The holidays can be a mixed bag for law school applicants. Those who already have acceptances in their pockets are able to kick back and enjoy the seasonal respite. But if you are still waiting to hear back, you are probably sitting around dinner tables fending off questions from everyone and his brother about your law school results. It's hard for people — even people one or two degrees removed from the admissions process — to accept that you may be in for a longer period of waiting. It's perfectly normal to be in admissions limbo this time of year, and that doesn't mean there was anything wrong with your application, or that you're doing anything wrong now.
For that reason, too, resist the urge to drum up phony updates to send to schools. Presumably you submitted your best shot when you sent in your original applications, and your world is not likely to change that much in a matter of months. Some updates are required, though. If anything they asked about on their application changes, like a job change, then you probably have a duty to update them (the individual school should have guidelines about how and when to provide updates). And if you have new grades in January from the previous semester, you are required to submit updated transcripts to LSAC. But many updates are discretionary, and as with any optional or non-required materials, less is often more.
For example, I've seen people give blow-by-blow accounts of every little thing they do all day long in their new role as Junior Intern to the Assistant Deputy Chief of Communications for Senator So-And-So, or as Underling Case Assistant at Fancypants Law Firm, P.C. Guess what? In most cases, the blow-by-blow account is just not that interesting to the rest of the world. More importantly, if the application did not invite (or give you space for) that level of detail the first go-round, you shouldn't get much more granular in your update. Treat admissions officers' time as valuable.
Read more about updates here.
Do you have strategies or stories to tell about getting through the holidays as an applicant? Please share!
Former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and a recovering lawyer, Anna Ivey founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process. You can find more admissions tips in The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions. Join the conversation here in the blog comments and on Twitter and Facebook, or email us a new question for the blog.