Why does the Law School have an admission waitlist and how did I end up on it?
While much of the admission process may seem to be about numbers, it's actually about people---and predicting human behavior is very tricky. The admissions committee reviews applications and makes decisions based on numerous factors. Over time, the law school has developed predictive models that give us an idea of how many candidates offered admission to New York Law School will choose to enroll, but it is an inexact science. Some years we have more students than we anticipated and other years we find ourselves with fewer students in the entering class than we would like. So, the admissions committee creates an admission waitlist to keep a number of files active longer in the process to consider for seats in the class that may open up between the application deadline and the first day of classes. The admissions committee feels that your application is one that they would want to consider for a later opening.
When do seats open up and when would I hear?
Candidates who are admitted to New York Law School are required to submit two tuition deposits; one in April to make a commitment and reserve their seat, and a second in June to confirm their intention to enroll. Generally, it is unusual for the admissions committee to review any waitlist files until after the June deadline for second tuition deposits.
Is the waitlist ranked?
No. Each application is unique in numerous non-quantifiable ways. As such, there is no way to create a viable ranking system. We do not believe it is right or useful to rank applications because it would remove too many important personal qualities and individual experiences from consideration.
What, if anything, can I do to improve my application's chances of being selected for an open seat?
Every applicant and every application is different, so the answer to this question lies with the candidate. I'm sure that you know your strengths and your weaknesses and hoped that we placed greater emphasis on your strengths and exercised reasoned judgment on your weaknesses. In addition, what you need to judge for yourself is whether you did a complete job on your application. Consider the following:
How do I let the admissions committee know that New York Law School is my first choice? A simple letter stating so and outlining in specific terms why we are your first choice can be helpful to the committee. Keep it real -- be genuine in your communication.
Are there strategies I can employ that would improve my chance of being admitted? There aren't any real "strategies"; that work other than being genuine with your interest in New York Law School and being very flexible in this process. As for flexibility, you should allow as much time as you honestly can for us to notify you of an opening and you should be willing to accept a seat in a division other than the one to which you applied if that's a possibility. For instance, indicating that the latest date you can be notified of an opening is April 15 would not likely result in a positive outcome since it's rare that the committee starts looking at the wait list before June.
Similarly, you should be flexible about being able to attend part-time if you applied for full-time status and vice versa. The committee does understand that a part time evening candidate is most likely working full-time during the day and can't quit the job to demonstrate flexibility to go to law school full-time. But, if you can be flexible about the division in which you're enrolled, you are making available every possible seat opening in the entering class. If you indicate that you will only consider a full time opening or only consider a part time opening, you are limiting the number of possibilities to that one division. If you are admitted to a division that's your second choice, you may be able to switch after your first year.
I know someone who knows someone who knows someone...should I go that route? If someone connected to the law school knows you well enough to stand up for you now that your application is on the waitlist, we would have thought you would have had that person write a recommendation as part of your original application. You are welcome to have them submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf as part of your demonstration of your sincere interest in being a New York Law School student. Don't expect the letter alone to have an immediate impact on your application's status.
Other schools have offered me admission and they want me to make a commitment; what do I do? We assume that any school to which you applied is a school that you would attend. An offer of admission from another school is a sure thing, a place on our waitlist does not assure that you will be admitted to New York Law School. We understand that you may have to go ahead with the sure thing -- however, please factor into your flexibility with our waitlist and the commitment timeline you must make with that school---deposits, tuition payments, housing arrangements, etc.
In recent years, law schools have seen an increase in the number of students submitting tuition deposits to more than one law school. We understand that multiple deposits are a way to help students bide their time in making a decision with regard to where they ultimately attend. However, there are thousands of law school aspirants on the waitlists around the country and those who make multiple deposits only hurt those on the waitlists. The problem has become large enough that law schools now receive lists of individuals who make multiple deposits and the schools to which the deposits are made.
I'm not a pessimist, but what if I end up not being offered admission from the waitlist? You have some options. First, if you have an offer from another school, you should consider going there. If you find you're not happy or really want your JD from New York Law School, you can consider transferring after your first year. There is no GPA or class rank that guarantees admission, so it's important to work very hard in your first year. Second, waitlist status for one year has no impact on a future application. That said, we would be remiss if we did not point out the obvious; make sure you do something to improve upon weaknesses before reapplying. You should take every advantage of the opportunity to provide fresh and new information; we do not "reactivate" prior applications.
We understand that agreeing to be on our waitlist will require tremendous patience on your part. If you do agree to be on the admission waitlist, please provide honest answers in your response and return it to us as quickly as you can. Best wishes!