Reapplying to Law School
A lot goes into the decision to take on the law school application process for a second time. You will probably lose a deposit. You will likely have to sit through the LSAT again. And you will graduate a year later than you originally intended. Still, by taking your time and reapplying, you might turn that dream law school into your reality. Bottom line: whether you were accepted at your top-choice school, but had to turn the offer down for some reason, or were rejected, but know it is still the right place for you, it’s never a bad idea to reapply to law school. The tips below will help you navigate the reapplication process and make your materials stand out even more this time around.
- Update, revise, and improve.
Your goal in the reapplication process is to make your favorite schools see something in you that they didn’t see at first. To do that, you should update, revise, and improve your application materials over the summer so you’re ready to apply early in your second cycle. If you think your LSAT score held you back in your first application cycle, prepare again and re-take the test. Be willing to change up your study strategy, though: a prep course may be worth the money to significantly improve your score.
Look at your personal statement and diversity statement with new eyes. While they don’t have to be completely re-written, they can’t be identical to the materials the admissions committee saw previously. Revise them to demonstrate an additional year of maturity, insight, experience and self-knowledge. More helpful tips for writing your personal statement can be found here and here. Addenda can be useful places to address your decision to reapply or explain why you did not attend law school the previous year in the event that you were admitted to the school and chose not to attend.
Recommendations from a current job should also be updated to discuss your more recent contributions to the workplace. If you’ve already graduated from college, however, last year’s professor recommendations can be re-submitted without revision.
Finally, make sure your resume and transcript include the most up-to-date information about your GPA, awards and honors, education, employment, and activities.
- Be realistic.
As you’re going through the process of reapplying, assess your chances at each school by taking a long, honest look at your credentials. If you only raised your LSAT score by one or two points and have not added anything to your resume, you still may not get into your top-choice school. Think about your other options and factors like cost, location, and employment prospects—factors that can set closely ranked schools apart from each other.
- Apply early.
Last, but not least, apply early! This time around, you’re a pro. Making the decision to apply again gives you the freedom to work on your materials and get them together ahead of time. In addition, most people I hear from who want to reapply to law school applied late in the previous cycle and feel they can get better results by applying earlier – so don’t lose this advantage!