Thursday, September 6, 2007

Early Decision Deadlines for Law Schools

Some of my clients are already submitting law school applications. Most schools made them available September 1st although there are a few hold-outs. One of the first decisions you'll have to make after solidifying your schools list is whether to apply under an Early Decision program.

The rule with Early Decision applications is that this is a binding agreement you are making with the school; if admitted, you will attend that school and withdraw all applications from other schools. In return, you will receive your admission decision a little bit faster (usually before Winter Break). The caveat is that in many cases your application will simply be "deferred" until the "regular" admissions cycle. But Early Decision is a great option for that school that you know, no matter what, you would attend.

Most schools with an Early Decision option have deadlines in November. Here are a smattering of schools and their Early Decision deadlines. (Please keep in mind that you should check each school's deadline and Early Decision information independently and not rely solely on this list). Also, please take note that for most schools applications must be complete by this date and not merely submitted by this date.
American 11/14
Case Western 11/15
Chicago 12/1
U. Cincinnati 12/1
Columbia 11/15
Georgetown 11/1
Hofstra 12/1
Houston 11/1
Indiana 11/30
Kent (Chicago) 11/1
Michigan 11/15
Missouri 11/15
NYU 11/15
Northwestern 12/1 (interview by 11/15)
Notre Dame 11/1
Ohio State 11/14
Pace 11/3
Texas Tech 11/1

And here's an independent list I found online of early decision deadlines at top law schools. (But beware - it's from 2006-2007)


  1. With undergraduate admissions there is always the mindset that ED is helpful for "on the border" candidates. For law admissions, do you feel that ED helps those who might be cutting it close?

    My personal situation is a 162/3.64, looking at Illinois College of Law. My scores make me competitive, with the GPA higher than the median, but LSAT slightly below.


    -Nervous undergrad

  2. Assuming you are talking about the U. Of Illinois, then you sound (on the numbers) like someone who is a good candidate for Early Decision.
    If this is the school you absolutely want to attend, then I do think applying ED is a good idea for you. The U of Illinois web site states you won't receive additional consideration for scholarships based on this status, but that's ok.
    Thanks for writing and please let me know if I can be of any help to you.

  3. hey i graduated from Penn State but low low GPA with a 168 LSAT any ideas of schools i should apply too? i dont care if i have to relocate. is ED a better option for me?

  4. I can't give specific schools advice anonymously on the blog format because I just don't know enough about you to tell you anything useful. If you're interested in an initial consultation, please contact me through Part of the work I do with my clients is help them come up with a schools list and decide whether/where to pursue Early Decision applications.

  5. I would like to go to the University of Missouri law next fall. I am currently a student there, but my scores are a bit low for the school (gpa 3.65, lsat 155, though I have good LORs and lots of internships/work/volunteer experience). Would you recommend applying early decision? What would be chances be during regular admission?

  6. If it's absolutely where you want to attend, then apply ED. You're in the running!

  7. Thanks for the advice! Your blog has been so helpful and fun to read.

    - Stephanie

  8. what happens if the school who accepts you on early decision does not give a financial package that lets you go there and another does?

    how binding is it?

  9. Jill, that's part of the risk of applying binding early decision.... If you have questions about this, you should call the admission office of the law school where you plan to apply ED.

  10. I am considering your services regarding revising essays and statements, I currently have a 150/3.5 GPA and I graduated with 5 majors from a Private School. I've had extensive research and teaching experiences with 3 very very strong recommendation letters. What can I do to really get into a T30 school? I've applied last year with weak recs and a 1 hr written statement, but I think it's primarily because of my LSAT score. I am thinking about reapplying for ED this year, what do you think?

  11. Dear Anonymous, I am happy to provide free initial consultations to anyone considering using my services. You can email me to set up a time. I look forward to hearing from you.

  12. Hi, I would like to also see what kind of advice you have for the latest post by anonymous, can you possibly post your suggestions? THANK YOU!

  13. What are your thoughts?

    3.68 GPA (3.73 upon graduation this December)
    160 LSAT
    Major: BM

    However, I used to be an opera singer and I had one year off during my undergraduate studies due to vocal nodules that forced me to take time away from my school.

    ED UCLA for Entertainment Law?

  14. Lisa, thanks for writing. I can't assess someone's chances for admission through the blog format but feel free to contact me for an initial consultation if that interests you.

  15. i accidentally applied early to a law school which is very low on my list and got in. now i am technically bound to go there, but i dont want to. i emailed the school explaining the situation (i never filled in the necessary contract), what do you think will happen?



  16. You never filled in the contract? Or did submitting and checking the box constitute a signature? Keep us posted on what happens...THis is why it's so important to be careful before submitting applications, but it's a good problem to have!

  17. no there is a necessary contract that can be sent in by as late as december 1st. i told them i have no intentions on filling it out (politely of course) and am waiting their response. my mom hates me right now