpful. Would be very thankful for others to post their LOCI once they get in (which I realize may be a few months from now if you are sending in a LOCI).

Would like to other responses, but my analysis:


-If I'm also sending an updated transcript, should I have my schools registrar send it directly to the law school, or should I get it myself and send it with my LOCI?

Always best to send official documents such as transcripts directly to the law school from your college. Avoids any concerns.

-Should I mention the other school(s) I'm considering? i.e. "I can attend another great law school in the same city as your school but I still REALLY REALLY REALLY want to go to your school instead."

Mention the other law school if it is a peer school or close to a peer school. For example, Berkeley will be impressed with your getting in to Michigan, Virginia and Stanford (and yes, there are instances of applicants getting in to Stanford but not Berkeley). Georgetown is somewhat impressed with George Washington, but would not be awed by George Mason.

Best of luck to everyone sending in their LOCI's. Just to incentivize everyone, I will pay $25 per LOCI submitted since you would be making TLS a better place. Please PM me when you have so I can get you your TLS Thanks Funds (all I ask is that the money be spent on alcohol and that a cheers is made to TLS :D).

Best,

Ken

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prezidentv8
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:44 pm

Ken wrote:Please PM me when you have so I can get you your TLS Thanks Funds (all I ask is that the money be spent on alcohol and that a cheers is made to TLS :D).

Best,

Ken


A) You will def. get a couple LOCIs from me
B) The $ will be spent on booze for my graduation party, which will be massive. Since my school didn't really advise on prelaw (except for the new club/adviser that was established a bit too late for me), TLS will get quite the toast.

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SpAcEmAn SpLiFF
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby SpAcEmAn SpLiFF » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:36 pm

man this thread is awesome. gonna start working on my loci this week :?

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broach911
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby broach911 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:59 pm

I'm going to start my LoCI tonight but I have a few questions. First, should you continuously send them LoCI (the same or slightly different) every other week or so or just send one? I was thinking of emailing and sending by snail mail a LoCI to the school I want every 2 weeks or maybe 3 but I would like an opinion on this.

Also, if I don't care about scholarship would it be prudent to put in the letter that I am more than willing to pay sticker price to attend?

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SpAcEmAn SpLiFF
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby SpAcEmAn SpLiFF » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:01 pm

broach911 wrote:I'm going to start my LoCI tonight but I have a few questions. First, should you continuously send them LoCI (the same or slightly different) every other week or so or just send one? I was thinking of emailing and sending by snail mail a LoCI to the school I want every 2 weeks or maybe 3 but I would like an opinion on this.

Also, if I don't care about scholarship would it be prudent to put in the letter that I am more than willing to pay sticker price to attend?

send one. dunno about the scholarship thing, but my instinct tells me it wouldnt be prudent

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kellbell
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby kellbell » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:12 pm

What if we are a non-traditional applicant?

Other than a LOCI, I have no updated transcripts to send, no additional recommendations from professors...

Can you guys think of anything else to send? Another rec from an employer or colleague?

THANKS!

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Ken
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby Ken » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:52 am

Broach, while you want to show a law school that you are still interested, you do not want to bombard them. I would send a revised LOCI only once a month unless you are getting close to needing to make a decision (a school you want less requires a seat deposit for example). And of course if something positive happens (Feb. LSAT results were good, strong grades come out) then you can send that in regardless of the timing.

If you have not yet been accepted or were wait listed, they likely presume that since you are sending a LOCI you would attend without a scholarship. That would be relevant to mention only if you have a scholarship from a somewhat competitive school that you would turn down to attend (ex: Although offered a full-ride at George Washington, I would happily attend Georgetown even without a scholarship).

Not that I am claiming to be an expert on LOCI, so I would welcome other comments (and examples in the next few weeks).

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SpencerPratt
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby SpencerPratt » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:08 pm

Thanks Ken.

