For Waitlisted Students
We recognize the time and effort you have invested in the application process and we appreciate your patience and continued interest in Notre Dame Law School. We hope to clarify this process by providing you with recommended next steps and a general timeline, as well as answering your frequently asked questions.
Waitlist Response Form
The Office of Admissions will activate a Waitlist Response Form in late March. Students may use this form to indicate their interest in being considered for admission from the waitlist.
If you know at any time prior to the opening of the Waitlist Response Form that you would not like to be considered further for admission, please contact our office via email at email@example.com and use the subject line “Waitlist Cancel [LSAC Account Number].” We will update your record accordingly and will not contact you further regarding possible admission from the waitlist.
Letter of Continued Interest
In addition to submitting the Waitlist Response Form, you may also email a letter of continued interest (LOCI) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit your LOCI as a PDF file. Be sure to include your name and LSAC account number on this document.
You may submit a LOCI at any time but our office has found that such documents are most helpful as we near possible consideration of admission from the waitlist in late-April.
If any information has changed since you submitted your application, please send your updated resume, contact information, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc. to email@example.com. Please submit documents as PDF files. Please include your name and LSAC account number, but DO NOT include your Social Security number.
Students in their final school year should ensure their most recent transcript has been sent to LSAC and that an updated CAS report has been issued to NDLS.
Waitlist Activity Timeline
December through late March
The Admissions Committee begins to issue initial admissions decisions before the holidays. Throughout the application cycle, applicants may be admitted, denied, or placed on the waitlist. Admissions decisions are distributed on a rolling basis over the following few months.
The Admissions Committee begins collecting additional information from applicants on the waitlist. See ‘Next Steps’ above for the recommended documents.
After the initial deposit deadline for admitted students passes on April 15, the Admissions Committee has a better sense of size of the incoming class and will determine if there is available space in the class. If there is available space, the Admissions Committee will review the applications of those candidates who have submitted the Waitlist Response Form.
It is highly unlikely any applicants on the waitlist will be offered admission prior to this date.
The bulk of any admissions offers will likely occur in April and May. The Admissions Committee may continue to make offers through the summer as necessary.
Our second deposit deadline is June 1. At that point, the Admissions Committee may begin to release applicants from the waitlist based on the size and composition of the incoming class. Offers from the waitlist at this point forward are rare and occur as deposited students inform the Admissions Committee of changed plans (eg, being admitted off the waitlist at another school).
Welcome Week for the Law School is typically the third week of August. While not ideal nor common, it is possible for admission offers to be made during this week if deposited students cancel their enrollment plans at the last minute.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions beyond those listed below, feel free to contact the admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do you have a waitlist?
The Admissions Committee uses a waitlist because of our rolling admissions review process, because admitted students typically do not inform us of their enrollment intentions until just before our deposit deadline, and because enrollment plans may change for our deposited students after the deposit deadline. The waitlist allows us to reevaluate applicants based on the applicant pool as well as the size and composition of the entering class after we pass our initial deposit deadline.
How many applicants will be admitted from the waitlist?
Each year the number of individuals admitted from the waitlist varies. The number of admission offers - if any - depends entirely on the number of deposits we receive from our admitted students.
How many applicants are currently on the waitlist?
The size of the waitlist varies depending on the year and how many students submit the Waitlist Response Form. Please know that applicants who are offered a position on the waitlist are those whom the Admissions Committee would like to admit if there are enough seats available in the entering class. We must also maintain breadth and depth on the waitlist to fill seats as they become available.
Is the waitlist ranked? Are there priority groups?
Our waitlist is not ranked in any way. There are no priority groups. Any priority for one set of applicants over another will be dictated by the size and composition of the deposits we receive from our initial wave of admitted students.
How will I be notified of any changes to the waitlist or of a new admissions decision?
The Admissions Office will notify you immediately if your status changes. We will contact you first by email or phone, then follow up with mail if applicable. Additionally, you may receive periodic email updates regarding the status of the waitlist as a whole.
What if I cannot be reached to receive an offer of admission for a reason such as traveling internationally?
