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!
I contacted Ms. Levine for help, but she told me to read her books. Needless to say, I accomplished pretty much a miracle without her help. I had a very low GPA and lsat score(2.1, 149), and attended a top 20 undergrad. Was dealing with some personal issues/depression and frankly, did not have good credentials at all. Last year, I applied to and went to a fourth tier law school, and did decently well during my 1L year- top 33% at a January start program. I applied to a high tier 2 law school to transfer(50-60 rank), and was granted visiting status with the option to transfer if I made a 2.7 or higher during the semester. I ended up with a 3.2, and was officially accepted to transfer to the Tier 2 program. I had nothing special about my application at all(not a URM)– just kept it honest, and worked as hard as I could during 1L year. It worked out for me. Believe in yourself, and don’t waste your money on people advising you.
I will be taking my LSAT in October. During my Freshman year and Sophomore year, I made horrible grades. This goes way to 96-2002. But since then I have returned back to school and have maintained a 4.0 GPA for three years straight and will be graduating with a 4.0. My question is…if I scored high on my LSAT, when reviewing my GPA, do they look at my past grades from other schools? I was seriously thinking about returning to those schools and doing a repeat on this classes, in order to get an academic reprieve/forgiveness. This is when they retrieve your worse grade and substitute it with a better grade. Although the grade remains on my transcript, it does not add into my GPA. Is this even necessary? Your advice is greatly appreciated.
Law schools will see all of your grades but your recent performance will be persuasive. Retaking those classes won’t help – LSAC will still count the original grades. Just focus on your current degree and finish strong, get great academic letters of rec, and you’ll be in good shape.
I am trying to fill out the contact form but it is not working.
I am applying to a number of law schools and getting relevant LORs in place. I would like help to write my personal statement. I would be an international student as I am in Denmark. I awarded my LLM LPC from the UK this year. I look forward hearing from you.
Hi Mariam, I’m not sure why the contact form isn’t working. Can you try again? http://lawschoolexpert.com/contact/
I have a 149 LSAT and a 2.76 GPA, though my institutional GPA is a 3.15. I am a 30 year old student who recently went back to school and finished my undergrad degree. The two schools to which I will apply have 25th percentile numbers of 150/155 and 3.06/3.12 (slightly higher than last year). Will the admissions committee consider my upward trajectory with my GPA? Since my return to the classroom, I have improved my grades with each semester, while maintaining am full-time job and supporting a family. With excellent academic and professional LORs, and a good resume, do I have a chance at either school? I am reapplying to the school with higher numbers.
I have a 149 LSAT and a 2.76 GPA, though my institutional GPA is a 3.15. I am a 30 year old student who recently went back to school and finished my undergrad degree. The two schools to which I will apply have 25th percentile numbers of 150/155 and 3.06/3.12. will the admissions committee consider my upward trajectory with my GPA? And with excellent academic and professional LORs, do I have a chance at either school? I am reapplying to the school with higher numbers.
You may want to point out the upward trend, Kyle, but hopefully it’s evident from your academic summary report. I don’t comment on school changes on the blog….
Here is my problem. I bombed my October LSAT and plan on retaking in this December. However, I was wondering if it was possible to re-apply to law schools within the same cycle?
For example: Use my October LSAT score to apply to 3 schools, wait for my December LSAT score and apply to 4 more schools. Let’s say I get rejected from 2 out the 3 schools I applied with my October LSAT, can I re-apply to those who rejected me that same cycle with the new (and improved) December LSAT?
I can’t seem to find answers about being able to reapply within the same cycle, so any information would be appreciated.
You can’t reapply in the same cycle- wait for your December score and then apply. Sometimes you can appeal decisions, but with a pending December score, you really don’t want schools to look at your application without the new score.
I applied for the Fall of 2016 and after being waitlisted to every school I applied to, I was eventually rejected. Even after several LOCI, I was told there was no room left in the admitting class. Needless to say, I was a bit discouraged.
Now almost three years later I am ready to apply again. I wanted to apply last year, but never got around to retaking and improving my LSAT (151 and 150), and I am completely lost on what to write for my essay. I plan on retaking the LSAT in June/July, and reworking my application and resume. I have since began working at a law office, doing administrative work (mostly writing D&Is), reaffirming my interest in the field.
Even with these little improvements, I am still unsure of what my essay topic should be. I have read several books to try to give me ideas, but they have only confused me more. I assume that reworking my old essay topic is a big no, correct?
My only idea (which my gut is telling me not to call attention to it) is to talk about how my arrests in my early 20s changed me for the better (I am 30 now). The only reason this is in consideration is because those events served as a catalyst for me returning back to school and getting back on track. This is, of course, included in my addendum anyway. Help?
I’m glad you’re attacking the LSAT and personal statement again. I can’t say in the blog format whether this is a good topic for you because I just don’t know enough about you to give meaningful information about what to highlight.
If accepted to law school and you decide to wait a year and reapply, will schools hold it against you or change scholarship amounts?
They may change the amount-yes. They won’t necessarily hold it against you but you may need to show them why you’d be more likely to attend this time around.
Hello, Is it possible to apply for law school while you are already in law school? For example, if am not happy with the law school that I currently attend, can I retake the lsat and apply for a different school instead of transferring?
Hello Ms. Levine, thank you for the information. Is it possible to apply for law school while you are already in law school? For example, if am not happy with the law school that I currently attend, can I retake the lsat and apply for a different school instead of transferring?
DK, you could withdraw if you have no grades yet, yes.