FAQ for Students on Hold

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


What does it mean to be placed on "hold"?

The Admissions Committee has completed its review of your application. While we are unable to provide an offer of admission at this time, the Admissions Committee was impressed with your accomplishments and found certain aspects of your application to be compelling. Therefore, the Committee does not want to deny you outright from consideration. If your application is on "hold" you are still under consideration for a seat in the entering class and your application may be re-evaluated at any time.

Are there spaces available and what are my chances for admission?

We anticipate admitting some candidates who have been placed on hold. The applicant pool varies each year so we cannot predict exactly how many candidates will be placed on hold or how many applicants will be offered admission after being placed on hold. Because candidates on hold are not placed in ranked order, we are unable to assess an individual applicant’s chances for admission.

What can I do if I am still interested in attending Northwestern and wish to enhance my chances for admission?

As stated in your decision letter, we will accept letters of continued interest or additional letters of recommendation. You should also notify us of any job promotions, honors, or other accolades you have received since submitting your application. All new information should be submitted electronically via email to admissions@law.northwestern.eduIf you have earned new grades, official transcripts should be sent to LSAC so we can receive an updated CAS report with this information. 

Can I submit additional writing samples or information about myself?

The Admissions Committee has devised four optional questions for applicants on hold. Throughout the application process we learned a lot about your ambition, motivation for law school, academic abilities, and career goals. The purpose of these optional assignments is to learn more about you as a person.

Instructions on how to access your online Hold Portfolio were sent to you via email. If you did not receive this email or lost it, contact the Admissions Office at admissions@law.northwestern.edu. You will submit the answers to the optional questions through your Hold Portfolio.

Because these are optional, you may choose to submit none, one, two, three, or all of them. However, you may only submit one response (either written essay or video) to each question you choose to answer. If you choose to write a written essay response, plese limit your response to each question to 750 words. Your name and LSAC number should appear in the top right hand corner of the first page. If you choose to submit a video response, please limit your response for each question to no more than a 6 minute video. You should begin the video by stating your name, LSAC number, and the essay question you will be answering.

Does being placed on the summer waiting list impact my ability to receive a scholarship or grant?

All grants and scholarships at Northwestern Law are determined based on a combination of merit and need-based factors and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. At this point of the year, it is unlikely that additional funds will become available; however, our Financial Aid Office can compile a loan profile package for you if you are admitted. Should you be offered admission, please keep an eye out on your emails to ensure you have all the information to make an informed decision. Please visit our financial aid section for more information.

How do I remove myself from consideration?

Please complete our Hold Response Form, which is also linked to in your decision letter. 

Whom should I contact if I still have questions?

If you have remaining questions or concerns about the hold process, please call us at (312) 503-8465 or email at admissions@law.northwestern.edu. As stated in your decision letter, we have designated Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. CST to answer your questions. Our Admissions Staff will be happy to assist you.