End of cycle update:
At the end of the day, I'm going to my dream school, from both the start of my cycle and (now that I've seen it) the end of it. After my SLS visit, I decided to withdraw from the HLS and YLS waitlists, and didn't hesitate to put down my deposit.
It's been a fun ride. In the end, 15 acceptances, 2 waitlists, and 0 rejections. I've gotten tons of great advice from folks here (and even some of TLS), so I'd love to pay that forward if you have any questions!
Berkeley is a combo need/merit scholarship. SLS (though not posted) is only need-based.
I withdrew from Duke, NYU, Northwestern, Georgetown, and Vanderbilt before they sent scholarship notifications.
Columbia and Boalt rejected my matching requests, as did Chicago (though they gave me an extra $15,000 a few weeks after I withdrew).
From the Beginning:
Short-term goal is litigation, preferably at the appellate level. Clinic work and faculty-student research are important to me, as I'm considering academia in the future (though I understand how much of a shit-shoot that is). Interesting, complex litigation would make me a happy camper post-graduation.
9.25: In at Duke (Priority Track), JD/LLM program. Going to law school next year!
10.27: In at UT-Austin. Scholarship is in-state tuition plus $9500 a year. Not too shabby!
10.30: Good news from Georgetown. Nice note from Dean Cornblatt about my debate background and thesis. Very nice touch.
11.11: Call from Cordel Faulk at UVA. Surprised to get one this early, but super excited! UVA's Supreme Court clinic is a phenomenal program, and Charlottesville is a really fun town.
11.21: In at Vanderbilt via ginormous package. Impressed by their focus on their faculty, though sad they don't have a tenured or tenure-track sexuality/gender scholar.
12.2: Able to log into the Michigan Admitted Students site today! In at 2 of my (realistic) top 3 schools before Christmas [Mich and UVA]. Really shocked, feeling incredibly lucky.
12.3: Another big day, accepted at UIUC with a full tuition scholarship! It's the lowest ranked school on my list, but guaranteed full tuition is pretty great.
12.4: What a week! Got a call from Dean Tom at Berkeley today, and I'm in! Wahoooooo!!! A little worried about the tuition hikes, but it's Berkeley. A non-graded environment is really tempting.
For anyone curious, my Berkeley PS was the exact same 2-pager I sent elsewhere.
12.5: Got home from teaching and found out I was accepted at NYU!! Wacky. This cycle has been really kind to me, and it's only December. I'm getting spoiled with a decision per day for the past 4 days.
12.7: Visited Duke Law today. Loved the building, and had a great meeting with Prof. McAllaster of the AIDS Legal Project. I had a few lackluster interactions though, and left thinking that I wouldn't be attending Duke.
12.8: Accepted at Minnesota via phone call. Spoke to Nick Wallace briefly; he said a significant scholarship was en route, so that's pretty cool. They're also going to pay for me to visit, which is awesome.
12.9: Visited UVA today. Fell in love. Met with a couple of students, had lunch with Admissions folk, etc. Could completely see myself in Charlottesville for 3 years.
12.14: Received my Minnesota package, which is just more than a full-ride (by out-of-state standards).
12.16: Formally withdrew from Georgetown and Vanderbilt this evening.
12.17: Holy shit, In at Stanford! Missed a call from Dean Deal, just got the email. When the voicemail started "Hi Adam, this is Faye Deal from Stanford Law School," I freaked out a little bit. SLS has been my top choice (or tied for it, with YLS) since I started thinking about law school. I thought it was nothing more than a pipe dream. In utter, complete disbelief.
12.18: JUST noticed that my admission at Michigan is for summer-start, rather than in the Fall. Sort of surprised, but it's not a deal-breaker for me. Really wish they paid to visit during ASW.
12.19: Got my package from SLS today. Lovely little note from Dean Deal; hell, the t-shirt was even my size! It's real now.
Time for more withdrawals, though. Second wave: Illinois, Minnesota (pains me to pass up two full rides, though), UT-Austin, Duke, UCLA, and NYU.
12.29: Got the call from Jamie Cavanaugh at UChicago today, and I'm in! So excited. Chicago was my top choice out of CCN, so it's nice to have a T6 around if I don't like Stanford when I visit. Should be a fun ASW in early April.
