“Exactly how binding is early decision?”
Thanks to Nathaniel for this great (and timely) question.
LSAC lists obligations of the law schools and obligations of law school applicants in the admission process, and one of the key obligations of a law school applicant is in regard to binding early decision programs. I urge all law school applicants to read this one-page fact sheet.
The bottom line is that, after June 15th, law schools will be able to see where you’ve submitted seat deposits. If a school sees that you have multiple deposits, the school enforce any policy it has with regard to withdrawing offers of admission.
My personal advice:
You’re entering a profession where your success will be based largely upon whether others regard you as being good for what you promise. It’s a little early to start playing games with your reputation. Plus, you’ll learn in law school that although it’s not against the law to break a contract, there are certain liabilities and downsides for breaching a contract. While a law school won’t send the police to cuff you, bring you to their campus, and make you pay the tuition, a law school very well might say “Nevermind” to your admission offer, as could the other school where you’ve submitted a deposit. Then where would you be? And would all of this trouble have been worth it?
For those of you applying for Fall 2010 admission and wondering about Early Decision admission to law school, this link should answer your questions.