FAQs for Applicants on the Waitlist

In an effort to address concerns you may have about the admissions process from this point forward, the Office of Admissions has created responses for the following list of frequently asked questions.  We understand the time and effort you have invested in your application and we hope this information will be helpful.  We sincerely appreciate your patience and continuing interest in Northwestern Pritzker School of Law's unique learning community.


What does it mean to be placed on the Waitlist?

While we are unable to provide an offer of admission at this time, the Admissions Committee is impressed with your accomplishments and found certain aspects of your application to be compelling.  Therefore, the Committee does not wish to deny your application outright.

How do I respond to the Waitlist decision?

If you wish to remain on the Waitlist, please submit the Waitlist Response Form.  For more information about the Waitlist process, please review the information and guidance in the following sections.  

Alternatively, should you wish to withdraw your application from consideration, please contact us.  Our staff will update your application status accordingly.   

Are there spaces available in the entering class at this point?

We anticipate admitting some candidates who have been placed on the Waitlist.  However, the applicant pool varies each year and we cannot predict exactly how many candidates will be offered admission from the Waitlist. 

Is the Waitlist ranked and what are my chances for admission?

Because the Committee evaluates a host of criteria for admission as we develop our class each year, we do not rank candidates on the Waitlist.  As such, it is impossible for the Committee to determine an individual applicant's chances for admission. 

What is the timeline for the Waitlist?

We maintain the Waitlist throughout the summer months and we may make offers of admission to candidates as late as the first week of classes.  We recognize that you may be balancing your Waitlist status at Northwestern Law with offers of admission at other law schools.  Accordingly, we appreciate your understanding during this uncertain time. 

What can I do if I am still interested in attending Northwestern Law and I wish to further build my application?

Waitlisted applicants are welcome to submit certain documents.  These materials will be included in your application file and will be available for the Committee to review as the admission cycle continues. 

Please submit the following documents via LSAC:

  • Additional letters of recommendation (Please note: your CAS report will hold a total of four letters.)
  • Updated official transcripts

Please submit the following documents via email and as a PDF attachment to admissions@law.northwestern.edu:

  • Letter of continuing interest
  • Updated resume with new accomplishments
  • Notice of any job promotions, honors, or other accolades you have received since submitting your application. 

How may I discuss my interest in Northwestern Law with the Admissions Committee? 

The Admissions Committee has prepared an online interview and written essay campaign for applicants who have been placed on the Waitlist.  Through the application process, we learned about your motivation for law school, academic abilities, and career goals.  Our online Waitlist campaign will enable you to demonstrate your personal qualities and the possible contributions you may bring to Northwestern Law. 

We have sent you an email invitation with instructions on accessing the Waitlist campaign, which consists of a few online video questions and written essay questions.  Your responses should be submitted through our online Waitlist platform. 

What if I previously completed an interview (e.g., on-campus, online video, or off-campus/alumni) as part of my original application to the JD program?

Thank you for completing an interview during the application process!  The Admissions Committee valued the opportunity to learn about you through that interview.  While the Waitlist campaign employs the same platform as our traditional online video interview, it offers additional questions.  Furthermore, the Waitlist campaign includes two written questions.  We encourage you to participate in the online Waitlist campaign because we are confident it will enable you to further build upon your candidacy.  

Is there a deadline to complete the online Waitlist campaign?

No; there isn't a deadline.  That said, please recall that your responses to the Waitlist campaign will be incorporated with your application file.  Furthermore, the Admissions Committee will be returning to the Waitlist at various points during the coming weeks.  For these reasons, we recommend that you build your file with the Waitlist campaign at your earliest convenience.

Does being placed on the Waitlist impact my ability to receive a scholarship?

All scholarship awards at Northwestern Law are based upon a combination of merit and need-based factors.  Furthermore, scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  If you are offered admission from the Waitlist, your ability to receive a scholarship will depend upon the time of year as well as the availability of funds.  Please visit our financial aid section for more information.

What should I do if I still have questions?

If you have remaining questions or concerns about the Waitlist process, please call us at (312) 503-8465.  As stated in your decision letter, we have designated Wednesdays between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm CDT to field your calls.  You may also email your Waitlist-related questions to: admissions@law.northwestern.edu at any time.  Our admissions staff will be happy to assist you.