So. You applied and your file is complete. Now what?
Well, a few things. First and foremost, we know a lot of you are anxiously awaiting a decision, and we also know, next to taking the LSAT (well, at least for most of us), the waiting is, in fact, the hardest part of applying to law school. We all remember checking our mailbox every day, knowing for the first time in our lives the delivery schedule of our mail carrier and/or pondering just what the dimensions of an envelope meant for our admissions fate at a given school (who knew stationery could be so charged with meaning!). In college, I think I checked my mailbox approximately ten times between my freshman and junior years. My senior year, i.e. the year I applied to law school, my life was the mail. No mail or some mail. No envelopes or small/large envelopes. The mail captured my interest in a way it had never before and it certainly hasn’t since (sorry USPS). Obviously by referring to “mail,” I’m dating myself a little, but interweb or no interweb, the sentiment remains the same: applying to law school is tough.
However, fret not. Our first round of decisions will be made by Thanksgiving, and we will continue making decisions on a rolling basis in the subsequent months. Nevertheless, it will be a few weeks before we begin reading files. Each year, we wait until we have a critical mass of applications before making any admissions decisions. As we are a very small school (our targeted incoming class size for next year is about 135) and admissions trends often vary from one year to the next, we tend to proceed a little more cautiously with regard to such matters, and we find even waiting a few weeks to begin this process can provide us with some valuable context on the candidates we are seeing in a given cycle.
Furthermore, once we begin reading files, it often takes us a little longer to make decisions than some other schools. This is largely the result of our “whole-file” approach to file review. We are firmly committed to reading everything you submit and taking the time necessary to truly get a sense of who you are. Admittedly, this takes a while. While it would certainly be quicker for us to use an admissions index or formula or simply evaluate your candidacy based upon your numerical qualifications, we feel such an approach would hardy help us identify the candidates we believe will thrive in our small, collegial, liberal arts environment. Such an assessment requires a more holistic approach, and while reviewing a file in this manner takes time, it is time we feel you deserve. You took the time to apply to our law school, and your application deserves full and fair consideration.
So, long story short: It will be a few weeks before we will begin making admissions decisions. What does this mean for you? Well, it might be a few weeks before you hear from us or your wait may prove longer. Because we make decisions on a rolling basis, applicant decision timelines can vary. However, we are here to help, and we strongly encourage you to contact us if we can be of assistance in any way. We can be reached by email at LawAdm@wlu.edu or by phone at 540.458.8503.