Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

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Baya87
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Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby Baya87 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:12 am

I had found a letter on a forum somewhere that I can't find now. It was a very well-written and useful example of a response one could send to a law school that rejected the person.

The point wasn't to ask for reconsideration, but to ask where the admissions staff felt the weaknesses were in the application in order to better improve for reapplication next year.

Does anyone have an experience writing these types letters/ can find any examples online?

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Charles Barkley
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby Charles Barkley » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:04 pm

My guess is that you already know why you weren't admitted, bro.

umichgrad
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby umichgrad » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:13 pm

I would only consider doing this if:
(1) Your GPA and LSAT are both comfortably within the 75% range
(2) You have great softs (started a business, wrote a book, etc)
(3) You wrote all the requried essays and at least one optional one
(4) You submitted your app in Oct-Nov-Dec.
(5) You have no serious criminal record.

If you did all of these things, you should probably have gotten in and then I think it's fair to ask (in case there's a glaring problem with your app, i guess?). Otherwise, you didn't get in because something fell short.

starstruck393
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby starstruck393 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:28 pm

umichgrad wrote:I would only consider doing this if:
(1) Your GPA and LSAT are both comfortably within the 75% range
(2) You have great softs (started a business, wrote a book, etc)
(3) You wrote all the requried essays and at least one optional one
(4) You submitted your app in Oct-Nov-Dec.
(5) You have no serious criminal record.

If you did all of these things, you should probably have gotten in and then I think it's fair to ask (in case there's a glaring problem with your app, i guess?). Otherwise, you didn't get in because something fell short.


I think his whole point was how to ask what fell short...

TigerBeer
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby TigerBeer » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:28 pm

I don't think there's any harm in asking, even if you applied to Harvard with a 2.0/160. What are they gonna do, reject you again? As long as you're polite and professional you won't burn any bridges.

starstruck393
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby starstruck393 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:29 pm

Just be polite, and ask if anything stuck out to them in your application that held you back? I'm not sure that you'd even get an answer, but that's about the best you can do...

umichgrad
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby umichgrad » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:30 pm

starstruck393 wrote:
umichgrad wrote:I would only consider doing this if:
(1) Your GPA and LSAT are both comfortably within the 75% range
(2) You have great softs (started a business, wrote a book, etc)
(3) You wrote all the requried essays and at least one optional one
(4) You submitted your app in Oct-Nov-Dec.
(5) You have no serious criminal record.

If you did all of these things, you should probably have gotten in and then I think it's fair to ask (in case there's a glaring problem with your app, i guess?). Otherwise, you didn't get in because something fell short.


I think his whole point was how to ask what fell short...


If he can read the above, he will know that he's missing one of the key criteria. They're not going to say, oh, well actually it's because your GPA is low. He should be able to figure that out.

Whitters
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby Whitters » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:36 pm

I think its completely acceptable to ask something along the lines of if the rejection was numbers related or if there was anything that stood out as deficient in the ps or supporting materials. Especially if you still have applications out, it would be valuable to know if you made a mistake and you might still have time to fix it in the other applications still in review.

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kittenmittons
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby kittenmittons » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:37 pm

This seems like a waste of time for an AdCom.

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xanderdellus
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby xanderdellus » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:50 pm

umichgrad wrote:I would only consider doing this if:
(1) Your GPA and LSAT are both comfortably within the 75% range
(2) You have great softs (started a business, wrote a book, etc)
(3) You wrote all the requried essays and at least one optional one
(4) You submitted your app in Oct-Nov-Dec.
(5) You have no serious criminal record.

If you did all of these things, you should probably have gotten in and then I think it's fair to ask (in case there's a glaring problem with your app, i guess?). Otherwise, you didn't get in because something fell short.


This is the kind of condescending answer that gives TLS a bad name. Over 75% of the admitted applicants have at least one number below the 75th percentile. The OP wants to know how to be one of those and is well within his rights to ask what he might be able to do to improve a future application. Some schools will be clearly out of reach for a pure numbers standpoint, but getting Adcomm input on how to optimize your application and what to concentrate on for the next year is wise.

