law school admission rejection

How To Handle Law School Admission Rejection

Rejection always hurts and it can be even more painful when it’s from your dream school. While rejection is disappointing, it doesn’t mean you won’t get into a different, great law school and have a successful legal career. Here are our tips on how to handle law school admission rejection!

How To Handle Law School Admission Rejection

1. Take a break.

Take a mental break from law school admissions for a day or two to just process the decision. Focus on class, work, friends and family. The rejection might hurt now but the sting will go away with time, especially when other offers roll in. Remember that this is not the end. Law school admission rejection, even from your dream school, will not define your post-undergraduate career.

2. Exercise.

Even if the gym is not part of your weekly routine, going for a walk or doing any physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. It also helps you to actually feel better by boosting your endorphins and lifting your mood.

3. Re-evaluate your reasoning.

It’s easy to get hung up on the rank or prestige of a dream law school. Try to re-evaluate the specific reasons why you wanted to go to that particular school. If you find that the main reason for wanting to go to your dream school was for the name alone, then that doesn’t guarantee that you would have been a good fit in the program or even successful there. (Perhaps the rejection was a blessing in disguise!) Law school is a long and arduous three-year full-time program. Give yourself time to reflect on why you’re undertaking this pursuit and what you’re really looking for in a program.

4. Reassess your options.

After doing some self-reflection and identifying what you’re looking for in a program, reassess the options that you have. Was it the location of your dream school that made it so compelling? If so, are there other schools that you may be admitted to that are also located in a particular city. Was it for a certain academic program that was most attractive? If so, what other schools might offer something similar?

You probably have some good options for law schools to attend even if not your dream school.  Review the schools you are admitted to (or will likely be admitted to) and conduct detailed research into their program offerings, cost of attendance, culture, clinic and externship opportunities, and job placements. If it’s a lower-tiered school you may be eligible for scholarship offerings that provide career freedom upon graduation that might not otherwise be offered to you at a highly ranked (and expensive) institution.

5. Consider waiting another year.

Remember, you don’t have to go to law school next year. If the decision just doesn’t feel right, given your options, then consider waiting another year. This time will allow you to earn some money and experience, potentially re-take the LSAT if needed, and apply again next year. Even though you will not attend this year, your application gets reviewed again next year without prejudice. Many schools and employers value students with work experience so don’t feel compelled to rush into attending law school if you’re not ready. It might benefit you, in the long run, to wait another year and apply to your dream school again with a bolstered resume.

6. Option to transfer.

Even if you’re initially rejected from your dream school, transferring law school programs is also an option between your 1L and 2L year. Not many students do this simply because many tend to become attached to their current law school community and find it difficult to leave. However, for those that perform well in their 1L year, many are able to successfully transfer to their dream law school before their 2L year. Check out this list of factors to considering when thinking about transferring.

RACHEL MARGIEWICZ, DIRECTOR OF PRE-LAW SERVICES, WROTE THIS POST. RACHEL IS A LICENSED ATTORNEY WITH YEARS OF ADMISSIONS EXPERIENCE ACROSS THREE LAW SCHOOL PROGRAMS IN DIFFERENT MARKETS OF THE COUNTRY. SHE KNOWS WHAT SCHOOLS ARE LOOKING FOR AND HOW TO MAKE YOUR APPLICATION STAND OUT.

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