The Waiting Game: Embrace It
I’m hearing from a lot of my law school admission consulting clients today about their aggravation with the waiting game. They’ve applied to law school and they just want me to tell them where they’ll get into law school, to devise a mathematical calculation that proves where they’ll be admitted and where they won’t.
I am happy to spend time talking with these clients and to let them know that there are good days and bad days in this process, that one school’s rejection doesn’t mean that every other school ranked higher will also result in a rejection, to tell people they are strong enough to handle this. One of my most professional, business-oriented clients today told me today that this lack of predictability meant the system was messed up, and since I know he reads this blog (he often quotes my own advice back to me) I wanted to share what I didn’t get to say – or think to say – during our conversation:
The unpredictable nature of getting into law school, the fact that your index alone does not dictate your end result, is the reason to LOVE the system. For those of you with a split – high GPA/low LSAT or high LSAT/low GPA, or just those who apply to reach schools, the fact that there isn’t a numerical calculation that mandates your response means you have a SHOT. It means you get the opportunity to show who you are beyond the numbers, it means the hard work you put into your essays, resume, letters of rec, addenda, etc. have the possibility of paying off.
This is the time of year when people start hearing from law schools, and when you start by hearing a rejection it can be deflating, or at least feel deflating. But remember, this is just a bad day. That’s all it is. Use it as an excuse to treat yourself to a movie or mocha mint latte, but don’t start applying to law schools furiously out of fear. Be confident in the fact that you put serious thought into your schools list and hold tight. Thanks to the Internet and cell phone age, you could hear any minute that you’ve been admitted to law school. Just hang tight. And, when that happens, please do celebrate! Another movie! Another mocha mint latte! Don’t just say, “ok, Next????” or “Where’s my scholarship???”
If you let yourself get psyched out during this process, how will you be strong when you’re a 1L surrounded by competitive people who all seem to be more brilliant, more on top of things, and more likely to succeed than you because they claim to know all the secrets of success? How will you deal with waiting for law school exam grades, job offers, bar examination results? Use this time as your dress rehearsal for those future waiting games. You can do this.