Deferred or Waitlisted? Write a Law School Letter of Continued Interest

Deferred or Waitlisted Write a Law School Letter of Continued Interest

The only thing worse than a no is a maybe, and in the law school admissions game, maybe is a common – and commonly frustrating – answer to an application that took a lot of hard work to put together. 

I was waitlisted at UCLA in 2007 and didn’t end up getting admitted until late July, about two weeks before the semester started. It was my dream school, and by mid-summer, I’d already resigned myself to applying again the next year, thinking I still had some room to improve my application. But then I got the call, and I was in. 

If you ever end up on the waitlist, though, you don’t have to just sit there and take it as I did. Although, you also shouldn’t just march down to the school and give them a piece of your mind like you might want to. What you should do instead is write a Letter of Continued Interest or LOCI for short. 

What Is a Letter of Continued Interest?

Before we dive into the details of writing a LOCI, I want to explain better what this letter is and why it’s important. A letter of continued interest typically expresses that you still want to attend the school, despite your status as a waitlisted or deferred applicant. 

However, that’s not all a LOCI does. Sending a LOCI gives you the opportunity to attach or describe any new additions to your student resume – awards, prestigious positions, test scores, etc. This is your last chance to impress the admissions committee with last-minute successes. 

Lastly, a letter of continued interest also expresses why you’re still interested in attending a school, even if you’re on a waitlist. This is your time to explain why this school matters to you, why you’ll be a strong addition to their student body, and why you’re willing to wait for acceptance.

What Does It Mean to Be Waitlisted or Deferred?

what does it mean to be waitlisted

If you have been waitlisted or deferred by a school you applied to, you’re likely wondering what that means. Both statuses aren’t a “no” from the law school, but they do mean different things.

When you are waitlisted, you’ve essentially received a “maybe” from the school. According to most estimates, you have an admissions chance of roughly 20% if you’ve been waitlisted. If you are accepted after being on a waitlist, you may receive your acceptance letter later than most other students.

On the other hand, a deferral occurs when you’ve applied to a school early, and they’re waiting until the regular decision round to give you an answer. It’s not a rejection or an acceptance – more of a “hang tight” while the school continues to make admission decisions and compare your application to the full applicant pool.

Can a Loci Help Get Someone Accepted – Or Are They Just Annoying to Readers?

If you do a LOCI right, it’s not annoying. In fact, it’s helpful to admissions officers who are trying to put together a qualified 1L class without having all the information they need.

Law schools send acceptances through the winter, estimating that a certain number of people will accept, a certain number will decline, and some won’t respond at all. Those estimates usually aren’t exactly what they get, so they spend the last few months before the school year begins wading through people on waitlists to make up for enrollment shortfalls.

And if they’ve waitlisted you, it’s helpful to them to know that you’re still interested. Lots of people on their waitlist will have already accepted an offer at another school without notifying them, and they’d rather not spend time and resources pursuing a student who is not available.

can a loci gets you accepted

Is a Letter of Continued Interest Mandatory?

Although it is highly recommended that you send a LOCI, it is not required by most law schools. If this is your dream school, it’s up to you to adamantly express your interest and pursue a spot (unless the law school specifically requests that you not send a letter of continued interest). 

Make Them an Offer

Knowing that admissions officers are looking for sure things gives you the chance to present yourself as such, so make the ask explicit. Your LOCI should have some version of the following statement: 

[SCHOOL NAME] remains my first choice, and if accepted off the waitlist, I will immediately accept the offer and remove myself from consideration at all other law schools.

But I’m on more than one waitlist!

But I’m on More Than One Waitlist!

Not a problem – really. You can send a version of this letter to as many schools as you want (if you feel guilty, you can remove the “top choice” language), but as long as you accept the first offer you get, you’re behaving ethically while improving your chances of admission somewhere, which is the point of applying in the first place. Advocate for yourself because if you don’t, who will? 

How Do You Write a Compelling Letter of Continued Interest?

A truly compelling LOCI is marked by two things: gratitude and honesty. Ensure you are thanking the school for reviewing your materials, then reaffirm why this school is the right one for you. Be honest about why you like it, what you bring to the table, and why the school should consider you.

Try to steer clear of cliches and impersonal statements. If you want this letter to be compelling, it needs to sound like you

tips on writing a successful loci

Tips on Writing A Successful LOCI

  1. Read the instructions in your waitlist letter/email. If a school has specifically instructed you not to write or specified acceptable forms of communication, make sure you follow those instructions. Lawyers are supposed to follow the rules. It’s, like, half the job. 
  1. Provide new and useful information. Any accomplishments or new employment assignments to share? A good grade in a relevant class (any class that’s heavy on writing will do) or a new internship, especially if it’s related to an area of law that interests you or that is focused on at that particular law school, shows that you continue to become a more qualified applicant as time goes by. 
  1. Talk about why that new and useful information shows you’re a good fit for that particular school. The way to show that you’ll succeed in law school is by showing you have a plan for when you get there. What extracurricular activities does the school have that match your talents and interests and, most importantly, your experience? Journals? Clinics? Student government? Internships/externships? A particular professor whose publications you’ve read and whom you’d like to do research for? Talk about how you have performed in the past under similar circumstances and how you plan to be helpful and successful at these activities when you get to law school. 
  1. Mention any personal connections you have to the area or the law school itself, including if you live nearby. The further into the spring and summer we get, the more hectic it will be for students to pack up their lives and get settled before school starts. If the school knows that you have ties to the community or live there, it will be safer for them to offer you a seat knowing that you will be able to make the transition to student smoothly and on time. 

