Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

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shinobi99
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Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby shinobi99 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:13 am

Hello everyone,

I applied to law schools last year and did not get into any, and so was planning to apply to law school for the second time this year. I was just wondering whether there were any tips for improving my chances as a second-time applicant. Last cycle did not go so well for me, as I had low stats, applied late (mid February) and just felt that I did not understand the admission process at all. The reason that I am trying again this year is that I was able to increase my LSAT score significantly, to a 175. I am thinking that with a better lsat score, and a early submission this time (mid-October) I should have better chances than last time (hopefully).

However, I do have some questions when it comes to the LORs and the PS. If I had two LORs from the previous cycle, should I re-use them without any changes to the content? Would that seem too lazy on my part? If so, would the best way be to get a new (3rd) letter from a different person so it seems that my application has improved? Also, how should I approach the PS? Should I try to write a PS that presents an improved me without directly addressing the fact that this is my second time applying, or does it need to be explicitly mentioned?

Any tips, specific or general, would be appreciated. Thanks a lot!

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soj
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby soj » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:45 am

It's ok to reuse your letters. I'd get a new letter only if it'll be better than your current ones. Most schools are ok with recycled personal statements, too, though I've heard some conflicting information on this one. Ultimately your admissions outcomes are largely determined by your numbers, so you probably don't need to rewrite if you're happy with your current statements.

bp shinners
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby bp shinners » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:02 am

shinobi99 wrote:However, I do have some questions when it comes to the LORs and the PS. If I had two LORs from the previous cycle, should I re-use them without any changes to the content? Would that seem too lazy on my part? If so, would the best way be to get a new (3rd) letter from a different person so it seems that my application has improved? Also, how should I approach the PS? Should I try to write a PS that presents an improved me without directly addressing the fact that this is my second time applying, or does it need to be explicitly mentioned?


If you can get a third LoR to send, that would help the application. It's not ridiculously important, though, as the improvement to your LSAT score is going to be the distinguishing factor of your reapplication.

As far as the PS goes, I wouldn't mention the reapplication explicitly (or even implicitly). However, I would make some changes to it. There has to be something in there that you would rewrite, knowing what you do with another year of life/experience. It doesn't have to completely recreate it, but you can certainly update it.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby cloudhidden » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:38 am

What if the experiences from an admission cycle last year have played an integral role to telling the overall story of another year before law school? I know that making this fact the core of your PS would be decidedly unwise, but can it remain situational whether you address this fact in the PS?

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northwood
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby northwood » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:42 am

edit your PS and reapply early. If it needs to be overhauled, this site can and will help tremendously. Schools don't care if you previously applied ( they may look at your old application tho), but if you did you have to answer accordingly. The earlier you submit things, the better. If you really want a school, write a why school essay or something. YOu dont need to get new LOR's.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby cloudhidden » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:43 pm

So if you reuse LOR's, do you just reassign the ones on file from last year, or do they have to be resubmitted? Does it depend on the school whether they want LOR written from this year?

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northwood
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby northwood » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:53 pm

you have to fill out a new application so you have to re attach them to the application. You dont need to have them resubmitted, unless they are super old (i think on file for 3 or 5 years or something)

sepeterson211
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby sepeterson211 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:59 am

I would update your LORs if there's anything new to add. I applied during the winter of my senior year before. Now that I'm applying again, I had one of my professor refs update her LOR so it encompassed the rest of my senior year. I'm also getting another new LOR from a boss that I've worked for since then.

bp shinners
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby bp shinners » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:36 pm

cloudhidden wrote:What if the experiences from an admission cycle last year have played an integral role to telling the overall story of another year before law school? I know that making this fact the core of your PS would be decidedly unwise, but can it remain situational whether you address this fact in the PS?


If you were telling your overall story before law school, that probably wasn't the strongest personal statement anyway and should be rewritten - your PS should be focused, so I learn about one of your stories in-depth (and, concordantly, yourself). Attaching another story onto that is only going to dilute the overall story further.

