Spring is an amazing time of year. Not only are the birds singing and flowers blooming, but you’ll finally get the long-awaited law school decisions! Hopefully you’ll receive many acceptances, but you might also receive the news that you’ve been waitlisted. Of course, that news is likely to be disappointing, but don’t give up hope—it’s not a rejection! There are still steps you can take to make yourself more competitive and move from the “maybe” column into the “accepted” column—including writing a letter of continued interest for law school.
After being notified that you’ve been waitlisted, the school will most likely give you instructions on what to do next. It might be as simple as checking a box on a website form. However, if the school doesn’t give you specific instructions (or even if they do), this is the perfect time to write a letter of continued interest (LOCI). A letter of continued interest is an email that tells the admissions committee that you would love to attend their law school and stay on their waitlist until they can give you a determinative answer. However, there are a handful of schools that expressly forbid sending a LOCI, so be sure to check their websites. Also, it can’t hurt to review the basics of applying to law school and this complete guide to getting into law school to prepare for writing your letter and/or applying elsewhere.
Table of Contents
- How to Write a Letter of Continued Interest
- Letter of Continued Interest Example
- What else can I do if I’m on a law school waitlist?
How to Write a Letter of Continued Interest for Law School
What to Include in Your LOCI
Your letter of continued interest for law school should strengthen your overall application package by showing the committee that you have a strong interest in attending their school and that you are an enthusiastic candidate, in addition to providing any updates to your application materials. Here is the information that we recommend including in your letter:
- Thank the admissions committee for reviewing your application and considering you for admission. The committee has already poured hours into the review process and will have to spend additional time to make decisions on waitlisted candidacy. Make a positive initial impression by being professional and grateful.
- Express your interest in remaining on the waitlist. If the school is your top choice and you would commit to attending upon acceptance to the program, you should absolutely emphasize that fact in your letter! This will be one of your most persuasive points. That said, if the school is not your top choice, simply share that you are very interested in attending the school and that you’re excited about the potential opportunity to join their incoming class.
- Provide specific and personal reasons as to why their school is the right fit for you. This is your chance to make a memorable impression on the admissions committee. If you have talked to alumni, toured the campus, or audited a class since applying, this is the perfect place to mention it. Without repeating your personal statement verbatim, feel free to also reiterate why a particular clinic or professor has you excited. Do your best to provide details that show that you’ve taken the time to get to know the school without simply regurgitating words on the program website. Whatever you share here, make it personal and authentic.
- Add unique skills or perspectives that you’d bring to the campus community. No matter what your background is, your experiences and viewpoints are unique to you alone. How might your cultural background add a new perspective to their discussions? Has your internship or work experience provided you with a new set of skills? Was your worldview enhanced by studying abroad? Think about what makes you you: because you’re awesome, and they would be lucky to have you. 🙂
- Give schools a brief snapshot of any major accomplishments or achievements that occurred after you submitted your application. “Major” is the key word here—admissions officers won’t be swayed by your new position as the secretary for the Pizza Lovers’ Club. In contrast, some things truly are worthy of sharing. Did you increase your LSAT score? Achieve high grades during your spring semester? Have you won an award at an undergraduate research conference? Successfully presented your capstone research project to a faculty panel? Published a journal article? Taken on new responsibility at your job? Participated in a meaningful volunteer project? Make sure that law schools are aware of the news.
- Sign off politely and professionally. Thank the admissions committee for their consideration, and offer to provide additional information that they might find helpful. Some schools might request an additional essay or another letter of recommendation. If you do send another letter of recommendation to the school, make sure that it highlights something new about you and your achievements.
When to Submit Your Letter of Continued Interest for Law School
As soon as you receive the notification that you’ve been waitlisted, express your unwavering interest in attending the school with a short email reply, or by filling out the provided form. This will buy you time to write another, longer LOCI that should be sent before the school’s first deposit deadline.
If you don’t receive a decision before the second deposit deadline, you can also send another (very short and sweet!) LOCI. If they received fewer deposits than they were expecting, they may turn to the waitlist. Ideally, your LOCI email should pop up at the same time that the committee dusts off the stack of waitlisted applications.