We strongly recommend that waitlisted applicants make every effort to keep the Admissions Office updated with their current contact information. Admissions offers from the waitlist may be time sensitive, so if we cannot confirm that you have received our communication within a reasonable time - typically two business days - we will continue to consider other candidates.
What if I need a decision by a specific date?
The earliest that the Admissions Committee may extend offers of admission to waitlisted candidates is after the initial deposit deadline has passed on April 15. We cannot take other deadlines for waitlisted applicants into consideration. If an applicant remains on our waitlist but needs to make a commitment to another law school by a specific date, it is up to their discretion to commit to alternative options.
Should I deposit/commit at another law school while I wait to hear from NDLS?
We advise that you make your deposit/confirmation decision based on the offers of admission that you have at the moment. It will not be detrimental to our consideration of extending an offer of admission from the waitlist to learn that a student is presently deposited at another law school.
When should I send my LOCI? What should be included in my LOCI?
Letters of Continued Interest (LOCIs) are optional and may be sent at any time during an applicant’s time on the waitlist. However, we find that they are most helpful as we approach our evaluation period for waitlisted candidates in early-to-mid April. This also allows the applicant to get a sense of their status at other law schools and where a potential offer of admission from NDLS may compare.
A LOCI can include your motivation for law as a career, your particular interest in Notre Dame for your legal education, and/or any new or significant information that speaks to your potential. Please forward these materials in PDF format to to email@example.com. Be sure to include your name and LSAC number on any documents sent to this email address.
How often should I send updates?
Other than keeping the Admissions Office updated on recent contact information, test scores, and transcripts, all updates are optional and at the applicants’ discretion. The number of updates that a student submits will not alter their consideration from the waitlist.
Will I be considered for merit scholarship if admitted from the waitlist?
Yes, the Admissions Committee will consider admits from our waitlist for merit-based scholarship based on the availability of funds at that particular time. More information is available in our Tuition & Aid section.
Is there anything else I should do in anticipation of an offer of admission?
If you expect to rely on loan assistance to finance your legal education, please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please list Notre Dame on the FAFSA (code 001840).
Should I visit campus to demonstrate my interest in NDLS?
Please know that it is highly likely that the University and Law School will continue to restrict visitors to campus during the Spring 2021 semester. The Office of Admissions will host Zoom information sessions for waitlisted candidates during the Spring 2021 semester. Information about those programs will be listed on our Visit page as they are scheduled.
Even during “normal times,” applicants who visit campus are not more likely to receive an offer of admission from the waitlist. We have encouraged applicants to view the purpose of their visit as for their own research on NDLS and potential fit here.
I have just been offered a seat in the class, how long do I have to make a decision?
The amount of time a student has to make a decision will depend upon when the offer is made. If an offer is made in April/May, the student will typically have about a week to make your enrollment decision. If the offer is made later in the summer, may have as little as two business days to make a decision. If the offer is made closer to orientation, you may have even less time to make a decision. The length of these decision timelines is dictated by the reality that the Admissions Committee may require additional time to fill a seat if the newly admitted student opts to decline their offer.
Will housing still be available?
What if I want to transfer or reapply to NDLS?
Notre Dame Law School welcomes transfer applications and reapplications. Please visit our Transfer Admissions Process page on our website for detailed information on submitting a transfer application. The transfer application is available starting in February and open through June.
We would be happy to discuss these application processes with individual applicants, especially those who have received a waitlist decision. Please contact our office to connect with an admissions counselor.
Can I defer a spot until next year?
If your plans to enroll in the coming year change because of a personal/professional opportunity and if you know that NDLS is the institution from which you would like to receive your legal education, we would be happy to discuss with you the option of receiving an offer of admission now and postponing your enrollment into the subsequent year’s class.
Please know that we treat deferrals as binding - we will hold your seat and scholarship (if applicable) for the next year’s class and you will promise not to apply to other law schools and to maintain a good character and fitness record.
If you do not know if this is the right path to take, please be in touch with our office. We would be happy to discuss your options with you.
Please also know that students who postpone may not alter their plans so that they may instead enroll in the present year’s class.