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When to Apply to Law School

Thinking about when to apply to law school? Since most law schools practice rolling admissions, you should get your applications in as quickly as you can. What does that timeline look like?

When do applications become available?

Law schools typically open their applications anywhere from the end of August to the beginning of October. However, you can start preparing your applications during the summer by working on your resume, drafting your personal statement, and brainstorming who you’ll ask for letters of recommendation.

When are applications due?

The majority of law school applications are due between February 1 and June 1.

When do schools start making admissions decisions?

Admissions officers typically start reviewing files in October and November on a first-come, first-served basis. Getting your application in during September and October will mean that class spots will be readily available at the time your file is reviewed.

What if my application isn’t complete yet?

Despite the emphasis on timeliness, you should still pay attention to quality when submitting your materials. If it takes you an additional few weeks to polish up your resume and personal statement, do so before submitting them. You won’t impress an admissions officer with typos or grammatical errors in your application materials.
Delaying your application submission by a couple of weeks won’t really have much of an impact on admissions decisions, particularly when you’re still in the September-October timeframe. That said, LSAC makes a case for applying early even if you haven’t taken the LSAT yet.

What’s the impact of applying late?

Applying late in the cycle (i.e. in January, February, March, or later) could mean you’re competing for a class spot when that class is already full. Many schools already have students on waitlists by this time. If you’re applying late, make sure you have strong numbers backing you up. Law schools will be more forgiving of late applicants if those students’ numbers can help their class profiles.
Looking for more guidance on application timelines? Check out our post for undergrads here.

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