Your future is ahead of you, and now is the time to grab it. Over the next few weeks, law schools will begin releasing their Fall 2008 applications. Most law schools start accepting applications September 1, and almost every law school operates on a “rolling admissions” system.
What does this mean? Law schools give away seats throughout the year. There are more seats available at the beginning of the cycle when law schools aren’t sure they’ll be able to fill their class, and there are fewer seats available once the law school has already reviewed thousands of applications. Makes sense, right?
Even if a school says they accept applications through June, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to apply in the spring. They keep their options open to let in that person with the 175 LSAT and 3.9 GPA and stellar record; it’s not for the mid-range or reach applicants.
That being said, do you need to apply on the first possible day? No. Should you? No. And here’s why:
1. Law school admission officers are off recruiting people to apply to their law school; they aren’t spending their time in September reviewing very many files.
2. The office is still getting up to speed on its processes; data clerks are learning, changes are being implemented, LSDAS is trying new things. Let them work out the kinks a bit instead of experimenting on your file.
3. I’d rather see you take a few extra weeks, make sure you’re submitting a quality product rather than a rushed one, and get the application submitted in October.
I consider any application submitted by the first week of November to be sufficiently early to take advantage of rolling admissions.
And any application submitted after the first of January is begging to be a wait list candidate….