Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Wait list irresponsibility  (Read 1727 times)

feelthenoize

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • View Profile
Wait list irresponsibility
« on: August 09, 2004, 05:12:04 PM »
In my humble opinion law schools are acting very irresponsibly when it comes to waitlisting students.  I applied to 12 schools this year and got waitlisted at SIX.  I spent untold hours following up with letters and calls, took expensive trips to meet the staff in person, and put off making firm plans in case I got an offer.  As of this week I'm dinged at every school.  For months, I was given info about my status that was hopelessly vague at best and downright deceptive at worst.

It's now pretty clear that these schools never had any intention of taking many--if any--waitlist applicants.  At one of my six WL schools, I was told there were more than 300 people on the list--more than twice the size of their class.  There's no good reason I can think of for the list to be that long.  The notion that a WL offer is a consolation prize is silly.  Law schools are self-interested, and could not care less how we interpret their decision once they have our application fee.

I know that adcomms need some flexibility for yield reasons, and I know the waitlist process certainly is not a new one.  But either admissions staffs need to get better at gauging application numbers, or they should stop costing people time, money, and anxiety by putting people on WLs w/ no chance of getting in.

Sorry for the rant.  This has been a very bad week that I would have liked to have been able to put behind me five months ago.  Instead, I've been needlessly strung along for the entire summer.

The ZAPINATOR

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6380
    • MSN Messenger - N/A
    • AOL Instant Messenger - N/A
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - N/A
    • View Profile
    • N/A
Re: Wait list irresponsibility
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2004, 05:16:20 PM »
edit

Ginatio

  • Guest
Re: Wait list irresponsibility
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2004, 05:33:20 PM »
I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm also a little disturbed at most schools' unwillingness to give any sort of information on their wait-list.

I've talked to people in Stanford's and Harvard's admissions offices, and they've both told me that they don't rank the wait-list. They've refused to give any statistics on their wait-list, and have further said that they evaluate each applicant on the list holistically once a spot opens up. That sounds like bull to me. They know damn well they rank the wait-list, because there is no way in hell they would sit down and look at the entire wait-list each time someone drops.

I think that we, as prospective students (and future prospective students), should stand up for ourselves and not give so much leverage to the admissions offices in this respect. If students were to collectively reject each and every spot on a waiting list that was offered to them, maybe law schools would start rethinking their policies...

Personally, I only spent about a dollar on postage sending a couple of update letters up to Stanford, Columbia, and Harvard... I didn't even spring for a final transcript to send them because I knew it would be of no use... I agree with ZAP, you should've treated the WL as a rejection.

jdiv8

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wait list irresponsibility
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2004, 05:33:50 PM »
Yeah, that sucks. 

In my opinion, people should take a waitlist as meaning they've been denied.  That way you won't be disappointed, as wait lists are generally very long, and few students are eventually admitted.

On the other hand, if you do get in somewhere you've been waitlisted, thinking it was a lost cause will make it all the sweeter.

Definitely sucks about your situation, and all the time and money you spent trying to convince them to take you off the waitlist.  I certainly feel for you.

ZAP

Ditto
UNC Chapel Hill

daynee

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
  • 2.84/162 University of Richmond 1L - FINALLY!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Wait list irresponsibility
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2004, 05:45:19 PM »
I completely agree and feel your pain.  The only light at the end of my tunnel is that all of this crap will officially be over in a couple of weeks and I can get on getting on with my life already!

I do see the side that schools can't give out but so much information.  I get that. 

But on several occasions this year, I feel I've been point-blank lied to when it wasn't really necessary, and that's what I don't understand.

Sorry you've had to go through this, too!

If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.  ~ Voltaire, Candide

REDNED

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 23
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wait list irresponsibility
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2004, 07:35:47 PM »
Feel for everyone that has posted on  this thread.   Of course they rank waitlists because as someone mentioned they would not review everyone again each and every time a spot became available. I finally  received a notice from the only school I applied to that the waitlist was closed but if I wanted to repply to call the admissions office or go to their web site.  For me being waitlisted  was a consolation prize as I expected to be an outright rejection with the lousy LSAT score I had, so it does give me hope for next year (if I can improve my score by at least 10 points).  As someone at the college told me, "someone obviously saw something they liked if they put you on a waitlist".  Be that as it may, the letter saying the waitlist was closed was the FIRST AND ONLY written correspondence I received from the school since I sent in my app.