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Rowinguy2009
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:57 pm

I don't think it will hurt, but I would also be very surprised if you were given an answer that had any kind of substance to it. The one-size-fits all, "we just had a lot of great applicants this year" is probably more likely.

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Vincent Vega
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby Vincent Vega » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:57 pm

xanderdellus wrote:
umichgrad wrote:I would only consider doing this if:
(1) Your GPA and LSAT are both comfortably within the 75% range
(2) You have great softs (started a business, wrote a book, etc)
(3) You wrote all the requried essays and at least one optional one
(4) You submitted your app in Oct-Nov-Dec.
(5) You have no serious criminal record.

If you did all of these things, you should probably have gotten in and then I think it's fair to ask (in case there's a glaring problem with your app, i guess?). Otherwise, you didn't get in because something fell short.


This is the kind of condescending answer that gives TLS a bad name. Over 75% of the admitted applicants have at least one number below the 75th percentile. The OP wants to know how to be one of those and is well within his rights to ask what he might be able to do to improve a future application. Some schools will be clearly out of reach for a pure numbers standpoint, but getting Adcomm input on how to optimize your application and what to concentrate on for the next year is wise.


+1 to all of this. I'm not saying any LS would actually answer it, but I don't see how it could hurt.

umichgrad
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby umichgrad » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:02 pm

Sure, thats totally fair, and my apologies to the OP if I came off as condescending. I've had my share of rejections as well, and I'm no "T-14 or bust". However, imagine if every rejected applicant (and I'm not being condescending here, because I've been rejected a few times this cycle as well) asked the admissions committee to re-check their application and note the things that didn't quite stack up? They would be completely overwhelmed.

Also, just a note on your criticism of my tone: law school is three extremely intense years of rejection after rejection: being cold-called and unprepared, not getting the grades you want even though you tried hard, not getting interviews, not getting callbacks. I would suggest to the OP (and folks that are sensitive about this) that now is a great time to start re-phrasing the way h/she views rejection. For instance, "what might I be able to do to be considered a better candidate next year?" sits much better and shows more maturity than "can you please explain why you think I'm not good enough?"

legallybound
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby legallybound » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:03 pm

Rowinguy2009 wrote:I don't think it will hurt, but I would also be very surprised if you were given an answer that had any kind of substance to it. The one-size-fits all, "we just had a lot of great applicants this year" is probably more likely.


+1

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sarlis
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby sarlis » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:04 pm

Dean Pless from UIUC offered to do this for this cycle, atleast for my batch of decisions a few months ago... I didn't ask why myself though

bignoseknowsnoes
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby bignoseknowsnoes » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:05 pm

Baya87 wrote:I had found a letter on a forum somewhere that I can't find now. It was a very well-written and useful example of a response one could send to a law school that rejected the person.

The point wasn't to ask for reconsideration, but to ask where the admissions staff felt the weaknesses were in the application in order to better improve for reapplication next year.

Does anyone have an experience writing these types letters/ can find any examples online?


I actually did this (via email to an assistant dean of admission) post-ding because I thought it reeked of yield protect or some other admissions hijinks barring my entry into said institution. (name withheld for anonymity) My LSAT was above median, btw.

Anyways, they promptly responded and said they would like to meet this summer (June) to discuss ways to improve application to ensure (they didn't say "ensure" but it's definitely what was being conveyed) admission during next cycle.

I think this is a highly overlooked aspect of LS admissions.... if you have your heart set on a school, do your best, push yourself to whatever LSAT you're capable of, apply and even if you get dinged, contact them and see what it would take to get in next cycle. Persistence works.

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sundevil77
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby sundevil77 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:05 pm

xanderdellus wrote:
umichgrad wrote:I would only consider doing this if:
(1) Your GPA and LSAT are both comfortably within the 75% range
(2) You have great softs (started a business, wrote a book, etc)
(3) You wrote all the requried essays and at least one optional one
(4) You submitted your app in Oct-Nov-Dec.
(5) You have no serious criminal record.

If you did all of these things, you should probably have gotten in and then I think it's fair to ask (in case there's a glaring problem with your app, i guess?). Otherwise, you didn't get in because something fell short.


