Applying two years in a row?

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seanconnery
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Applying two years in a row?

Postby seanconnery » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:09 am

I applied super late in this cycle, and so far I've only gotten a bunch of waitlist spots. I think there's some chance I could get in off one or more of them, but I think that my timing hurt me pretty significantly. I have two questions.

First, if I don't end up getting in anywhere, how would it be to submit the same set of apps in the fall? I'm pretty satisfied with my personal statement, for instance, but part of me thinks it would be bad form to send the same one without any changes.

Second, would it be crazy of me to wait a year even if I get in somewhere? I think I have a very reasonable shot at a T14 school if I apply for next fall.

S

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MURPH
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby MURPH » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:15 am

I would re-do the PS. You can swap PS here on TLS. I recommend that you read/edit about 20 or so and read as many as you can. You will get a really good feel for some common errors and some good ideas.
Consider retaking the LSAT too. A few points can make all the difference.
Finally, apply very, very early. You will get a better chance of being accepted and more financial aid. Good Luck

r6_philly
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:16 am

seanconnery wrote:First, if I don't end up getting in anywhere, how would it be to submit the same set of apps in the fall? I'm pretty satisfied with my personal statement, for instance, but part of me thinks it would be bad form to send the same one without any changes.


Each school has different requirements. You will send an updated resume if you have a new job. You can even send in an addendum explaining your time off - show that it is positive, what you are doing in the mean time. Yale requires this anyway. Some schools requires new materials and keep old app in the same file while others say they don't include old apps. I am planning on modifying my PS and send updated materials if I end up reapplying. If I do, I would have new WE, a new degree (MS) and some awards/scholarships (that I am getting in May so I can't add now).

Second, would it be crazy of me to wait a year even if I get in somewhere? I think I have a very reasonable shot at a T14 school if I apply for next fall.


Not if it is not where you want to go. If you get in the T14, and you do want to go there, and you don't think your chances are better to get into a better school next year, then go now. If you think you can improve on the LSAT, and/or do something meaningful, then wait. I am in at a great school, but I feel like if I improve on the LSAT, or even just apply earlier, I may have a chance at more money at least, and maybe at a even higher ranked school. So I may reapply. But I have super positive things that I can do in the extra, I may actually defer anyway, so it may not work the same for you.

seanconnery
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby seanconnery » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:56 am

Thanks to everyone for such quick and thoughtful replies.

Just for some more background--I have a 174 on the LSAT, and I do think there's some chance I could improve, but I also think that I could end up scoring worse if I take it again just because the margins are so small at that point on the curve. It would be my third time taking the exam (first time was a 171).

I've been out of school and working for a few years now, and I'm almost certainly going to have the same job in October as I do now and as I did back in February. I'd apply as soon as I could, of course. I'm not sure that I'd be able to conjure up any significant new developments, though I have been considering doing a volunteer program or something along those lines with my time off, and obviously I'd make mention of that.

Regarding the PS, it sounds like I'm hearing that it would be wise to just write something different just for the sake of writing something different? Let's suppose that the PS I submitted is something close to perfect--that maybe a few tweaks would make it better, but it's otherwise exactly what I want to send in. Should I still write something different for the second go 'round?

S

r6_philly
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:08 am

You didn't mention your GPA and the schools you are trying to get in. But I think ... if your PS is perfect, you would have had a bite. I would rewrite my PS, but on the same subject. So maybe not a rewrite, but a refinement. Now if your PS is close to perfect, maybe you need to modify the content? Seriously with a 174, you should be able to get in a T14 unless your GPA is very low. But if your GPA is very low, I don't think a 180 is going to make too much difference because you can't help a school's median and 75% anymore than you do with a 174 (because the schools with over 170 medians will not take you with a low GPA).

I would focus on getting the rest of your application more attractive. If you are staying at the same job, get more community involvement, vulunteer like you said. Work it into your resume. ED somewhere if you can pick a school. Good luck!

seanconnery
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby seanconnery » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:22 am

r6_philly wrote:You didn't mention your GPA and the schools you are trying to get in.


Maybe I'm paranoid, but I don't want to give out too much identifying information when I'm speculating about applying again before we know the fate of all my apps for this year. My GPA is low, below the 25%ile everywhere, but my combined numbers are within the range. I think that applying late really hurt me at some places.

But I think ... if your PS is perfect, you would have had a bite. I would rewrite my PS, but on the same subject. So maybe not a rewrite, but a refinement. Now if your PS is close to perfect, maybe you need to modify the content? Seriously with a 174, you should be able to get in a T14 unless your GPA is very low. But if your GPA is very low, I don't think a 180 is going to make too much difference because you can't help a school's median and 75% anymore than you do with a 174 (because the schools with over 170 medians will not take you with a low GPA).


