How Binding is “Binding Early Decision”?

Law School Expert Blog

“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.

4 Responses

  1. Hello and thank you for this post.

    I was wondering if you could provide some insight on my particular situation.

    I applied to a school in the Top 6 with binding ED with my first LSAT score (June 2016) for this cycle. All the schools are waiting for my 2nd LSAT score (Sept. 2016) before rendering a decision. I suspect that I may have done considerably better on my 2nd LSAT to warrant a position in the Top 3. How should I proceed?

    My fear is that I would be accepted at top 3 school (all of which I would love to attend) but would have to withdraw my app because the school in the T6 would accept me and make it binding.

    My two options, it seems, are to withdraw the ED now before my new score comes in and risk it. Or, wait till the day of my score and then withdraw it before the law school can accept me and thus making the ED binding.

    Or option three, ride it out and decide to may even break the ED after I know that both schools accept me?

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