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Rescinded Offers, Explained

Getting into law school is a huge feat. That doesn’t mean that an admissions offer can’t be rescinded.

Mike Spivey, head of Spivey Consulting, offered some insight into why a law school might rescind an offer and how law applicants can avoid losing their admission.

To start, it may be reassuring to note that rescinded offers don’t happen often.

“It is very, very rare,” Spivey writes. “At our firm, we each could think of a couple of cases where admission offers were rescinded, and they were almost always related to Character & Fitness issues/ misrepresentation on applications that were later uncovered.”


One of the biggest reasons applicants fear rescinded admission is due to a drop in grades.

Spivey says that while it is a possibility, it’s still rare.

“The technical answer is ‘yes, that could happen,’ and we have seen it,” Spivey writes. “But keep in mind we have well over 100 years of law school combined admissions experience, and we’ve only seen this twice in all of those combined years. And in those two cases, there still was another external factor.”

Often times, Spivey says, what happens is that an applicant will have a drop in grades and the law school will find out about it.

“The point, then, is that if your GPA drops, particularly if it drops below the school’s median, the school will find out,” Spivey writes. “It is still exceptionally unlikely (and we can’t emphasize that enough) your offer would be rescinded, but it also behooves one to let the school know. They are going to find out anyway.”


Another reason for a rescinded offer is often due to character and fitness issues or lying on an application.

According to Julie Ketover, a contributor at US News, the character and fitness section often is intended to examine an applicant’s past mishaps.

“The nature of the character and fitness component of the exam varies, but it typically covers a few key areas, including lack of candor, the existence of a criminal record, untreated mental illness and substance abuse, and financial irresponsibility,” Ketover writes.

And while it is possible to get your offer rescinded due to character and fitness, Spivey says, again it’s unlikely.

“If something happens, the most important thing you can do as an applicant is to get ahead of it,” Spivey writes. “Tell the school. Talk to the school.”

Sources: Spivey Consulting, US News