Here is a hypothetical for you. You applied to law school with a great undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. You got into every school you applied to except any of the Tier 14 schools. Do you wait a year and reapply? Or “settle” for a top school outside of the T14? The U.S. News recently weighed in on the topic. Their answer? It is no problem, but do it with intention. That is, make yourself a better applicant. Well, duh.
It sounds crazy, but it might not actually be a horrible idea, especially if a T14 school is a potential option.
Here is what you should do: Retake the LSAT. Try to get a better score. Have your recommenders rewrite their recommendations for you. Get more experiences. Make yourself more attractive and diverse to an admissions committee. Include an addendum to specifically outline what you have done during the year to get into the school(s) you are applying to.
But what do the schools think about re-applicants? And how do you do it? Stanford seems to be OK with it, but applicants are required to complete the application process over again. It seems to be a clean application slate. Columbia is also open to the idea, however, akin to Stanford, the entire application process must me completed again. Additionally, re-applicants are not eligible for the early review program. Yale states that many applicants reapply to their program, but again, the entire process has to be completed again.
The truth is, most law school admissions committees will see your application just as objectively as they did the first time. There will be no label that says you failed to get accepted before. Law schools want the best fits for their programs. Just because during one year you were not as good of a fit compared to other applicants doesn’t mean it will always be that way. Researching the program will allow you to figure out how to be an even better fit. So, reapply away.
Source: U.S. News