impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Not sure where your numbers will get you? Dying to know where you stand? Come have your palms read by your fellow posters!
It Depends
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:57 pm

impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby It Depends » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:07 pm

171, 3.7
enrolled in law school last year, got seriously ill, and left before 1L classes started. recovered from illness about a month ago and have been scoring consistent 175+ on practice lsats. want to apply to better schools now and ace the lsat in february (yale accepts feb tests). i've written an addendum explaining how the illness and time off made me question my original choice in a law school and realize that _____ school (insert: yale, nyu, etc) is more right for me. how harshly will i be judged for my previous enrollment?

any ideas on how to improve my addendum?

User avatar
Elston Gunn
Posts: 3444
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby Elston Gunn » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:30 pm

It Depends wrote:171, 3.7
enrolled in law school last year, got seriously ill, and left before 1L classes started. recovered from illness about a month ago and have been scoring consistent 175+ on practice lsats. want to apply to better schools now and ace the lsat in february (yale accepts feb tests). i've written an addendum explaining how the illness and time off made me question my original choice in a law school and realize that _____ school (insert: yale, nyu, etc) is more right for me. how harshly will i be judged for my previous enrollment?

any ideas on how to improve my addendum?


0L, but I would think it wouldn't be a problem. Just explain the situation succinctly and neutrally.

BTW, a 3.7 is *very* unlikely to get you into Yale, unless you have extraordinary softs. I think the absolute lowest they accepted last year was 3.63, and that was very likely a URM.

It Depends
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:57 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby It Depends » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:36 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:
0L, but I would think it wouldn't be a problem. Just explain the situation succinctly and neutrally.



do you think it is a bad idea to touch upon the fact that i chose a strong regional school because of the serious cash i was awarded, but now realize that i am limiting my opportunities for teaching/clerkships/etc in doing so? the financial reason will be listed in addition to my preference for the "soft" qualities of the new school, as i want the admissions team to understand why i initially selected a school with medians well beneath my numbers

User avatar
bernaldiaz
Posts: 1686
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:51 am

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby bernaldiaz » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:37 pm

It Depends wrote:
Elston Gunn wrote:
0L, but I would think it wouldn't be a problem. Just explain the situation succinctly and neutrally.



do you think it is a bad idea to touch upon the fact that i chose a strong regional school because of the serious cash i was awarded, but now realize that i am limiting my opportunities for teaching/clerkships/etc in doing so? the financial reason will be listed in addition to my preference for the "soft" qualities of the new school, as i want the admissions team to understand why i initially selected a school with medians well beneath my numbers


Yes, I think that would be a bad idea. In my opinion, what you just said brings into question whether your illness truly forced you to leave school or whether you got cold feet because you thought you could do better.

chasgoose
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:18 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby chasgoose » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:40 pm

It Depends wrote:171, 3.7
enrolled in law school last year, got seriously ill, and left before 1L classes started. recovered from illness about a month ago and have been scoring consistent 175+ on practice lsats. want to apply to better schools now and ace the lsat in february (yale accepts feb tests). i've written an addendum explaining how the illness and time off made me question my original choice in a law school and realize that _____ school (insert: yale, nyu, etc) is more right for me. how harshly will i be judged for my previous enrollment?

any ideas on how to improve my addendum?


Even with a 175+ and no previous enrollment you almost definitely aren't getting into Yale. I would wait until next year to apply because if you apply with a February test you are shutting yourself out of a lot of schools that would take you otherwise (not to mention the scholarship opportunities). Late apps hurt pretty much across the board at the T14 except at maybe Yale, Columbia, and NYU (CLS/NYU usually only accept late applicants that will help their bottom line though, so w/o a 175+ your lateness will hurt you there too).

As far as your previous enrollment is concerned, a serious illness is a legitimate reason to withdraw and it's totally legitimate to reapply across the board since things could be different this time and you are never guaranteed admission anywhere. I wouldn't bother explaining why you aren't just going back to your old school (the limiting opportunities line of thought could be somewhat offputting to an adcom). The withdraw would only be a problem if there weren't a legitimate reason and you were simply trying to do better, that's not the case here. Above post is totally right to suggest that going beyond your illness in your addendum will make your illness look suspect. No school should hold it against you. The lateness of a February application is going to be a FAR bigger issue.

