A law school letter of continued interest example can teach you how to write one and how it can help you get off the dreaded waitlist. Law school acceptance rates are notoriously competitive, and many students are waitlisted by schools, thinking this is akin to a rejection. But a well-crafted law school letter of continued interest can help get you off the waitlist and into the law school of your choice. Our guide covers how students can use a law school letter of continued interest, what it means to be waitlisted or deferred, what to include in your letter of interest and some samples to help inspire you.
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How to use a law school letter of continued interest
A law school letter of continued interest is a tool you can use to convince admissions boards that you are still a competitive applicant and should be considered for their program. If you are waitlisted or deferred by your preferred school, a letter of continued interest (LOCI) is a way of reaffirming your passion for attending the program.
If you have already submitted a law school personal statement, supplemental essays such as the law school diversity statement or the law school optional essay, resume or law school CV and academic transcript, you can also submit a law school letter of continued interest to give yourself the best chance to get off the waitlist.
A letter of continued interest is your chance to expand upon the application you already submitted to the law schools of your choice, by providing the admissions board with new information about your academic or professional accomplishments. Or it can help sway the board to accept your application from among the other students on the waitlist hoping to get a spot.
Need to write a law school personal statement but aren't sure where to start? These examples might help inspire you:
When do you write a law school letter of continued interest?
Universities sometimes use the terms “waitlist” and “deferral” interchangeably when talking about applications, but there are some key differences.
If your application to your chosen school is deferred, it means the admissions committee will make a final decision about your application at a later date. Usually, this happens if you apply via early action or early decision programs, and the committee has chosen to defer your application to the regular decision pool after they receive all their applications for the year. Although it’s always advisable to apply as early as you can and give yourself plenty of time to craft a stellar application for law school, it can result in a deferral.
A deferral is not a bad thing, but it’s a good idea to write a law school letter of continued interest (LOCI) in this case because it reminds admissions boards about your application and helps you to keep standing out as the flood of regular applications come in. If your application is among the first to come in, there’s a chance admissions boards will forget the details of your candidacy, or you’ll end up at the bottom of the pile. Writing a LOCI refreshes the memory of the admissions board and keeps you at the forefront of consideration.
If you are not deferred but waitlisted, it might mean the admissions committee is unsure of your application or they are waiting for further information before proceeding with a decision. Research your chosen school to see a. whether your chosen law school accepts LOCI and b. what students’ chances are of being picked off the waitlist. If your school accepts LOCIs and your chances of getting off a waitlist are good, writing a letter of continued interest can push you back into being a top choice candidate. If your chosen law school rarely takes students from the waitlist, a letter of continued interest can still help, but you can also focus on your applications to other law schools while you wait for a final decision.
It's not advisable, though, to send a letter of continued interest to every school you’ve applied to. If you’ve been applying early or all your applications have been waitlisted or deferred, focus on crafting a letter of continued interest only for your top schools. This way, you’ll focus your efforts on the most important programs to you.
Being waitlisted does not mean you’ve lost your chance
If your application has been waitlisted, you may feel that the school has essentially rejected you by placing you in the “maybe” category. But being waitlisted by a law school does not mean you don’t have a shot of getting into a competitive program!
Schools waitlist applicants for many reasons, including if you are in fact a very competitive candidate, but they believe you may choose to go to another law school. Schools want to extend acceptance to students they believe will actually enroll, so they may be keeping you on the waitlist to see what your next move is.
A strong letter of continued interest may be all that’s needed to assure the school’s admissions committee of your commitment to enrolling in their program, prompting them to send you a letter of acceptance. If the admissions board was on the fence about your application, your letter could convince them to pick you over an equally strong application, because you provided that little bit extra.
Do you need to retake the LSAT to be considered for admission? This infographic has helpful information:
Where to send a letter of continued interest
Law school letters of continued interest are formal letters and should be addressed to your designated admissions officer. If this individual’s contact information hasn’t already been provided to you throughout the application process, you can contact the school administration to find out where to send your letter of continued interest. Other times, a school might provide this information after informing you of being waitlisted, or they will provide detailed instructions on sending a letter of continued interest.
Just like sending a cover letter for a job application, sending your law school letter of continued interest directly to the person making the decision regarding your application is the best strategy. It shows you’ve taken the time to craft a letter specifically for them regarding your application, and that you pay attention to the details. Of course, if your waitlist decision came with instructions, follow them to the letter!
When writing your letter of continued interest, keep to a formal letter format, and include pertinent and updated information. Some schools may ask for a letter to be sent by email in a PDF format, while others will ask for letters to be sent through the mail. You can check with the school if you’re unsure.