If, on the other hand, you plan to just talk about how the rejection changed your life over the past year, I don't think that would make a particularly strong PS unless you did something amazing with that time, and the PS is about that instead of how the rejection motivated that action (in which case it should be a very small part of the essay - like a sentence or two).

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cloudhidden
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby cloudhidden » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:16 pm

northwood wrote:you have to fill out a new application so you have to re attach them to the application. You dont need to have them resubmitted, unless they are super old (i think on file for 3 or 5 years or something)


Does writing a new PS require having the letters resubmitted? I ask because professors often want to see your PS and resume when they write the letter.

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northwood
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby northwood » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:12 pm

cloudhidden wrote:
northwood wrote:you have to fill out a new application so you have to re attach them to the application. You dont need to have them resubmitted, unless they are super old (i think on file for 3 or 5 years or something)


Does writing a new PS require having the letters resubmitted? I ask because professors often want to see your PS and resume when they write the letter.


not unless you know for a fact that the professor wrote their letter based on what you wrote in your essay. Most of them use the PS to get more background info about you. SInce you cant see the LOR, it doesnt matter much anyways ( it could be an additional insight into you). Keep your LOR, unless you absolutely want to get new ones, or can get a super strong LOR from a new writer. IF they wrote one they may not want to write another for the same course of study ( now if you went from law to another field/ grad program, like say physics or something thats another story).

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northwood
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby northwood » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:12 pm

to add- you may be overthinking this.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby cloudhidden » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:10 am

You are probably right. I didn't know whether resubmitting them at schools you already applied differs from submitting them a first time at a new school- but I might be overcomplicating myself.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby cloudhidden » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:16 am

bp shinners wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:What if the experiences from an admission cycle last year have played an integral role to telling the overall story of another year before law school? I know that making this fact the core of your PS would be decidedly unwise, but can it remain situational whether you address this fact in the PS?


If you were telling your overall story before law school, that probably wasn't the strongest personal statement anyway and should be rewritten - your PS should be focused, so I learn about one of your stories in-depth (and, concordantly, yourself). Attaching another story onto that is only going to dilute the overall story further.

If, on the other hand, you plan to just talk about how the rejection changed your life over the past year, I don't think that would make a particularly strong PS unless you did something amazing with that time, and the PS is about that instead of how the rejection motivated that action (in which case it should be a very small part of the essay - like a sentence or two).



I'm coming more from the perspective of someone that was convinced of the merits of retaking and who got into almost all the schools they applied but wanted to increase their opportunities. I feel compelled to mention the past cycle in order to round out the time away from school - but I see now how this can seem gratutious and unecessary.

ama004
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby ama004 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:40 am

I'll also be reapplying but to a school that I was waitlisted at (for the part-time program). My LSAT was 1 point above the median for the fall 2012 entering class but my gpa (3.36) was below the median 3.71. However, in previous years the median GPA was around 3.3.

Since I applied last year, I've been promoted and I've completed 2 semesters of grad school with a 3.6 gpa. I know grad school gpa doesn't really matter to the adcomms but nonetheless these are new parts of my applicant profile.

Ultimately, I'm seeking advice on how to approach the application this year. I applied somewhat late last cycle--in early Feb. Would you suggest applying ASAP? Or would you suggest waiting until I retake LSAT? I can't retake in October because I have class on test day. December would be the soonest option but I work full-time and go to school part-time so I'll have to make time to prep.

Thanks in advance!

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northwood
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby northwood » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:49 am

The best option to increase your odds of admission is to retake the LSAT, with the caveat that you do better. Other than that applying early does help. Your grad school gpa doesn't help that much but having a grad degree may be a soft boost. By soft I mean it may help very little. Going for a year prior to matriculating probably doesn't help. You can always submit the application now and let them know you are aimed up for the December test. If you decide to take it they will hold your application until the score is released but will acknowledge that you submitted it earlier. If you decide in December not to take it ( or keep your score) then thy will look at it. Good luck.