I was emailed by a school I really would like to attend (probably not my top choice, but top 3 of the most reasonable schools I'm looking at) asking me for an addendum of why my GPA was so low. I probably should have taken the time to send a LOCI then, but would it be a good time to send one Monday? They obviously liked my LSAT score/PS/etc enough to consider me if I have a good reason for the GPA, so I would like to let them know about my interest. Thoughts?

stickchick
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby stickchick » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:49 am

Question! I've been accepted to several schools who have a due date for the seat deposit of april 15 ... i haven't heard from my top choice but i have a sttrronnggg feeling i will be waitlisted .... i would definitely attend there if accepted, but i will not wait another year if im not accepted - so if i don't get in at my top choice, i want to go to one of the other schools i've been accepted to .... if/when i'm waitlisted, i will write an LOCI, is there any nice way to say - TELL ME BY APRIL 15 so i dont have to waste my damn money on a seat deposit to a school i won't attend if you dont accept me? any help/advice would be appreciated!

WAHiker
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby WAHiker » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:07 am

Is hand-delivering a LOCI worthwhile? For instance, I'm on the WL at 3 of my top choices, all of which are at least 2k miles away, and am considering flying to all 3 to drop them off.
Are the people reading the apps even aware of how the LOCI get there?

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SpAcEmAn SpLiFF
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby SpAcEmAn SpLiFF » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:00 pm

WAHiker wrote:Is hand-delivering a LOCI worthwhile? For instance, I'm on the WL at 3 of my top choices, all of which are at least 2k miles away, and am considering flying to all 3 to drop them off.
Are the people reading the apps even aware of how the LOCI get there?

unless you gave it directly to the dean, i dont think itd make much of a difference.

is there anywhere else i can see more examples of locis? i need more for inspiration

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Hudda Budda
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby Hudda Budda » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:38 pm

This is exactly what I needed. Damn, thanks. However, one question. I'm a splitter, and my GPA is the main thing that most probably kept me from getting a certain acceptance (of course this is an assumption on my part) and from how I understood it, it's not really prudent to mention your bad GPA in the initial application. Better to just highlight your strengths to outweigh your GPA. However on the LOCI, should I say anything about why it's low or anything like that?

It's the usual BS, did really bad first two years, jumped from major to major (I think I had like 5 diff majors at diff points), until my senior year I finally settled on History. And I didn't even decide on law school until after I graduated, so no real motivation to do well. Studied my ass off for the LSAT to show that when motivated I can do well (though not as well as the other freaks on this forum).

Obviously there's nothing really original with this story, but as the school i've been waitlisted at is my top choice, i do want to make certain they know that my GPA is not indicative of my true ability or whatever. Is there any point to putting this on my LOCI now or should I just ignore that and just put the other stuff that i was gonna put anyways (new community activities i've been involved in, etc)?

Thanks again for all this. Hm...maybe I should also ask Dean Pless about this as well.

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Ken
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby Ken » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:10 am

Hi everyone,

Hopefully more samples of LOCI will be coming soon. Hudda Budda, while you are right that a personal statement should focus on your strengths, the ideal place to discuss the reasons for your upward grade trend would have been via an addendum. But since you have not written an addendum, a not ideal but pragmatic way of conveying this is via your LOCI. Ideally, you would be letting them know of strong grades in the latest quarter, which are indicative of your continuing upward trend. But in your case you can just mention your continued interest in the school and that while your LSAT is above their median, you realize your GPA is not but your GPA over the last 2 years is and you improved because... and will continue to excel at their law school. Just my thoughts, any others would be welcome.

Hand delivering your LOCI is usually not worth the trip, but if you are there for a law school visit then it makes good sense.

Regarding the seat deposit, send the LOCI in but do not convey your desire to know by April 15th. You cannot rush the law school of your choice as they are picking you, not vice versa. A seat deposit is a small fee to reserve your spot at a very good (although not your favorite) law school. Of those you have been accepted to, visit them and choose your favorite and send in a seat deposit. This is money well spent.

Where are my LOCI samples? I have $25 burning a hole in my pocket to be spent.

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KosovasLostSon
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby KosovasLostSon » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:19 am

Ken wrote:
Where are my LOCI samples? I have $25 burning a hole in my pocket to be spent.


