Negatives of Applying Three Times in a Row?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
za51
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:45 pm

Negatives of Applying Three Times in a Row?

Postby za51 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:57 pm

What's the deal with three-time applicants? How do law schools view them? (Assume that you have material changes in your application each time--job, LSAT, new recs, whatever).

I applied to law school last year while in college. Didn't do so well, went to work instead. I'll be at my job 2 years, but I'd like to throw out an app or two to my top choices this year (with a job and new recs). If I get in I'll defer. If I don't, I'll retake the LSAT and apply a third time. (One reason I'm doing this is because I won't have to go through the stress of retaking if I get in the second time.)

It's rational to think that, if there are material changes to your app, the amount of times you've applied wouldn't matter. But law school admissions isn't very rational and it's quite arbitrary, so I can't help but think a three-time applicant would face some irrational stigma.

SPerez
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:22 am

Re: Negatives of Applying Three Times in a Row?

Postby SPerez » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:08 pm

That's not an irrational thought, but what a school considers "material" might not include the things you might hope it does. TL;DNR: LSAT is material. Other stuff, probably not so much.

In my experience, the only changes in a re-applicant's file that prove to be "material" are increases in LSAT score. Most of the time, the reason people with borderline numbers find themselves on the wrong side of the line is not something like they don't have enough work experience. It's that their LSAT, GPA (usually both) are too low. If the only change you have is a few extra months of work experience, I think it is highly unlikely that will be enough to put you over the line the second time around.

Don't get me wrong. It is statistically possible for someone to be JUUUUUUST under the line and that small changes like a better written PS (or, these days, a declining applicant pool) combine to put them on the right side of the line the next year.

That said, as long as things are changing in the app (new LSAT, additional work experience, new PS, new LORs), a school probably won't care if you apply over and over.

Dean Perez

za51
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:45 pm

Re: Negatives of Applying Three Times in a Row?

Postby za51 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:29 am

SPerez wrote:That's not an irrational thought, but what a school considers "material" might not include the things you might hope it does. TL;DNR: LSAT is material. Other stuff, probably not so much.

In my experience, the only changes in a re-applicant's file that prove to be "material" are increases in LSAT score. Most of the time, the reason people with borderline numbers find themselves on the wrong side of the line is not something like they don't have enough work experience. It's that their LSAT, GPA (usually both) are too low. If the only change you have is a few extra months of work experience, I think it is highly unlikely that will be enough to put you over the line the second time around.

Don't get me wrong. It is statistically possible for someone to be JUUUUUUST under the line and that small changes like a better written PS (or, these days, a declining applicant pool) combine to put them on the right side of the line the next year.

That said, as long as things are changing in the app (new LSAT, additional work experience, new PS, new LORs), a school probably won't care if you apply over and over.

Dean Perez


Thanks for the authoritative advice. It's good to know that they won't hold it against me--but I take your point that these "updates" might not matter very much. I'll definitely keep that in mind and consider a Feb take.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], espressocream, Google [Bot], patrickkpaul and 6 guests