1.6: "Held" at Harvard, encouraged to update my file. The slightly-more confident applicant in me thinks this means, "we like you, but can't yet absorb your below-25th LSAT. Let's see if we can later." I doubt I'll update, since I don't think I'd attend H over Stanford, but I don't see what harm it could do.
1.19: Dean's Scholarship at Michigan; $45,000 total. About what I expected money-wise, seeing the amounts other folks were getting. Definitely not enough to pull me away from SLS, Berk or Chicago, though, when combined with the offer being for Summer Start. Will withdraw.
Also got a personalized letter from Dean Kramer at Stanford today. They don't really need to sell themselves, but they're doing a damn good job.
1.25: In at Columbia! Shocked the mail got to Colorado this quickly. Really excited; can't even begin to believe that I swept the CCN tier.
14-for-14 thus far. Insanity.
It's now down to 5: Stanford, Chicago/Columbia, Berkeley, UVA; in that order. Still waiting to hear from Yale and Harvard.
1.27: Booked my plane tickets for ASWs at Columbia (April 7-8), Chicago (April 8-10) and Stanford (April 17-19). Also going to visit Berkeley during the week before SLS while in the Bay Area. Very exciting!
2.1: Harvard LOCI sent; extra LOR has been received by them as well.
2.9: Was contacted 3 separate times by NYU yesterday (email, 2 phone calls). Weird, since I withdrew over two months ago. Re-withdrew today. Let's see if it sticks this time.
2.16: In sort-of law school news, I've been named a semi-finalist for the Point Foundation scholarship, the major LGBTQ scholarship in the US. Won't know until May, but I'm excited to have made it this far! It would essentially pay for almost all of my law degree, so it'd be huge.
2.18: In at Northwestern via their cryptic "check your status" email.
2.20: Giant box of goodies from Columbia. Really intrigued by their Gender and Sexuality Clinic, and excited to visit. They're solidifying themselves as a real option if I hate Stanford.
2.25: Woke up to an email from Cordel Faulk at UVA, asking me to call because he had "wonderful news." $75,000 Dean's Scholarship. I really loved my visit at UVA, and would probably take significant money there over Chicago. I don't think it can pull me from Stanford though.
3.8: Mostly quiet for about 2 weeks now...Decided to withdraw from Northwestern today.
3.18: Withdrew tonight from Columbia and UVA. Both were a little painful: I loved Virginia when I visited, and their admissions office is phenomenal. I would be very happy at Columbia. What they do well, however, it seems SLS does better.
It's down to SLS and Chicago; with HLS and YLS still pending.
3.24: Sweet jesus, I just got my financial aid award from SLS. A little over $30,000/year in fellowship assistance. Out of control. I feel like I just got a "law school half off" coupon. And I intend to use it :)
4.3: Found a 17,000 per year grant on my Berkeley financial aid page. Withdrawing tomorrow, since I'm not going to consider them even with a match of SLS (and then some).
4.5: Sent my withdrawal notice to Harvard today, via snail mail (since they don't accept updates via email). If I get a JR1 before it gets there, I'll be declining it, though 7 months in I doubt that's going to happen :)
4.10: Just finished my visit to Chicago. The faculty really is incredible (even if they were housed by the students in trivia) and the other admits were fantastic. Current students...not so much (though some were wonderful). Definitely got the feel that it's not right for me, which makes my decision all the easier.
I can almost see the end of the tunnel, after seven intense but exciting months.
4.15: Waitlisted at Yale. Kinda cool, still no rejections and all. I'm not too upset about it :)
4.16: Withdrew from Chicago.
4.17: Waitlisted at Harvard during my tour of Stanford's full campus.
4.18: Deposited at Stanford! This is truly the only place I can see myself both socially and intellectually, and I've had nothing but incredibly interactions this weekend with faculty, current students, and other admits.
4.19: My cycle is over. 15 acceptances, 2 waitlists, and 0 rejections. w00t.
4.26 (belated update): After withdrawing, and being told I wouldn't get a scholarship match, UofC upped my scholarship by $5,000 per year. Kindly reiterated my withdrawal.
5.12 (belated update, part deux): Ended up getting into one of H/Y off the waitlist earlier this week. Decided to stay put here at Stanford. Very pleased to be able to make the choice I always wanted to make, between my two dream schools. Ultimately, Stanford was the clear choice for me.