Stand Out in Law School Admissions: Submit Your Apps Early

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November 15, two days from now, is widely regarded as the deadline for early law school admission application submissions. If you took the October LSAT, already have your LSAT score, and have submitted all the items necessary to complete your applications (letters of recommendation, personal statement, etc) then good on you. Your application will be considered shortly and you should have an answer from your most-desired schools in the near future. If you are not yet ready to submit your applications, then you needn’t fret…yet.

That said, you should do everything you can to get your law school applications in on or before Thanksgiving. It seems that everyone applying to law school uses those couple extra days in November to bust their butts and complete their law school applications. As you may or may not know, law schools review applications on a rolling basis. That is, applications get evaluated as they are received. If you are slightly below the median GPA or LSAT score for a given school, it would behoove you to submit your application before all the other students in your situation do the same. The comparison will not redound to your benefit. Heck, even if your numbers are at or above the median for a given law school, it still couldn’t hurt to submit your application lickety split. You’ll stand out in the law school applicant pool that much more.

All of this said, the absolute latest you should have your law school applications in is Christmas. Any later than that and you risk being rejected due to a full applicant pool.

However, your risk gets smaller every year along with the size of the applicant pool. In other words, so long as the size of 1L classes stays the same, everyone’s chances of admission increase. Don’t let the favorable law school applicant statistics lull you into late submission. No matter what the numbers say, you will always be better off submitting your law school applications as early as possible. You’d rather compete for one of 100 seats than one of 20, right? Thought so.

Now get to finishing your law school personal statement. It’ll be a lot easier to enjoy your pumpkin pie when you know that you don’t have unfinished applications looming over your head.

3 Responses

  1. Steph says:

    While the article above is helpful, it makes those of us taking the December LSAT and applying this cycle feel worried and anxious.

    By saying the absolute latest we should submit is by Christmas, you are basically saying those of us applying as soon as the December LSAT score comes out (first week of January) are applying too late.

    • Hank says:

      Nope, just saying that it is to your advantage to get applications in by Christmas, not that it’s necessary. If you’re applying with a December LSAT score, you’re not applying too late; you’re just not applying at the most advantageous time. That’s why so many people take the June and October exams. Don’t overreact. Law schools will see plenty of December LSAT scores — even February scores. You’ll still have a tremendous chance for admission. The point of the post is to emphasize that in most cases there is an advantage to applying early — and the deadlines for doing so are fast approaching.

      • Chan says:

        I don’t think Steph is overreacting. It seems like the author of the article is, indeed, stating a requirement, although I’m sure his intention was to give sound advice that it would be advantageous to get in apps as early as possible. The statement, “…the absolute latest you should have your law school applications in is Christmas” doesn’t really give reassurance to those who are applying in January. Perhaps the author could have said something along the lines of, “I strongly encourage you to apply by Christmas for your own advantage,” readers like Steph or myself would not feel anxious.

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