Anyone waiting, don't give up or get too discouraged.  Good luck to all.

casino

  • Guest
Re: Wait list irresponsibility
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2004, 07:40:10 PM »
how do you guys think the problem/reality of the waitlist situation should be addressed?  i am not implying at all that you do not have cause to be upset with the situation.  i am just curious.

probably a little bit more honesty on their part would be nice.

casino

daynee

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
  • 2.84/162 University of Richmond 1L - FINALLY!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Wait list irresponsibility
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2004, 07:55:20 PM »
Interestingly, I was specifically told that the waitlist wasn't ranked.  That they do go back and read each one.  Of course, they could have groups that are ranked, like this group of twenty is first, and these next twenty apps are for when the first twenty don't work... 

In terms of improving the process, while I understand that a lot of schools may waitlist people in lieu of outright rejection, they could be more responsible in the amount of people who are placed on a waitlist.  Especially those placed on a so-called "priority" waitlist.  If I had been placed on a general waitlist, I probably wouldn't have gotten my hopes up so much.  The way my initial waitlist letter was worded, it heavily implied that their admissions process was something it wasn't, that it was truly just a matter of time before I would be accepted.  Or maybe I was just naive.

Better communication would also help the process.  And they should communicate when they say they will.  I was left hanging for over a month from when they originally told me they'd have a definitve answer.  And then once they did communicate, it was just to put me on hold for another two months.

I also agree honesty would be a plus.  If I specifically ask something, I'd rather hear, "I'm sorry, I can't tell you that," instead of an outright, bold-faced lie. 
If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.  ~ Voltaire, Candide

feelthenoize

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • View Profile
Re: Wait list irresponsibility
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2004, 09:05:44 PM »
I agree w/ all daynee's points.  There's simply no excuse for putting 200+ people on a wait list.  For a class size of 200, there shouldn't be more than 50 or so on the list.  Something highly unusual would still have to happen for even a majority of those folks to get a call.

Re: notification, I've come to appreciate all those tersely written rejection letters I got back in the spring.  At least those schools made it clear that I wasn't cut out to be a lawyer from their hallowed institution and left no doubt as to my status.  I was able to move on quickly.  But nearly all the WL schools rather strongly implied that there was a GOOD chance I'd be admitted.  Obviously that wasn't true, but instead was foolish and insulting.

And most importantly, the nonsense advice given out my admit office staffs is the worst part of this mess.  Schools refuse to give precise info.  They apparently tell outright lies in a few cases, based on anecdotal evidence from this board.  Law school applicants are well-informed and we all know that schools are going to exercise their prerogative about manipulating the size and makeup of their incoming class.  Why not just tell us straight out what they're looking for?  I would have been disappointed, but relieved and grateful, for any one of the schools where I was waitlisted to have told me "look, we really appreciate what's obviously sincere interest on your part, but the fact is we're looking for women w/ 165s or higher, and we're probably not going to take anybody not fitting that description.  Let's talk about what it would take for you to get admitted as a transfer."  Instead, I got useless blather.

It's really a disgrace.  Of course, I'm mostly ticked off b/c I know myself and my abilities, and I know the kind of school at which I'd succeed.  I busted my tail in undergrad and during five yrs of work and have only one tier 2 acceptance to show for it.  This whole process stinks.  I hope I can change my attitude before orientation.  I know I need to.

daynee

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
  • 2.84/162 University of Richmond 1L - FINALLY!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Wait list irresponsibility
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2004, 10:12:27 PM »
It's really a disgrace.  Of course, I'm mostly ticked off b/c I know myself and my abilities, and I know the kind of school at which I'd succeed.  I busted my tail in undergrad and during five yrs of work and have only one tier 2 acceptance to show for it.  This whole process stinks.  I hope I can change my attitude before orientation.  I know I need to.

Exactly - I KNOW I would kick some serious ass at the school I want to attend.  The school is everything I want and nothing I wouldn't want.  I can and would thrive there.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to prove that to them because my "numbers" don't reflect that.  It kills me that I know I'm as bright or brighter than the students who are there now.  The trouble is, ten years after undergrad, there isn't much I can do about my sad UGPA.  And ten years out of undergrad should make my UGPA a moot point, because my LSAT is right in line, if not above the line, of what they're looking for.  Quite frankly, I think my experience after college more than makes up for it.  But, noooooo....

grumble grumble.  thus endeth the rant.

Noize, don't worry about your attitude now; be bitter now... But, I'm sure once you get in there in a few weeks, you'll love it and wonder why you stressed about some stupid waitlists! :)
If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.  ~ Voltaire, Candide