Now is the winter of our discontent. What I mean, is that now is about when you are starting to get really anxious to hear from law schools, right? And understandably so. But now is also the season for making critical mistakes. Often these involve too much proactivity, i.e. trying to do just one more thing that can could put you over the top or hasten the decision.
There is some good news in this wait.
Many, many applicants are making critical mistakes (the point being that by reading this you will not). So let them. More on that soon.
There are a few things you can do.
News from law schools is coming soon! Just hold on because it is right around the corner — trust me. In fact, for a few schools I guarantee it (wink and all).
So, what is the problem and what can I do?
This is a question that has come up a great deal of late because the waiting is always the hardest part, and strong candidates are proactive people. The answer is that schools are inundated (the mail comes in each day in huge bags) with reading files right now and quite frankly they don’t want to hear from you. We know of one top 10 school who literally has pulled up the drawbridge and is no longer accepting additions to files. If you call, it is not going to help. If you call and ask to speak with an admissions officer, it may actually hurt your chances. Especially if you have done so before.
So, what can you do? Basically the best thing is let the other applicants send emails, flowers, food (it happens), shoes (happened to me once) etc. All of that does nothing… or… starts to upset the admissions people. Not good.
There are, however, three things you should consider doing:
Visit the school. If possible you can visit. Even the acknowledgement of this (you stop by admissions, thank them for their hard work, send a follow-up email to the admissions office, etc.) is value-added as it shows real interest. real interest equals yield protection in the eyes of admissions offices. It also does not slam the admissions people with extra work on their end. So green light on visits. Just make sure to check with the school on their visitation policies, better days to visit, etc.
- Know a faculty member at the school? Know an alum? Certainly feel free to reach out to them. They likely (hopefully/mercifully) do not have thousands of other people doing so, and it won’t seem like spam to them. It needs to be organic though, meaning you need to know them or have a solid connection. Don’t start alphabetically calling faculty from the directory.
Finally, two huge mistakes we are starting to see.
Do not call and ask what your chances are of getting admitted off of the wait list. Quite frankly, they have zero idea at this stage. The only thing such a call will do is diminish said chances.
Do not start talking about scholarship money. I have spoken with deans of admission who say it has already started and they are pretty peeved about it.
Want something to do? Rumor has it there is a USNWR prediction contest going on. Look for it and have fun. The rankings are about a month away.