If writing is a weak spot for you, seeking advice from law school admissions consulting can help you develop these crucial skills in preparation for law school and your LOCI.
What schools should you send a LOCI to?
Writing a genuine letter of interest is key. You should only write a letter of continued interest if the school is your top choice, or among your top choices. Otherwise, writing a letter of interest will be a waste of your time and the admission board’s. The board wants to know why you’ve chosen their particular program and that it’s actually important to you. If they choose a student off the waitlist, they want to be certain that student will enroll in the program. So be honest and genuine in your interest to attend the school, and let it shine through in your writing.
It's a good idea to also include a genuine thank you to the admissions board for considering you. Restate that you’re committed to attending their program and thank them for taking another look at your application.
Don’t use your letter of interest to make assumptions or ask questions about why you weren’t admitted outright or were placed on the waitlist, since you likely won’t be provided with the reason. Being waitlisted can be a disappointing experience, and waiting for a final decision is frustrating, but writing a letter of continued interest is a way to take effective and positive action to secure yourself a spot. Keep your tone humble and eager to hear back on your acceptance.
What information to include in your letter of interest
It is important not only to plainly state that you still want to attend the school, but to prove why you should be accepted. This is your chance to expand on your application and include any new information that is relevant to your academic or professional accomplishments.
New information could be any notable developments since your initial application was sent in. The information you include in your letter could also help you prepare answers for law school interview questions should you be invited to interview by the school.
We’ll cover the items you should and should not include in your letter below. You can also read some sample law school letters of continued interest for help with structuring your own letter.
What not to do with your letter of continued interest
Your law school letter of continued interest is a tool to help you get off the dreaded waitlist and into the law school of your choice. It’s important to remember not to use it as a way to interrogate the admissions board or restate information the admissions officer has already seen in your application.
Don’t repeat information
A letter of continued interest isn’t a sample law school personal statement or a restatement of your personal motivations. Include new information only. Take a look at the personal motivations, career aspirations and academic highlights from your application. Don’t restate or reframe these in your letter of continued interest. Your admissions officer is already familiar with your application, so instead of mentioning how you’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, write about your recent promotion to project leader and how you’re already learning the skills you’ll need to apply in law school.
Don’t ask questions about your application status
A letter of continued interest won’t receive any kind of reply from the admissions board. So don’t ask questions about your application, why you were deferred or placed on the waitlist, and why you weren’t accepted right away. Don’t relist your high GPA or professional background as proof that the admissions board made a mistake in not admitting you outright. Provide supplementary arguments based on your recent development as to why you should be moved off the waitlist.
Don’t mention other school acceptances
Avoid mentioning other schools you’ve applied to or been accepted to in your letter. Schools want to hear about your passion for attending their program, not be given an ultimatum of sorts. Keep your focus on the program you want to attend and why you should be accepted. If you were accepted to other schools that were not your top choice, put them out of your mind as your write your letter of continued interest to your top choice school.
When not to send a letter of interest
There may be circumstances in which it’s not appropriate to send a letter of continued interest to a law school.
The first case is if you haven’t received any admissions information yet. Don’t send a letter of continued interest until you receive confirmation that you’ve been accepted, deferred, or waitlisted. Otherwise, the admissions board may be confused as to why you’re sending a letter of continued interest. They may not have reviewed your application yet, or they may think you meant to send a supplemental college essay prematurely. While the law school may ask for a supplemental application, it’s best to wait until you have a confirmed response before writing a letter of continued interest.
The second instance where you should not send a letter of continued interest is if the school explicitly states not to. Depending on the program, the school will state they do not accept letters of continued interest during the application process. In this case, it’s likely that the school has many students on the waitlist hoping to get an acceptance and want to make a decision without the influence of letters of interest from thousands of different students.
Want to learn more about the law school application process? Check out this video:
Law school letters of continued interest examples
Dear members of the Admissions Committee,
Thank you for taking the time to review my application to [Law School] in [application year]. I greatly appreciate your consideration of my candidacy for your program. [Law School] has been my top choice for attendance since my interest in the law was first sparked.
My conviction that [Law School] is the best fit for me was further cemented after my visit to [campus] last week. I was honoured to take part in a campus tour where I learned more about the school I hope to attend. I also had the privilege of sitting in on [Professor’s] Law and Social Change course, which gave me a preview of the kind of classroom experience I can expect at the school.
Recently, I also had the exciting opportunity for another first-hand experience in the world of law. In my current position as a journalist for [Publication], I was recently promoted to assistant court reporter. In this new position, I have been able to sit it on provincial court proceedings in my city and report on actual cases. The experience has also given me a practical look at how courtrooms operate, how lawyers present themselves in court and the nuances of different court cases. As I have been able to sit in on provincial cases, the variety of cases has ranged from misdemeanors to more serious offences.
