A LOCI is a Letter of Continued Interest, usually sent to inform a school that you are still interested in attending despite being waitlisted or put on hold. It also offers an opportunity to update the school on new developments in your application.
At this time of year, we are often asked about LOCIs for law schools. Let's recap when they should be sent, what you should say, and how you should send your letter.
Why send a LOCI?
When you are waitlisted or held, a school typically wants to make sure you are still interested. Thus, a LOCI is your opportunity to convey that you still want to attend despite not having been directly admitted.
Will the LOCI make a difference?
It can. If you fail to send a LOCI, or send a poorly written one, you are telling the school that your interest isn't that high, which will lower your chances. On the other hand, a well-written LOCI that reaffirms your strong desire to attend and also adds new information to your application can send a strong signal that you are still interested. Since yields are so important to schools, that can raise your chances.
When should you send a LOCI?
A LOCI is typically sent in response to a specific action by the school, so you should send the LOCI fairly soon after receiving notice; do not wait a month. However, you should not send a LOCI until you receive some sort of notification that requires action—in other words, don't send a LOCI just because your app is under consideration but you haven't heard anything in a while. Schools can take a long time to make decisions, and no news does not equal bad news. Constantly contacting the admissions office can be seen as pestering, and no one wants that image.
Note that this advice does not apply if some sort of event has occurred that changes your application status. For example, if you just received a new, higher LSAT score, there's no harm in letting the school know that and at the same time stating that you remain strongly interested. The same would be true if you sent a thank you note for a great interview or school visit.
How do you format and submit a LOCI?
Your LOCI can be written in letter form or as a standard statement, but you must put your identifying information in the document (name and CAS number at a minimum, and preferably address and contact info as well if you have room), and should be dated as well. The easiest method is to create a Word document, and then PDF that document to preserve the formatting (Word can sometimes lose basic formatting if different versions are used in the admissions office).
What should you say?
There are a number of points that you can make, many of which are covered by our friends at Spivey Consulting in their excellent article at: How to write a letter of continued interest. But be sure to include the following:
- A reminder of where you in the process, such as "I am currently on the waitlist at Amazing U..."
- A direct statement that you are still interested in attending. If the school is your top choice or if you'll attend if admitted at any time, say so. The more committed to the school you are, the stronger your case for admission.
- Provide any relevant updates to your application (new LSAT score, new achievement, school visit, promotion, etc). In other words, if you have new info that would strengthen your app, let them know!
- Discuss any relationship or interaction with the school you have that might not have come up before (but do not repeat yourself or other portions of the application). For example, if you recently visited the school and attended classes, and later spoke with professors who impressed you, there's no harm in mentioning that. It shows you are serious about the school, and perhaps one of the profs made note of you.
Have any questions or comments? Please post them below!
Image: Ice Spiral, courtesy of Samuel John.