It Depends
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:57 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby It Depends » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:49 pm

chasgoose wrote:
I wouldn't bother explaining why you aren't just going back to your old school (the limiting opportunities line of thought could be somewhat offputting to an adcom). The withdraw would only be a problem if there weren't a legitimate reason and you were simply trying to do better, that's not the case here.


Hm, so I don't even need to explain why I think the new school is a better fit for me? My concern is that the schools might wonder why i didn't apply to them the first time around. last year i didn't apply to the t7 schools because of financial considerations (i knew i wouldn't get full scholarships and i was stupidly debt averse).

chasgoose
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:18 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby chasgoose » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:10 am

It Depends wrote:
chasgoose wrote:
I wouldn't bother explaining why you aren't just going back to your old school (the limiting opportunities line of thought could be somewhat offputting to an adcom). The withdraw would only be a problem if there weren't a legitimate reason and you were simply trying to do better, that's not the case here.


Hm, so I don't even need to explain why I think the new school is a better fit for me? My concern is that the schools might wonder why i didn't apply to them the first time around. last year i didn't apply to the t7 schools because of financial considerations (i knew i wouldn't get full scholarships and i was stupidly debt averse).


They won't care...I mean yes it's always good to say why you want to go to the school you are applying to, but you don't need to do it for the reasons you're worried about. With any excuse (even legitimate ones like severe illnesses) the best thing you can do is keep it short and to the point. The longer your excuse, the more suspect and less effective it will be. Stay with the illness and nothing more, you will be fine. Just don't apply this cycle if you are going to retake.

It Depends
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:57 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby It Depends » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:04 pm

chasgoose wrote: They won't care...I mean yes it's always good to say why you want to go to the school you are applying to, but you don't need to do it for the reasons you're worried about. With any excuse (even legitimate ones like severe illnesses) the best thing you can do is keep it short and to the point. The longer your excuse, the more suspect and less effective it will be. Stay with the illness and nothing more, you will be fine. Just don't apply this cycle if you are going to retake.


thanks. i also need to figure out how to politely tell the original school that i don't plan to return next fall and to ask for a letter of good standing. i'm worried that they will somehow find a way to hold the fact that i've decided to apply to other schools against me. what information is included in a letter of good standing?

chasgoose
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:18 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby chasgoose » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:32 pm

It Depends wrote:
chasgoose wrote: They won't care...I mean yes it's always good to say why you want to go to the school you are applying to, but you don't need to do it for the reasons you're worried about. With any excuse (even legitimate ones like severe illnesses) the best thing you can do is keep it short and to the point. The longer your excuse, the more suspect and less effective it will be. Stay with the illness and nothing more, you will be fine. Just don't apply this cycle if you are going to retake.


thanks. i also need to figure out how to politely tell the original school that i don't plan to return next fall and to ask for a letter of good standing. i'm worried that they will somehow find a way to hold the fact that i've decided to apply to other schools against me. what information is included in a letter of good standing?


You didn't mention that you hadn't completely withdrawn from your previous school. Your OP made it sound like you dropped out when you heard about your illness. If you are merely on medical leave, but still technically enrolled with the ability to return I don't know if you can apply this year. I think typically you have to wait a cycle after you officially sever ties with a law school before you can reapply as a 1L. I'm pretty sure that you can get in big trouble for that. Thus if you haven't done so you should withdraw immediately and start looking for something to do for the next year and a half.

IMHO you really need to rethink your plan to apply this cycle. Even if you actually did withdraw and you are allowed to apply this cycle its not a very good idea. If you are waiting to retake the LSAT on February you are going to seriously diminish your chances at acceptance at a lot of schools that would otherwise accept you (pretty much any application that goes in after the December LSAT scores are released is late enough to cause problems). I don't think its worth trying to convince your school to write a letter of good standing (I don't know what that is or if it works) given that it makes a lot more sense for you to wait a cycle and reapply then anyways.

I know you probably want to get started on law school, but its really in your best interest to wait a cycle, apply from a position of strength (especially one where you won't have any potential ethical issues) and get the best possible results in terms of acceptances/schollys. There are very few situations where someone MUST apply to law school in a certain cycle, yes you might WANT to now and can't think of anything you will do for a year and half, but you should be able to figure out something to do. You shouldn't be going to law school because you can't think of anything else to do anyways...