This is good advice, and there's probably some truth to it. I'm on the WL at one T14 so far, and I think that there's a pretty reasonable shot that I can get in either there or somewhere that hasn't sent a decision yet. Hopefully all my thoughts about reapplying are rendered irrelevant by the middle of next month.

S

r6_philly
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:28 am

seanconnery wrote:This is good advice, and there's probably some truth to it. I'm on the WL at one T14 so far, and I think that there's a pretty reasonable shot that I can get in either there or somewhere that hasn't sent a decision yet. Hopefully all my thoughts about reapplying are rendered irrelevant by the middle of next month.


I am hoping the same too, by the middle of next week! Good luck to us both!

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Encyclopedia Brown
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby Encyclopedia Brown » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:06 am

::jumps up and down::

Me too, guys, me too!

r6_philly
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:23 am

Encyclopedia Brown wrote:::jumps up and down::

Me too, guys, me too!


Good luck at WU and NU, I have been rooting for you!

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby PlugInBaby » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:40 am

r6_philly wrote:
Encyclopedia Brown wrote:::jumps up and down::

Me too, guys, me too!


Good luck at WU and NU, I have been rooting for you!


+1....you've worked way too hard not to get into an elite school.

becauseimaddicted
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby becauseimaddicted » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:12 am

OP, I'm in a similar situation though my LSAT is a little lower (I scored 170 in February, so my apps were EXTREMELY late). I'm really thinking its worth holding out for a T14 even if it means waiting another year but I have a lot of the same concerns. I think that finding volunteer work that's meaningful to you and adding that to your PS would be a good addition for you.

Of the T14, I only applied to UVA (waitlisted), GULC (waitlisted), and Northwestern (haven't heard), for the very practical reason that I had missed every other deadline. So I feel like I can use the same PS for any other school, but I can't imagine writing another that's any good. I really spent ages on it, tied all my experiences together (school, internships, and volunteer work) and I just feel like I'm out of things to write about. I finished an internship last month (thought I had timed it perfectly for applying this year). At the moment, I'm not doing anything impressive and think that might really hurt next year's app.

What about letters? Does anyone know if you can (or should) submit the same letters of recommendation?

Sorry for the hijack/ramble. I don't think this is an uncommon predicament we face, so I wonder if a lot of people are going to wait another year and make next year's cycle that much more competitive...thoughts?

r6_philly
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:39 am

^
I think you should hold out for T14 with your higher GPA. You can reuse LORs but some schools require one new one. You may get off waitlists so don't give up yet.

I think I can get more money and get in at more places if I apply early. Maybe get a higher LSAT too.

I don't know if many are considering waiting, or this kind of thread would be flooded (they haven't been). The weak economy may help us because many simply don't have the choice of a year off without a job. I would only do it if I got my backup plan working (non-law fellowship + teaching job).

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby PlugInBaby » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:49 am

becauseimaddicted wrote:OP, I'm in a similar situation though my LSAT is a little lower (I scored 170 in February, so my apps were EXTREMELY late). I'm really thinking its worth holding out for a T14 even if it means waiting another year but I have a lot of the same concerns. I think that finding volunteer work that's meaningful to you and adding that to your PS would be a good addition for you.

Of the T14, I only applied to UVA (waitlisted), GULC (waitlisted), and Northwestern (haven't heard), for the very practical reason that I had missed every other deadline. So I feel like I can use the same PS for any other school, but I can't imagine writing another that's any good. I really spent ages on it, tied all my experiences together (school, internships, and volunteer work) and I just feel like I'm out of things to write about. I finished an internship last month (thought I had timed it perfectly for applying this year). At the moment, I'm not doing anything impressive and think that might really hurt next year's app.

What about letters? Does anyone know if you can (or should) submit the same letters of recommendation?

Sorry for the hijack/ramble. I don't think this is an uncommon predicament we face, so I wonder if a lot of people are going to wait another year and make next year's cycle that much more competitive...thoughts?


Don't worry, these are probably questions many people including the OP have. I am trying again next year myself not only because of some late applications, but really general naivete and overconfidence about the whole law school applications process. I see this year as a mulligan and next time I plan on doing it "right."

Great to see you and OP have faboo LSAT scores! :mrgreen: That is one major thing you don't have to worry about. Also do not be afraid to send the same LORs. Having the LORs in place right now will allow you to apply to the schools as soon as possible and in general there is a little more lenience toward early applicants. As for personal statements, I also thought I had the most thoughtful perfect personal statement. I sent it to all the schools I applied to. The problem is that different schools want to hear different things on your personal statement (as stated on the application) and my personal statement didn't cover all those things. So make sure to tweak your personal statements for each individual school in accordance to the sort of matters they want to hear about.