Being in a courthouse to observe the proceedings has also allowed me to ask questions directly of the members of court, both in interviewing them for [Publication] but also asking for questions and advice privately. I have asked a lawyer I regularly interview for [Publication] if she can provide me any advice as a future law student. She has graciously agreed to meet with me outside of work to mentor me as I begin my law career.
I know that [Law School] will give me an unparalleled learning experience and allow me to develop the professional skills I need to succeed as a future lawyer. And I know my experiences as a journalist, court reporter and the professional network I’ve been able to build in my job position will further expand my skillset. I believe my background in journalism has given me a unique perspective on the field of law that I can bring to the classroom discussions I am eager to take part in.
I also want to take this opportunity to inform the admissions committee that my promotion to assistant court reporter was due directly to outstanding internal reviews from my employer, and my employer’s support of my interest in the field of law. [Law School] remains my passion and my top choice to attend if I am admitted.
Please contact me if you have any questions regarding my application. I look forward to hearing from the admissions committee again soon,
Dear [Admissions Officer’s prefix and last name],
As an applicant of Harvard Law School currently on hold, I am writing today to express my continued interest in attending.
After I was placed on the waitlist, I was sent instructions asking me to resubmit a higher LSAT score for consideration by the admissions board. I am pleased to inform you that I have retaken the LSAT and significantly increased my score as requested.
At my initial application, my LSAT score was 171. After researching Harvard Law School’s average accepted score of 173, I challenged myself to score higher than average to show the admissions board how committed I am to attend the school. I am very proud to announce my new LSAT score is 175.
The admissions board’s request to resubmit a higher LSAT score was a challenge for me, as the LSAT was a difficult exam for me the first time. However, I committed myself to the task. In order to prepare for this exam a second time, I examined my study routines and strategies, researched improvements, and methodically implemented them. My study routines in the past included using study guides, practice tests and common study tools such as flashcards to prepare myself for the questions.
The second time I studied for the LSAT, I implemented shifting from using online practice tests to writing my practice tests on paper. The change was small, but beneficial to me. By recreating the test environment, I found I could concentrate better. I also asked my fellow students to quiz me on common questions and ask me a variety of question types. Hearing and answering the questions aloud helped me absorb the information much better. I have now implemented auditory tools in my professional life as well by purchasing a Dictaphone and using it to keep notes for myself.
Although this instruction to retake the LSAT was a difficult task to achieve, I feel very proud of my accomplishment. I also am very grateful for the opportunity to further learn about myself and my learning style. I have learned a great deal from this experience I can take with me into my professional life and my future as a law student.
Thank you again for your continued consideration of my application to Harvard Law School. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
1. What is a law school letter of continued interest?
A law school letter of continued interest expresses your commitment to attending law school after your application has been deferred or waitlisted. It’s a tool you can use to convince admissions boards to move forward with your application.
2. When do I need a letter of continued interest?
If your application to law school has been deferred or waitlisted, you can send a letter of continued interest to help push your application back to the top of consideration and get a letter of acceptance.
3. Is being waitlisted a rejection?
Being waitlisted is not the same as a rejection from a law school. Law schools place students on the waitlist for many reasons, for example they are waiting for further information on the student’s application or they are unsure if the student is the best fit for the program compared to other applicants.
4. Do I send a letter of continued interest to every school that waitlisted me?
No, it’s not advisable to send a letter of continued interest to every school. Send a letter to a law school only if it has waitlisted or deferred you, and only if the program is your top choice and you are certain you will enroll if you get in.
5. How is a deferral different from being waitlisted?
A deferral means a decision will be made about a student’s application at a later date, usually during the regular application decisions. Being waitlisted means an admissions board is still considering the student for acceptance, but has not made a final decision yet.
6. What should I include in a letter of continued interest?
A letter of continued interest should contain a genuine expression of thanks to the admissions board for considering the student, a statement that the student is still interested in attending the school, and any new information that the student can add to their application that may convince an admissions board to admit them.
7. Can a LOCI get me off the waitlist?
A well-written LOCI can get a student off the waitlist. Some schools admit many students off the waitlist each year, and other schools rarely admit students who have been waitlisted. A letter of continued interest can increase your chances of acceptance no matter which school you’ve applied to.
8. Who do I send my LOCI to?
Schools will sometimes send detailed instructions to students who have been waitlisted about sending a LOCI. Others will not provide this information, so students are best to send their law school letter of continued interest to the admissions officer handling their application or contact the school for instructions.
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