How to Send Your LOCI
Send your LOCI in an email with a simple subject line such as: “Letter of Continued Interest: Ron Swanson.” Check the program’s website for contact information for the Dean of Admissions, and address the letter to them. If you’re not sure who the head of Admissions is, you can always give the office a call!
Your longer LOCI should be roughly one page in length and written in 11-12 point Times New Roman font. The letter should be single spaced with a blank line between paragraphs. Include identifying information such as your name, LSAC number, and address in the upper left hand corner.
Lastly, be sure to edit and proofread. We recommend sending your LOCI to an admissions counselor or mentor for review with a fresh perspective.
Letter of Continued Interest Example
I am writing this letter to reiterate my interest in attending New York University Law School in the fall. Thank you for the time you have spent reviewing my application materials and considering my candidacy for your prestigious law program. I remain absolutely certain that New York University is the law school for me, and if admitted, I would accept without hesitation.
My visit to your campus had a huge impact on my law school search. The conversations I had with current faculty members—many of whom are balancing teaching with formidable activism and journal publishing commitments—left a strong impression on me. As someone who hears a real calling to serve the public through sharing my expertise and resources with those most in need, I felt like I had found a legal community capable of setting me on my desired path. Dr. Sosa’s work of supporting the attainment of legal status for non-citizens living in his district strikes me as precisely the kind of vocation I seek to pursue following graduation from NYU. As a DACA recipient, I understand more than most the importance of granting young men and women the protections and opportunities to realize their full potential.
Over the last few months, I have been actively volunteering with a local organization that assists displaced refugees struggling to get established in their new homes. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, I know I would not have been able to fully devote myself to my academic and professional aspirations without the assistance of organizations like these. If admitted, I will endeavor to make good on the help I have received and use my position and expertise to assist younger women of color seeking higher public and professional status. I feel strongly that my unique set of experiences as an immigrant and woman of color can add a novel dimension to the ethos of your program.
In my determination to remain a competitive candidate, I opted to retake the LSAT. My latest retake resulted in a six point increase which puts me two points above last year’s class average. In addition, I became founder and president of a pre-law club at my undergraduate university. By graduation, the club had grown to 26 members, the majority of which were students from underrepresented minorities. I intend on maintaining meaningful relationships with the club’s current and future leaders in order to ensure that this small community of future lawyers remains strong and connected.
I would be thrilled and honored to gain admission into your program. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Note: While this applicant chose to discuss their undocumented status in this letter, please note that some states and law schools do not accept applications from students with undocumented status. Reach out to the admissions office of the school you’re applying for to find out their policy and look for resources to help undocumented students navigate the admissions process.
What else can I do if I’m on a law school waitlist?
The law school waitlist often feels like the great land of the unknown. Check out our best tips for navigating the waitlist waters—and let us know in the comments if we can help you further!
- Be proactive. Remember, being waitlisted at a school is not the same thing as being rejected. Take these steps, write a meaningful and genuine LOCI, and set yourself up to be admitted.
- Consider retaking the LSAT. We realize this won’t be a popular strategy to get off a law school waitlist, but schools will look at a June LSAT for waitlisted candidates. Most often, schools place candidates on waitlists due to test score weaknesses. Your numbers are paramount in law school admissions, so retaking the LSAT could be the best strategy to improve your application. Learn more on the LSAC’s LSAT Retake page.
- Send a new letter of recommendation. Ask a professor, employer, or mentor who hasn’t already provided a letter for you to vouch for your admission with a new letter of recommendation. This works well if you started a new internship or took on new research responsibilities just as you submitted your applications, and have since built positive working relationships with people overseeing your work.
- Visit schools that are on the top of your list. Set up appointments to tour campus, and make sure admissions officers are aware that you’re making the effort to visit. You can ask to speak with current students or ask to drop in on a 1L class. Visiting isn’t just a great way to show interest—it’s also a good way for you to learn more about the school.
- Space out your communications with schools. Don’t bombard schools with hundreds of follow-ups, phone calls, and emails to show your interest. We know the waitlist can be a tough spot to be in, but you’ll quickly throw out your chances of acceptance if you become an annoyance to the admissions office. Checking in once a month is acceptable—not every few minutes!
Best of luck with writing your letter of continued interest for law school and navigating the waitlist process. We know it’s stressful—but it can also lead you to your dream school, with some effort and (well-timed) persistence.