So apply early, apply often, be a fee waiver whore. Good luck, but with you and the OPs stats, you probably won't need much luck!

For the record I have been unemployed for a year and I am still going to try again a year (Besides the law economy is still horrible). I just think the myriad of improvements I can make to my applications is worth it in my instance. In the meantime I am planning on taking on some volunteer opportunities. I have learned a lot in my gap year of fail.

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Encyclopedia Brown
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby Encyclopedia Brown » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:51 am

That's my main concern about reapplying: I have nothing concrete lined up for the extra year. Jobs are difficult to come by, especially for us liberal arts folks, and I don't think remaining at my current (restaurant) job would do me any favors. If I were to take another swing at it, I'd like to at least do something better for my resumè and possibly snag an additional LOR (a late one for LOCIs, etc.) from my imaginary future boss.

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby PlugInBaby » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:02 pm

Encyclopedia Brown wrote:That's my main concern about reapplying: I have nothing concrete lined up for the extra year. Jobs are difficult to come by, especially for us liberal arts folks, and I don't think remaining at my current (restaurant) job would do me any favors. If I were to take another swing at it, I'd like to at least do something better for my resumè and possibly snag an additional LOR (a late one for LOCIs, etc.) from my imaginary future boss.


Are there any other really substantial improvements you can make as an applicant in terms of your approach (applying earlier, tweaking the PS to suit each school, etc)? If there is a multitude of things you feel you can greatly improve on I say try again next cycle. If not I would say stick with this cycle regardless of how disastrous it has been thus far. I really hope WUSTL and NU come through for you and you won't have this ordeal on your hands.

r6_philly
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:04 pm

Why don't you guys work on a MA or something? It will help when you practice, and doesn't look like time lost/wasted. Apply for a TA/RA position and study for free.

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Encyclopedia Brown
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby Encyclopedia Brown » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:32 pm

r6_philly wrote:Why don't you guys work on a MA or something? It will help when you practice, and doesn't look like time lost/wasted. Apply for a TA/RA position and study for free.

1) MAs are expensive (don't need even MORE debt)
2) Would have already had to apply (most likely, I haven't really researched this)
3) Not sure I'm an attractive MA applicant either
PlugInBaby wrote:Are there any other really substantial improvements you can make as an applicant in terms of your approach (applying earlier, tweaking the PS to suit each school, etc)? If there is a multitude of things you feel you can greatly improve on I say try again next cycle. If not I would say stick with this cycle regardless of how disastrous it has been thus far. I really hope WUSTL and NU come through for you and you won't have this ordeal on your hands.

More lists! I could:

1) Apply earlier (even earlier than I did this year)
2) Vastly improve upon/tailor my PS (aka scrap it and start over)
3) Use my ED contract a little more wisely (NU, GULC, or UVA early in the game--not NYU and UVA late in the game)

But yeah... I've gotta eat next year, too, so I need to figure out something to do for a living.

seanconnery
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby seanconnery » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:47 pm

Could someone tell me more about the phenomenon of customizing the PS? I'd imagine there's a thread elsewhere on this topic, but I had trouble thinking of a way to do it that wasn't completely trite. ("I want to go to school X because you have Y and Z" type statements.)

What's the general consensus regarding how much my chances would improve if I do reapply? Let's assume that just about everything about my app will be the same, but I'll apply right at the beginning of the cycle, and I'll get a chance to modify my PS.

Finally, what's up with obtaining fee waivers from the same school two years in a row? What about at a school that rejects me?

S

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby PlugInBaby » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:04 pm

seanconnery wrote:Could someone tell me more about the phenomenon of customizing the PS? I'd imagine there's a thread elsewhere on this topic, but I had trouble thinking of a way to do it that wasn't completely trite. ("I want to go to school X because you have Y and Z" type statements.)

What's the general consensus regarding how much my chances would improve if I do reapply? Let's assume that just about everything about my app will be the same, but I'll apply right at the beginning of the cycle, and I'll get a chance to modify my PS.

Finally, what's up with obtaining fee waivers from the same school two years in a row? What about at a school that rejects me?

S


What i meant by customizing the PS isn't "I want to go to school X because you have Y and Z" type statements," but rather answering the questions each school asks you to answer in your personal statement. For example the University of Washington looked for a personal statement which shows that you would add to the diversity of the law school community at the school. This had to be 700 words or less. I wrote my PS for that school's criteria without any mention of "Why U of Washington." Problem is I fell in love with that PS that I sent it to other schools which didn't match the criteria as set by UW. Seattle University's criteria wasn't so focused on diversity, but rather vague concepts as expanding on personal achievement, reasons to go to law school and things like that. In addition they wanted 2-3 pages. I sent them my brief 700 word PS because I thought it was so good. I ended up getting waitlisted at Seattle U despite both my LSAT and GPA being over their 75th percentile. My PS is most likely not the only reason, but it certainly didn't help my cause.

