Updating Law School Applications
March 22, 2012
If you have been placed on a law school waiting list or still have not heard back from some of your schools, now is the time to update your applications with any new information. The easiest way to do this is by emailing the admission office of each school and you can also follow up with a hard copy in the mail if you choose. Keep your updates brief, factual, and to the point.
Be selective in the information you send to the law school – only include information that was asked on the original application. Always update contact information – especially if you are leaving a college address at the end of the semester. You don’t want your decision letter being forwarded and taking an extra week to get to you! In addition, if you retook the LSAT and did not list it on the application, be sure to let the school know that your new score will be arriving soon.
You should tell the schools about any new academic information including new transcripts, completed thesis, or summer classes for which you have signed up. Your updated transcripts should be sent directly to LSAC who will then forward it to the schools: (http://www.lsac.org/JD/Apply/cas-requesting-transcripts.asp).
Updates from work and internships should include new responsibilities, major projects that you completed, publications, promotions, a new job title, or any unique new skill you may have acquired. Obviously you should tell the schools about a new job or internship and consider including an updated resume. I would not suggest sending an updated resume for just a new bullet point under a current position.
One other area of updating is volunteering and activities. You only want to send substantial updates. A long list of ‘new’ student organizations without any leadership roles will not be impressive and will be seen as a resume builder. It is worth sending a quick email to the school for updates like a new leadership potion in your sorority, a volunteer tutoring position two days a week, or your organization recently sponsored a fundraiser that raised $2500. In addition, if you have been given any awards or honors, you should include it in the update.
In general, updates are a way to tell the law schools something positive about you. Unfortunately you also have an obligation to update the bad news including poor grades, disciplinary action and legal problems. In this case, you do want to take the time to explain the situation in a little more detail than simply sending an email that reads “I was arrested for a DUI in February 2012.”
Updating your information to the law schools is your obligation but use it as an occasion to highlight your accomplishments. Do not bombard them with weekly updates or you will become that annoying applicant who has the committee groaning every time they see your name. Be positive and succinct.