Take 3 Steps to Reapply to Law School

Reapplying shows law school admissions committees you are serious about wanting to attend their school.

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Include an application addendum addressing improved grades, a higher LSAT score or noteworthy work experience or activities.
Include an application addendum addressing improved grades, a higher LSAT score or noteworthy work experience or activities.

Students that were not admitted to their law school of choice in a previous admissions cycle may wish to reapply. Some applicants find reapplying daunting and wonder if it will make them look bad – or if it is even worth the attempt.

There is nothing wrong with reapplying to a law school that has denied you in the past. In fact, overcoming disappointment will demonstrate your commitment to the school and show that you are determined to attend.

To maximize your chances of admission the second time around, however, you need to articulate how your candidacy has changed, and hopefully improved. While you are certainly permitted to submit all the same materials a second time, there are several areas where you should look to strengthen your law school application to make reapplying a success.

1. Rework your essays: Think about any changes or updates that will enhance your story as you review your essays. Is there a different story you would like to tell that may resonate more with the admissions committee?

Consider adding a few anecdotes that occurred during the year after you applied to exhibit that you have made productive use of your time.

Show that you took advantage of the opportunity to fully prepare for law school, rather than being distraught that you were not admitted to your school of choice. This will indicate your drive, perseverance and maturity to the application readers.

At Stratus Prep, a client came to my team who had applied to law schools the previous year, but was not admitted. We reviewed all of her original materials, and when I pointed out that her story was not unique, we were able to work together to brainstorm new ideas that would grab the reader's attention. After a lot of hard work, she got into her first choice law school.

[Get advice on writing your law school personal statement.]

2. Retake the LSAT: If your LSAT score was at the bottom of the range of accepted scores for your ideal school, consider taking the exam again.

A few additional points can give you a boost in the admissions process and reveal your resolve to constantly improve, which will reflect positively on your application.

[Learn how to manage a drop in your LSAT score.]

3. Include an addendum: You may include an addendum to explain why your current application is a more accurate representation of your fit for the school than your original submission. If you have improved grades, a higher LSAT score, or additional work experience or activities that are noteworthy, you should mention them in your addendum.

You should not say that you were unfairly judged or deserve another chance. There should only be positive sentiment in the addendum. Reaffirm your commitment to the school. There is clearly a reason why you are reapplying, so describe particulars about the school that continue to draw you in.

[See how your current career can apply to law school.]

I worked with a student who after being denied at New York University Law School, his first choice, heeded my advice and retook the LSAT. With copious prep time, he scored five points higher.

In addition, he obtained a paralegal position at a competitive law firm and confirmed his belief that the legal field was right for him. He had gained specific experiences to cite which resulted in a more developed essay, and he included an addendum to demonstrate his resolve. He is now a second-year law student at NYU.

While there are no guarantees, students reapplying to law school can absolutely be successful the second time around. Even though being denied admission rightfully distresses most students, if you determine that law school is the path for you, try again.

Are you reapplying to law school this year? Let me know in the comments, email me or contact me via Twitter at @StratusPrep.