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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby ama004 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:13 am

northwood wrote:The best option to increase your odds of admission is to retake the LSAT, with the caveat that you do better. Other than that applying early does help. Your grad school gpa doesn't help that much but having a grad degree may be a soft boost. By soft I mean it may help very little. Going for a year prior to matriculating probably doesn't help. You can always submit the application now and let them know you are aimed up for the December test. If you decide to take it they will hold your application until the score is released but will acknowledge that you submitted it earlier. If you decide in December not to take it ( or keep your score) then thy will look at it. Good luck.


Thanks for the advice! What do you think about reapplying ASAP and then waiting for a decision and retaking the LSAT in Feb if I get waitlisted again?

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goldenflash19
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby goldenflash19 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:45 am

ama004 wrote: I can't retake in October because I have class on test day. December would be the soonest option but I work full-time and go to school part-time so I'll have to make time to prep.


Is the class that important that you cannot skip it for the LSAT? The LSAT is infinitely more important than that one single class in terms of admissions. Without knowing too much about your situation, I would guess that the benefit of taking in October and applying early and/or having December as a fallback would heavily outweigh any benefit from the class.

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northwood
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby northwood » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:13 pm

ama004 wrote:
northwood wrote:The best option to increase your odds of admission is to retake the LSAT, with the caveat that you do better. Other than that applying early does help. Your grad school gpa doesn't help that much but having a grad degree may be a soft boost. By soft I mean it may help very little. Going for a year prior to matriculating probably doesn't help. You can always submit the application now and let them know you are aimed up for the December test. If you decide to take it they will hold your application until the score is released but will acknowledge that you submitted it earlier. If you decide in December not to take it ( or keep your score) then thy will look at it. Good luck.


Thanks for the advice! What do you think about reapplying ASAP and then waiting for a decision and retaking the LSAT in Feb if I get waitlisted again?


You could do that. But how are your grades and LSAT score compared to their medians? If you are at the 75% then apply, if not the sooner you take the test the better. It's totally up to you, but the sooner you have a completed application, the better your chances are. Personally I'd apply early and contact the specific school to hear what they would recommend and follow that advice.

ama004
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby ama004 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:27 pm

goldenflash19 wrote:
ama004 wrote: I can't retake in October because I have class on test day. December would be the soonest option but I work full-time and go to school part-time so I'll have to make time to prep.


Is the class that important that you cannot skip it for the LSAT? The LSAT is infinitely more important than that one single class in terms of admissions. Without knowing too much about your situation, I would guess that the benefit of taking in October and applying early and/or having December as a fallback would heavily outweigh any benefit from the class.


Thanks--the class only meets 3 times so I can't afford to miss it unless I drop the course. Also, I'm not sure I can get back up to par on the LSAT in a month because I haven't studied since November 2011.

ama004
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby ama004 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:29 pm

northwood wrote:
ama004 wrote:
northwood wrote:The best option to increase your odds of admission is to retake the LSAT, with the caveat that you do better. Other than that applying early does help. Your grad school gpa doesn't help that much but having a grad degree may be a soft boost. By soft I mean it may help very little. Going for a year prior to matriculating probably doesn't help. You can always submit the application now and let them know you are aimed up for the December test. If you decide to take it they will hold your application until the score is released but will acknowledge that you submitted it earlier. If you decide in December not to take it ( or keep your score) then thy will look at it. Good luck.


Thanks for the advice! What do you think about reapplying ASAP and then waiting for a decision and retaking the LSAT in Feb if I get waitlisted again?


You could do that. But how are your grades and LSAT score compared to their medians? If you are at the 75% then apply, if not the sooner you take the test the better. It's totally up to you, but the sooner you have a completed application, the better your chances are. Personally I'd apply early and contact the specific school to hear what they would recommend and follow that advice.


Thanks. Yeah my LSAT is a point above their median but my GPA was lower than this last entering class's median. Howevever, it was slightly above last year's class median. I sent an email to someone at the school but I'm waiting on a reply.

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northwood
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Re: Tips for reapplying to law school (2nd time in 2 years)

Postby northwood » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:53 pm

If you don't get an email response in two weeks then call




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