You will be getting a couple soon enough... Got my first waitlist letter a couple of days ago... With my delay in apps, I am expecting a ton... I'm probably not going to send anything out until I hear back from all my applications.

Dtrain777
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby Dtrain777 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:17 am

Ken wrote:Where are my LOCI samples? I have $25 burning a hole in my pocket to be spent.


You have at least 3 on the way from me...but I suspect I'll get a few more WL before my cycle is over.

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kurla88
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby kurla88 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:39 am

Thanks for this thread!

I may post mine after I write 'em. ^.^

Palma
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby Palma » Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:12 pm

If the decision is still pending for about 2 months or so should I send a LOCI even if I have not been put on hold or the waitlist?

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Ken
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby Ken » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:19 am

Palma, while I generally recommend waiting to hear back from a school before sending a LOCI, with a 2 month wait time in hearing back coupled with it being late in the application season, I see no harm in sending a LOCI.

I also received the following via PM:

"I am writing an LOCI to Georgetown right now.

One of my updates is a higher LSAT score from the Feb. test. I know that schools like to hear reasons for lower test scores when reconsidering your app. based on higher ones, so I'm trying to incorporate that into the LOCI. The problem is that this makes the letter significantly longer than a page...probably a page and a half when I include all of my updates (there are several) as well as expounding on a few reasons why Georgetown would be a good fit for me, etc.

Is this too long? And does an LSAT explanation potentially detract too much attention from the rest of the LOCI? Would it be better to include this as an addendum, a postscript....?


Generally a LOCI should only be 1 page long. The admissions committee already read your entire application, so they prefer supplemental information to be succinct. While it is very important to convey an improved LSAT score (perhaps the best news a LOCI can convey), your reasons for improvement are not always important to convey. While a serious illness (ideally documented via a doctor) during your first LSAT testing would be good to convey, the simple fact is that the 2nd time you take the test seems more familiar and often a reduced amount of nervousness is what allows you to test to your potential. For most law schools, you may not need to go into the reasons for your improvement as they generally take the highest LSAT score without explanation. However, for Georgetown (whose LSAT policy is below) elaborating upon the reasons for your improvement is wise, but no need to write more than a few sentences unless you have a very compelling reason.

Georgetown Policy:

For reporting purposes, Georgetown adheres to the ABA policy of reporting the higher LSAT score. For evaluation purposes, the Georgetown Admissions Committee typically averages LSAT scores. Georgetown may consider the higher LSAT score if you have only taken the LSAT twice. Please address any mitigating circumstances you feel the Admissions Committee should consider.

In sum, try to keep your LOCI succinct and to one page, but in the case of Georgetown or other law schools that prefer an explanation for one's LSAT improvement, a short explanation is space well spent.

Note that if you had your 2 LSAT scores with a large improvement when applying, then it should have been in a LSAT addendum but at this point I think it is best to include this in your LOCI so you are only sending one document that addresses everything.

Best of luck, my money says you get in off the wait list as you are doing everything right.

braun223
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby braun223 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:23 pm

Hey Ken,

In my LOCI to GWU, would a significant scholarship offer to William & Mary be something to mention? For example, "Although I have been offered a significant scholarship at the College of William and Mary Law School, the George Washington University Law School is my first choice because...etc."

Or, are they too far apart in the rankings to be considered peer schools? Also, I will be sending one to Notre Dame, a school closer in ranking.

Thanks.

CaitP
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby CaitP » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:35 pm

I'm interested in your opinion on scholarship negotiation as well (although this may not be the right thread to discuss it in). How would you recommend we broach the subject?

omg
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Re: LOCI article and samples

Postby omg » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:50 pm

braun223 wrote:Hey Ken,

In my LOCI to GWU, would a significant scholarship offer to William & Mary be something to mention? For example, "Although I have been offered a significant scholarship at the College of William and Mary Law School, the George Washington University Law School is my first choice because...etc."

Or, are they too far apart in the rankings to be considered peer schools? Also, I will be sending one to Notre Dame, a school closer in ranking.

Thanks.


This is a great question. In general, I've heard conflicting advice about whether we should mention our other acceptances at all. What are people's thoughts?




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