When Something Goes Wrong
In 2010, 58,000 people were admitted to law school; only 48,000 attended. (Data published by LSAC.) What happened to the other 10,000?
If you want a different school:
Start by seeing whether your GPA and LSAT score were within the range the school seems to be accepting. LSAC publishes this data for you, and we tell you all about it right here. If the school publishes a numerical grid, apply only if the school admitted 25% or more people with your numbers. (If you're a minority, you can try some schools where your chances are as low as 10%, so long as you also include some schools where you have a greater chance.
Even if you retake the LSAT and get a higher score, your chance of getting in at a school that took 5% with your numbers is no better then it was last year, because your other ("soft") factors are no better than they were.
you're going to get into a school with the same percent chance of admission as you did last year.
If your finances need adjusting:
If your family needs a better plan:
Most issues -- child care, housing for the Doberman, selling the house, finding a caretaker for the parents -- can be dealt with between March and July, even if it's not the best solution. But face it, the best schools have five year wait lists, and sitting out a year won't help.
Other problems may require a longer remedy. The most notorious are health insurance and medical treatment. People headed for law school have suddenly found that if they move out of state their insurance doesn't move with them. If an ongoing medical condition requires that treatment not lapse, this can be an absolute deal-breaker.
Before giving up on law school, examine your resources. Call the school; it may have dealt with a similar problem. Check with insurance carriers, nursing homes, and other large institutions; they may have branches in other cities.
If you've done all this and still can't find an answer, fate may not have planned for you to attend law school just now. Tell yourself that life isn't just a bowl of cherries, you can't mix apples and oranges, if life deals you lemons make lemonade, and settle for a fruit salad. It's not like you have a choice.
Oho, you don't want to settle, eh? Then rethink what's keeping you out of a law school that you are otherwise able to attend. LSAT? Go fix it. Arrest record of some sort? Realize that your penalty didn't end with your probation, and decide what you can do to prove that you've reformed. Husband who won't move? Lysistrata had an answer to that.
If you must address emotional issues:
"Afraid to go," although usually veiled by other comments like "not ready to sell our home," is a perfectly valid issue. Voyages into the unknown were fun to Ferdinand Magellan and Henry Hudson, but they both died while adventuring.
But fear need not be a final decision; it can be counsel to plan more thoroughly. Maybe going off before your spouse has a job isn't a great idea; and maybe your spouse could work at McD's 'till a better job comes along. A trip to the locale of the law school -- a visit of a week or more, if this is your final choice -- can alleviate fears by providing solutions.
Some fears are insurmountable and others can be circumnavigated. You can't go to law school if you're agoraphobic, but you might be able to attend a law school elsewhere if you're afraid of snakes.
If the emotional issue that needs addressing is your refusal to give up a dream of lawyering, consider a different path. There are a number of summer head start programs.