It Depends
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:57 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby It Depends » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:42 pm

I didn't realize that I would have to wait another cycle to reapply, is there an official place where this is stated on the LSAC database? I imagine that the policy would have been included on the application to the school or on the page describing the terms of agreement for my leave if applicable?

It Depends
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:57 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby It Depends » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:44 pm

I did drop out when I heard about my illness, but the school allowed me to retain the opportunity to return. This all happened before I had attended law school classes, so I'm not sure how my situation would be formally defined, but I most definitely did not sign a binding deferral agreement and I was told it was too late to defer anyway. I only took the leave because I didn't want a withdrawal on my record and felt that a leave would be better received by other ad comms. :(

chasgoose
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:18 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby chasgoose » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:48 pm

If your law school will let you join the class of 2015 without having to reapply, you probably can't apply this cycle, but as I mentioned you probably shouldn't anyways. Tell your past school that you aren't coming back and kill the February LSAT (or even wait for June) and apply next cycle. You will most likely get some T14 bites with money from the bottom half (and some full tuition acceptances from the higher ones) even if your score doesn't go up...

It Depends
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:57 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby It Depends » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:58 pm

Thanks. Do you think other schools will frown upon the recency of the withdrawal? The rest of my application is pretty strong (rec letters, softs, etc.)...

Also, does the school have the right to prevent me from applying to other schools for next year? I'm currently rereading the standards of conduct book and see no mention of a one-year gap between withdrawal and enrollment to a new school. I suppose the school could refuse to write me a letter of good standing, but it seems like an unfair recourse assuming that I haven't violated an explicitly stated standard

You make an excellent case for postponing the process for the year. I think I will send in my applications within the next two weeks, take the Feb LSAT, and see if my acceptances seem to underperform my new stats. If so, then I will seriously consider waiting a year.

It Depends
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:57 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby It Depends » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:03 pm

In my original post, when I said "last year" I meant last application cycle as opposed to this one. Sorry for the confusion!

chasgoose
Posts: 715
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:18 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby chasgoose » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:10 pm

It Depends wrote:Thanks. Do you think other schools will frown upon the recency of the withdrawal? The rest of my application is pretty strong (rec letters, softs, etc.)...

Also, does the school have the right to prevent me from applying to other schools for next year? I'm currently rereading the standards of conduct book and see no mention of a one-year gap between withdrawal and enrollment to a new school. I suppose the school could refuse to write me a letter of good standing, but it seems like an unfair recourse assuming that I haven't violated an explicitly stated standard

You make an excellent case for postponing the process for the year. I think I will send in my applications within the next two weeks, take the Feb LSAT, and see if my acceptances seem to underperform my new stats. If so, then I will seriously consider waiting a year.


First, it's probably an implied feature of your agreement with your old school that in exchange for allowing you to come back when you get better you aren't allowed to apply to other law schools. Even if its not explicitly stated, that is the only reasonable way they would have given you that option in the first place. They can't just do it out of the kindness of their hearts. They are totally within their rights to refuse to write you a letter of good standing.

Other schools won't care about the recency of the withdrawal if you apply next year. They might care this year and could continue to hold it against you next year (if you reapply and they remember your circumstances from this cycle). I wouldn't even do a test application run this year. It's not in your best interests. If you apply now schools will most likely make a decision on you before your February LSAT score comes in anyways. I have rarely seen a last minute improved February score help someone who is already under consideration (maybe once or twice in a WL situation). The only way it even makes sense to take the February LSAT is to hold off and reapply next cycle. That way ALL of your concerns about your previous enrollment will be moot and you can basically apply on a fresh slate. ALSO, by waiting a cycle the circumstances surrounding your withdrawal become a strength as you have a great PS topic about triumph over adversity and how your time off reconfirmed your desire to apply to law school.

I don't understand why you would risk breaking LSAC rules (or at the very least risk having your behavior reflect poorly on your application) in order to apply now when applying now isn't even a wise decision. Even if you didn't have your previous enrollment problem, it would be a terrible decision for you to apply this cycle given your circumstances re: February LSAT...

It Depends
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:57 pm

Re: impact of previous enrollment? 171/3.7

Postby It Depends » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:47 pm

Any more opinions on this issue? If the original school doesn't mind me applying to other schools for next year, will other schools count my previous enrollment against me in the application process?

Also: do I need a letter of good standing from the original school even though I didn't attend classes?

Please let me know what u guys think!!!




Return to “What are my chances?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest