Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

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TheThriller
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Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby TheThriller » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:29 am

TheThriller's Guide to Winning the Waitlist

1. TLS Waitlist Compendium
2. Background
3. Be Proactive
4. Do (Say) the Right Thing
5. Be Prepared

1. TLS Waitlist Compendium

Below are links to a few other waitlist advice threads. If you are serious about working towards an acceptance off a waitlist, check them out. These were instrumental during my cycle.

Samara's Splitter Guide
Q&A With Former Admissions Dean

*More to be added later*

2. Background

So here it goes: Admitted off WL with $$ at a T15 (arguably the hardest WL to get off of due to the school's small class size). LSAT below median and GPA well below 25% percentile. Non URM, K-JD applicant. VANILLA. Application went complete early March after Feb LSAT, WLd in early May, accepted in early June.

Seems pretty unbelievable right?

3. Be Proactive

***DISCLAIMER: What I am about to suggest is advice for those students who seriously want to be accepted off a waitlist at their top choice. Contrary to what might be taken away from this, I do not condone lying.***

If you are dead-set on attending the school at which you recently received your bitter-sweet WL, you really can't just send a LOCI to the admission's office and expect to be admitted shortly after. Although this does happen, these are mostly for a different brand of WLd applicants (yield protected candidates for example). You need to show face. Show that beautiful face of yours. This is what I did:

I) 4 days after I received my WL I went out and visited the school, met with an admissions director and emailed the individual a few days after (just like you would after an interview, as that is essentially what it was). During this email I also updated them with a new resume and transcript.

II) I then waited 2 weeks before calling another admissions director at the school (a different one) to talk a little bit about my candidacy. I set this up via email and had some basic questions to ask. I notified the individual that a formal LOCI would be in his inbox by early the next week.

III) I wrote 2 different LOCIs and had a mentor of mine look over them. HOWEVER, before I had the chance to send the better of the 2 to the school, I was accepted!

Now I know what you're thinking and I completely understand. But I obviously did something right. I do believe however, that the actions I took were only as beneficial as I made the 1 on 1 interactions to be. This flows nicely into my next section. If nothing comes after the LOCI, keep in contact with office my email or phone every 2-3 weeks up until August.

4. Do (Say) the Right Thing

Part of the WL game is that schools risk lowering their yield if they admit a student off a WL only to have them reject the offer and head elsewhere. In order to combat this, you need to STRESS that IF ADMITTED, YOU WILL ATTEND (regardless of whether or not you are 100% on that). And don't say it just once. I brought it up when I visited, when I spoke on the phone and in my LOCIs. I cannot overstate the importance of this. I mean, don't go crazy and stalk the admissions office with post-it notes everyday saying IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND but you get the picture. I believe my emphasis on those 4 words what really put my file into contention for a selection off the WL.

A few other things to not say/say:

Dream School / Top Choice
Other Good Offers (if they ask you about your current plans / IMO, drop the "Good"
Talk about your WL / Talk about your candidacy
Scholarship? / Don't talk about it, if they bring it up (probably along the lines of "we only have limited cash for WLd applicants if any at all), say you understand completely to whatever they tell you and leave it at that. You are not in a position to make demands or negotiate until after your acceptance.
IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND.

5. Be Prepared

When riding the waitlist there are 2 things you must prepare yourself for: the long haul, and the 2nd choice. Reality is, I got off my WL shockingly early and honestly I was expecting to be riding it up until early August. Thats just how it works. While seat-deposit deadlines are a good indication of when to expect WL movement, there is often no rhyme nor reason to how things work (other than giving yourself the best chance possible to succeed).

The other thing you must prepare yourself for is this whole WL thing to not workout. Although "significant" portions of classes are made up of former WLers, there is a far greater number of people who will never be accepted. Again, this is reality. So embrace your 2nd choice, I sure did. If you are not comfortable attending your 2nd choice, sit out and retake the LSAT or find a different career path. But really, embrace it. Find housing, visit, attend ASW/ASD. Love the school and accept it as your future for next 3 years and be cool with it's name on your degree. Again if you can't honestly do this, don't go because it probably ain't worth it.

Feel free to respond here with any more in-depth questions!



*Will be a little more "flush" when I get the time to really work on this next week*
Last edited by TheThriller on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:54 am, edited 3 times in total.

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RetakeFrenzy
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby RetakeFrenzy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:19 am

Congrats again! :D

BigZuck
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:29 am

So it's cool to say IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND even if you don't really mean it?

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TheThriller
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby TheThriller » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:56 am

BigZuck wrote:So it's cool to say IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND even if you don't really mean it?