It is things like this that I mean when I talk about tailoring your personal statement.

lawschoollll
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby lawschoollll » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:47 pm

Hope I'm not derailing, but I'm in a similar situation. Big jump on the Feb. LSAT, so I applied to some T14s VERY late. Like on-the-deadline late. Shockingly, I actually got into NU last week. I'm applying for aid, but I'd be surprised if they're not all out of $. I'm waiting to hear back from Penn, Mich, Cornell, with WLs at Gtown (PWL) and UVA (obviously).

I am 172/3.53. I think I'd love NU, but honestly my dream school is Penn, and I don't think I have a prayer this late (at least of a straight-up acceptance). My problem is, if I wait a year and apply very, very early next cycle, there's a great chance that I still won't get into Penn (or NYU where I'd probably ED), and end up in the same situation, minus a year of my life (I'm a paralegal - it sucks).

Even if I DO somehow sneak into Penn, there's a chance that I would've gotten money in the '11/12 cycle, whereas I'd be paying sticker in '10/11 because of the late app.

Also, I'd have to withdraw from NU this year, and then would definitely want to reapply next year to see if I could get $. Will the fact that I withdrew this cycle after an acceptance make them less likely to accept me next cycle (with the thinking being that I wasn't interested)?

I'm kind of lost.

becauseimaddicted
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby becauseimaddicted » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:18 pm

lawschoollll wrote:Hope I'm not derailing, but I'm in a similar situation. Big jump on the Feb. LSAT, so I applied to some T14s VERY late. Like on-the-deadline late. Shockingly, I actually got into NU last week. I'm applying for aid, but I'd be surprised if they're not all out of $. I'm waiting to hear back from Penn, Mich, Cornell, with WLs at Gtown (PWL) and UVA (obviously).

I am 172/3.53. I think I'd love NU, but honestly my dream school is Penn, and I don't think I have a prayer this late (at least of a straight-up acceptance). My problem is, if I wait a year and apply very, very early next cycle, there's a great chance that I still won't get into Penn (or NYU where I'd probably ED), and end up in the same situation, minus a year of my life (I'm a paralegal - it sucks).

Even if I DO somehow sneak into Penn, there's a chance that I would've gotten money in the '11/12 cycle, whereas I'd be paying sticker in '10/11 because of the late app.

Also, I'd have to withdraw from NU this year, and then would definitely want to reapply next year to see if I could get $. Will the fact that I withdrew this cycle after an acceptance make them less likely to accept me next cycle (with the thinking being that I wasn't interested)?

I'm kind of lost.


If I were you, I would take Northwestern, especially if you think you'd like it there. Given your GPA, I don't see you getting substantial money at a T14 unless you have some really compelling softs. And while NYU and Penn are definitely possible, both are far from a lock and not worth giving up NU, in my opinion.

lawschoollll
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Re: Applying two years in a row?

Postby lawschoollll » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:44 pm

becauseimaddicted wrote:
lawschoollll wrote:Hope I'm not derailing, but I'm in a similar situation. Big jump on the Feb. LSAT, so I applied to some T14s VERY late. Like on-the-deadline late. Shockingly, I actually got into NU last week. I'm applying for aid, but I'd be surprised if they're not all out of $. I'm waiting to hear back from Penn, Mich, Cornell, with WLs at Gtown (PWL) and UVA (obviously).

I am 172/3.53. I think I'd love NU, but honestly my dream school is Penn, and I don't think I have a prayer this late (at least of a straight-up acceptance). My problem is, if I wait a year and apply very, very early next cycle, there's a great chance that I still won't get into Penn (or NYU where I'd probably ED), and end up in the same situation, minus a year of my life (I'm a paralegal - it sucks).

Even if I DO somehow sneak into Penn, there's a chance that I would've gotten money in the '11/12 cycle, whereas I'd be paying sticker in '10/11 because of the late app.

Also, I'd have to withdraw from NU this year, and then would definitely want to reapply next year to see if I could get $. Will the fact that I withdrew this cycle after an acceptance make them less likely to accept me next cycle (with the thinking being that I wasn't interested)?

I'm kind of lost.


If I were you, I would take Northwestern, especially if you think you'd like it there. Given your GPA, I don't see you getting substantial money at a T14 unless you have some really compelling softs. And while NYU and Penn are definitely possible, both are far from a lock and not worth giving up NU, in my opinion.


Is NU sticker worth it if I'm aiming for Biglaw? I'm terrified of debt.




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