This is the kind of condescending answer that gives TLS a bad name. Over 75% of the admitted applicants have at least one number below the 75th percentile. The OP wants to know how to be one of those and is well within his rights to ask what he might be able to do to improve a future application. Some schools will be clearly out of reach for a pure numbers standpoint, but getting Adcomm input on how to optimize your application and what to concentrate on for the next year is wise.


+1 as well. Don't go by what umichgrad posted. People that are rejected with his laundry list of accomplishments in tow are extremely rare.

If you can determine through TLS and LSN that other people with similar or lower stats, similar softs, etc. have been accepted, I think it's reasonable to ask what your application lacked. If you asked an AdComm something like- "I really would like to attend your school and plan on applying next year, what can I do to strengthen my application?"- you might have a chance at receiving a real response.

Good luck and let us know if you actually get a real a substantive response!
Last edited by sundevil77 on Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

umichgrad
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby umichgrad » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:07 pm

bignoseknowsnoes wrote:
Baya87 wrote:I had found a letter on a forum somewhere that I can't find now. It was a very well-written and useful example of a response one could send to a law school that rejected the person.

The point wasn't to ask for reconsideration, but to ask where the admissions staff felt the weaknesses were in the application in order to better improve for reapplication next year.

Does anyone have an experience writing these types letters/ can find any examples online?


I actually did this (via email to an assistant dean of admission) post-ding because I thought it reeked of yield protect or some other admissions hijinks barring my entry into said institution. (name withheld for anonymity) My LSAT was above median, btw.

Anyways, they promptly responded and said they would like to meet this summer (June) to discuss ways to improve application to ensure (they didn't say "ensure" but it's definitely what was being conveyed) admission during next cycle.

I think this is a highly overlooked aspect of LS admissions.... if you have your heart set on a school, do your best, push yourself to whatever LSAT you're capable of, apply and even if you get dinged, contact them and see what it would take to get in next cycle. Persistence works.


well done, that's a great success story.

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existenz
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby existenz » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:51 pm

A guy I met at the LSAT in September was reapplying this year. He'd been accepted to UCLA the year before, but decided to reapply because he really wanted Berkeley, NYU, etc. He said that he had talked to Berkeley's admissions office about his rejected application, and they said they liked everything about it except for his LSAT score (160). So he was retaking to get a better score for this cycle.

Of course, common sense tells you that a 160 is a pretty low LSAT score even for Berkeley. But he did get the Boalt people to talk to him.

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flyingpanda
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby flyingpanda » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:33 pm

Dean Pless has been willing to discuss applications with people. I imagine many law schools are willing to talk with you.

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Unitas
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby Unitas » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:53 pm

Problem is most likely "if everything else is good" your application problem was caused by an LOR. If this is the case they cannot talk about it....

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im_blue
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby im_blue » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:10 pm

Kakarot wrote:Problem is most likely "if everything else is good" your application problem was caused by an LOR. If this is the case they cannot talk about it....


Right, or let's say they thought you were immature because of your PS. Would they really tell you that?

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Vincent Vega
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby Vincent Vega » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:20 am

existenz wrote:A guy I met at the LSAT in September was reapplying this year. He'd been accepted to UCLA the year before, but decided to reapply because he really wanted Berkeley, NYU, etc. He said that he had talked to Berkeley's admissions office about his rejected application, and they said they liked everything about it except for his LSAT score (160). So he was retaking to get a better score for this cycle.

Of course, common sense tells you that a 160 is a pretty low LSAT score even for Berkeley. But he did get the Boalt people to talk to him.


I'm sad that he got in at UCLA with a 160 and I was WL'ed with 165/3.92.

Norwood
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby Norwood » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:51 am

I read in some book that included this question in a Q and A with various law school admission deans and they all said that they were willing to discuss an applicant's application if rejected. However, all of them mentioned that they would only do so during the "slow" period of admissions. (ie. summer/early fall).

happyhappyjoyjoy
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Re: Ask a law school why you weren't admitted?

Postby happyhappyjoyjoy » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:35 am

nevermind
Last edited by happyhappyjoyjoy on Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.




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