If you don't mean it, why work so hard to get off the waitlist at all? All schools realize that when they pull from the WL they are competing against offers from peer schools (most of time with $$$). Top choice at sticker may not be more enticing than 2nd choice with a big scholly and every admissions office knows that. Get the acceptance in hand and then make your decision.
Last edited by TheThriller on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JXander
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby JXander » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:59 am

Thanks for sharing your input, Thriller.
TheThriller wrote:
BigZuck wrote:So it's cool to say IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND even if you don't really mean it?


In my opinion, yes.

Hmm, this could be risky. You would put yourself in an awkward situation when a school like UVA calls you to determine if you really, really mean it. And then they could reject you if they think you are misleading them. I mean, I guess you could keep lying, but I feel like at that point they would be able to extract the truth from you.

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TheThriller
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby TheThriller » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:03 am

No problem Jxander, but you should probably quote the whole text so my point doesn't sound so backwards and untruthful. If you're working as hard as I suggest in my guide, you better be serious on attending, if your not too keen about attending X school, you wouldn't be putting in the effort in the first place.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby laxbrah420 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:18 am

Getting off waitlists is a nice ego boost, and thus, it's perfectly reasonable to try to get off of one even if you don't really want to go there

Big Dog
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby Big Dog » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:24 am

saying IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND but you get the picture.


Top choice at sticker may not be more enticing than 2nd choice with a big scholly....


Yeah, I get the picture of a perfect lawyer: unethical, and perhaps untruthful.

If you cannot/will not pay sticker, you have no business saying, 'IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND', bcos that is an unconditional statement, (and flat out false).

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TheThriller
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby TheThriller » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:37 am

Big Dog wrote:
saying IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND but you get the picture.


Top choice at sticker may not be more enticing than 2nd choice with a big scholly....


Yeah, I get the picture of a perfect lawyer: unethical, and perhaps untruthful.

If you cannot/will not pay sticker, you have no business saying, 'IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND', bcos that is an unconditional statement, (and flat out false).


Could we keep personal attacks to a minimum.

Also, I don't know what you guys are all reading but I made it pretty clear that I (and everyone else taking my advice) was set/should be set on attending if admitted. But if people are so upset with this post, TLS can survive just fine without it.

BigZuck
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby BigZuck » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:44 am

TheThriller wrote:
Big Dog wrote:
saying IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND but you get the picture.


Top choice at sticker may not be more enticing than 2nd choice with a big scholly....


Yeah, I get the picture of a perfect lawyer: unethical, and perhaps untruthful.

If you cannot/will not pay sticker, you have no business saying, 'IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND', bcos that is an unconditional statement, (and flat out false).


Could we keep personal attacks to a minimum.

Also, I don't know what you guys are all reading but I made it pretty clear that I (and everyone else taking my advice) was set/should be set on attending if admitted. But if people are so upset with this post, TLS can survive just fine without it.


I think people just have a problem with lying, which you are condoning. Also, it's not unheard if for schools to communicate about certain applicants and so it seems risky to lie to them.

But then schools lie to or mislead applicants all the time when it comes to things like employment so maybe it's just all part of playing the game?

Personally, I won't lie to a school like that but that's more just a personal discomfort with lying than anything.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby laxbrah420 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:46 am

Schools/firms reject with, "your credentials are awesome and we love you a lott but we can't take you right now" even if that's not true

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TheThriller
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby TheThriller » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:48 am

I'm going to put a big disclaimer up on this post so future generations wont misinterpret it.

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RetakeFrenzy
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby RetakeFrenzy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:01 pm

TheThriller wrote:***DISCLAIMER: What I am about to suggest is advice for those students who seriously want to be accepted off a waitlist at their top choice. Contrary to what might be taken away from this, I do not condone lying.***


Love it :mrgreen:

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JTIII
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby JTIII » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:05 pm

Thanks for putting this up! Just a quick question: How big of a role do you think your visit played in your acceptance? In an ideal world, I would visit the two schools where I'm waitlisted, but I don't have the time or money to do that :(

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TheThriller
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby TheThriller » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:52 pm

JTIII wrote:Thanks for putting this up! Just a quick question: How big of a role do you think your visit played in your acceptance? In an ideal world, I would visit the two schools where I'm waitlisted, but I don't have the time or money to do that :(


If you're willing to visit in person to a specific law school, it shows a high level of interest in attending and puts a face to a name. You're run of the mill applicant probably won't be going out of their way to visit.

With that being said, if there are circumstances that wont allow you to visit (money etc.) explain that to them when you make contact: "I would love to visit but money is tight.....etc". Although it definitely helped, it wasn't what sealed the deal.

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gatorfan163287
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Re: Winning The Waitlist: Thriller's Guide + TLS Compendium

Postby gatorfan163287 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:06 pm

TheThriller wrote:TheThriller's Guide to Winning the Waitlist
IF ADMITTED, I WILL ATTEND but you get the picture. I believe my emphasis on those 4 words what really put my file into contention for a selection off the WL.
[/i]


*cough* 5 words :wink:




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