What Not to Do With Your Letter of Continued Interest

what not to do with loci

There are a few things you should avoid doing when writing a LOCI. Most importantly, don’t delay – you should send the letter as quickly as possible after being notified of your waitlist or deferral status. Also, you should not mention acceptance offers from other schools, nor should you say anything that pressures the admissions committee to respond immediately. 

Should I Tell Them About Other Offers?

No, you shouldn’t tell them about other offers (although that makes sense in a scholarship negotiation with a school that has accepted you already, which is a topic for another day). If you’re on the waitlist, the veiled threat of going to another school probably won’t help you along in your quest to get admitted to this one. Remaining optimistic about the school that waitlisted you is what’s important to convey in the LOCI.

When Should I Send the Letter?

You can send a LOCI any time after you’re waitlisted, but an especially good time would be right after the school’s seat deposits are due. That’s the time when students who haven’t responded to acceptances are removed from consideration, meaning it’s when they start to figure out how many students they’ll need off the waitlist to round out the class. If your letter shows up just as they’re sitting down to look at the waitlist, it puts you in a good position. 

When Should You Not Send a Letter of Continued Interest?

You should not send a letter of continued interest if multiple months have passed since you were deferred or waitlisted. You should also not send a LOCI if the school specifically requests that you avoid doing so. 

How Often Should You Send a Letter of Continued Interest?

You should only send one letter of continued interest to each school you’re waiting to hear from. Writing additional LOCIs won’t get you anywhere and may only annoy the admissions committee.

To Whom Should I Address My Letter of Continued Interest?

Try to address your LOCI directly to the person who sent you your deferral or waitlist notice. If there was no name, do a little research to find out who is in charge of admissions at the school. You’ll likely be able to find their name on the school’s website. 

So… I Sent a Loci a Month Ago, and I’m Still on the Waitlist 🙁

You can send more than one LOCI, but you should really only send a lengthy one the first time. After that, you can send a brief paragraph once every 4-6 weeks through the summer (yes, sometimes people get off the waitlist a week or two before the school year starts!), but make it sweet and to the point, something like this: 

Dear [ADMISSIONS OFFICER], I’m writing to keep you apprised of my continued interest in starting law school in Fall 2022 at [SCHOOL]. If admitted off the waitlist, I will immediately withdraw my name from consideration at all other law schools.

Sample Letter of Continued Interest 


I hope this letter finds you and the admissions committee well, and I’d like to thank you and your colleagues for taking the time to review my application. I’m writing to let you know that [LAW SCHOOL] continues to be my top choice of law school and to inform you of additional developments that you might find useful as you consider my candidacy.

I recently completed my final semester at [UNDERGRADUATE SCHOOL], and I maintained straight As, including receiving an A on my senior thesis, titled “The Deadly Effects of Income Disparity in the State of California” which examined data collected by the California government agencies, and other researchers and organizations over the last half-century and concluded that, even as the state grew wealthier and more capable of extending life expectancies for all income levels, life expectancy for the poorest quintile of residents actually shrank over that period. In that thesis, I proposed a number of solutions that my professor pointed to as indicating deep and critical thought about the issues presented.

In addition to this academic success, I have gained substantial legal experience interning at the law firm Allen, Brown & Charles, LLP, working directly under managing partner Karen Allen. I have been assisting her in preparing for a breach of contract trial in a business dispute between our client, an auto parts retailer, and the plaintiff, an auto parts manufacturer. In a hearing before the judge last month, Ms. Allen cited a case that I had found while doing legal research, and the judge decided for our client. She said that my diligent research was key to winning the motion.

All of this recent experience has only deepened my enthusiasm for attending [LAW SCHOOL]. I look forward to bringing my passion for research and writing to the Journal for Business Law and continuing to explore courtroom litigation by participating in the school’s mock trial team. And as a [LAW SCHOOL]-trained attorney, I know I will be best able to achieve meaningful success in tackling the structural problems I learned of while researching and writing my senior thesis. I want to reiterate that [LAW SCHOOL] is my top choice, and if admitted, I will immediately withdraw from consideration at all other law schools.

Is It Too Late to Send a Letter of Continued Interest?

We recommend sending your one-page LOCI within a couple of weeks of receiving your deferral notification. The sooner you get your letter posted, the better. 

If it has already been more than a month since you received your notice, you can still send the LOCI – but it likely won’t hold as much power. 

Need Help Editing or Writing Your LOCI?

Of course, there’s no guarantee that writing a LOCI will ensure your acceptance into a school. However, it’s an excellent way to impress your dream school with your dedication, as well as any new information you want them to have. Every effort to score admission counts, especially when you’ve been waitlisted or deferred. 

At Personal Statement University, we’ve helped countless students write letters of continued interest. Our editing and writing services will help you at whatever stage you’re at – planning, drafting, or even at square one. 

Whether you want us to review what you’ve written or help you get started, drop us a line. We’ll help you impress your college admissions team and increase your chances of acceptance. 

First published: May 3, 2022

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Posted in
Branden Frankel, Esq.

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