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How Much Does Submitting Applications on the First Day Help?

Typically, law schools start accepting applications anywhere from the end of August to the beginning of October. Because there’s so much emphasis on applying early to take advantage of law schools’ rolling admissions policies, some students feel that they need to apply on the first day applications become available. Will you really give yourself an advantage by submitting on the first day?
 
In our opinion, while it’s best to apply early, you don’t need to apply on the first day. After all, there’s not much reason to. Law school admissions officers are often away from their desks in August and September (attending various recruiting events, talking with prospective students, and facilitating law school panels), so your application is unlikely to get an immediate review anyhow.
 

What’s our advice instead?

Take a couple of extra weeks to perfect your personal statement, resume, optional essays, and addendum. Turning applications in at the earliest opportunity could compromise the quality of your materials. It’s best to give admissions officers something to read that you can really stand behind, rather than turn in mediocre materials on the first day.
 
Looking for advice on how to clean up your personal statement? Check out our post here.
 

What about the “early advantage”?

It’s true that students who apply on the first day will have their files reviewed before other students. However, don’t worry that you won’t get the benefits of applying early by not submitting on the first day. As long as your materials are in before the end of November, you’ll still be considered an early applicant.
 

What about Early Decision and Early Notification?

Our advice still stands even if you plan to apply to schools Early Decision or Early Notification. Most early deadlines fall between November 1 and November 15, so even schools that offer these options don’t anticipate that students will be submitting applications on the first day.
 
 

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