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Law School Application Deadlines: Your Guide

August 25, 2023
8 min read
Contents

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Reviewed by:

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 08/03/23

Navigating law school application deadlines can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be. This article will provide you with all the information you’ll need in order to feel informed so that you can apply to your dream schools in a timely manner. 

If you are considering applying to law school, you will likely find yourself wondering when most law school application deadlines? And, while we would love it if there was one universal designated application period, the real answer is that law school application deadlines vary depending on the schools you’re applying to. 

We’ve compiled a list of admissions deadlines for the country’s top law schools to help you keep track of these deadlines and coordinate when you need to apply. 

We have also added a helpful FAQ section at the end to answer a few potential questions you may have about different law schools and their application deadlines.

Top 50 Law School Application Deadlines

From Ivy to non-Ivy colleges, there are a myriad of law schools across the country. As a result, tracking their application deadlines can be overwhelming. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled the admissions deadlines for the top 50 law schools, according to U.S. News:

Rank Law School Name Early Admission
Deadline
Regular Admissions Deadline
1. Stanford University Law School N/A February 15th
Yale University Law School N/A February 15th
3. University of Chicago Law School December 1st March 1st
4. University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School (Pen Carey Law) September 1st March 1st
5. Duke University Law School November 4th February 15th
Harvard University Law School N/A February 1st
New York University School of Law November 15th February 15th
8. Columbia University Law School November 15th February 15th
University of Virginia School of Law N/A March 1st
10. Northwestern University (Pritzker) Law School November 15th February 15th
University of California - Berkeley Law November 15th February 15th
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) - Michigan Law School November 15th February 28th
27. Boston University School of Law November 10th April 30th
University of Notre Dame Law School N/A March 15th
29. Boston College - Boston College Law School November 1st March 31st
Fordham University - Fordham School of Law October 15th March 15th
Texas A&M University School of Law December 5th May 31st

As you can tell from the table above, law school deadlines for regular admissions tend to fall within the first three to four months of the year. 

There are, however, many high-ranking law schools that offer late application deadlines or accept applications on a rolling basis, so be sure to check your university’s or universities’ admissions page to familiarize yourself with their individualized application timeline. 

Something else to consider when researching law school application deadlines is to look for an early application date. Most of the law schools listed above offer early application for those students who are eager and ready to apply. 

There are some real perks to applying early. Not only does an early application look good but it could be interpreted as proof of your desire, determination, and organizational skills. 

That being said, applying early is not a requirement for law school, so if you are unable to submit your law school package before the regular deadline, don’t worry. 

When Is Too Late to Apply to Law School?

A student writing

Now, you may be wondering, but when is there a time when it is truly too late to apply to law school? 

Well, let’s say you find yourself in this common predicament. The new year has come and gone, and you haven’t submitted your application to your dream school; does this mean you’ve missed the chance to apply to your law schools of choice? The answer is: that depends on the schools. 

Most law schools begin accepting applications in the fall, typically between August and September, with some schools accepting as late as October. Schools like Stanford Law or Yale have strict application deadlines, while others accept applications on a rolling basis, like Georgetown University Law, for example. 

All this means is that, depending on the law schools you are interested in, you may have some flexibility during your application process. Be sure to check your law school’s admissions page to learn their exact deadlines and to see if they accept late applications. 

It is important to remember that punctuality is an ideal quality for a potential lawyer. However, schools and admissions teams understand that life gets hectic and not everyone can submit their application early. Try not to worry too much if you have to submit later than your originally planned. 

Plus, quality over quantity or, in this case, timing. If you have to apply as a late submission but it means your application will be substantially better than that is the better choice.  

If you have questions about a school’s timeline or need clarification on due date expectations, don’t be afraid to reach out to the school’s admissions team. Connecting with an admissions officer is also a great way to introduce yourself, make potentially useful connections, or ask for advice or guidance during your law school application journey. 

Finally, remember that these law schools want you to be a good fit for their program, so take advantage of the resources they have to offer. 

FAQs: Law School Application Deadlines

You may still have some unanswered questions about law school application deadlines. Don’t fret! Below we have answered some of the more common questions students ask when they begin to think about applying to law school. 

1. When Should I Apply to Law School for Fall 2023?

When it comes to applying to law school, a good general rule to follow is: the earlier, the better. Since fall 2023 is just around the corner, we recommend applying as soon as possible; the longer you wait, the more competitive the application process becomes. 

That being said, many law schools do accept submissions on a rolling basis, so check your school’s admissions page to learn if you are still eligible to apply for the fall. 

2. Is Applying to Law School in January Too Late?

It is not too late to apply to law school in January. Even though most law schools tend to begin accepting applications in the fall for the next year, applying in January does not mean you will be rejected or considered ineligible. 

In fact, many schools now assess applications on a rolling basis, so depending on the competitiveness of the school, a January application could be more than acceptable. 

3. When Are Most Law School Application Deadlines?

Most law school application deadlines tend to be in February or March, with some even being as late as April or May. 

While it is not a bad thing to submit your application for the final deadline, we do recommend aiming to submit your application by your school’s early submission date. Check your school’s admissions page to learn when they begin accepting applications and what their early application window is. 

4. Are There Law Schools With Late Application Deadlines?

Yes, there are many prestigious law schools with late application deadlines, though these dates do vary per institution. This means that you will need to check your school’s admissions page to learn what your options are for application submission.

Final Thoughts

While most law school application deadlines tend to fall within the first few months of the new year, many schools do offer late application dates or accept applications on a rolling basis. 

The longer you wait to apply, the more students you will be competing against for a spot in that program. It is for this reason that, to maximize your chances of acceptance, we recommend aiming to apply by your school’s early admissions deadline. Early admission typically opens sometime in August or September, and occasionally even as late as October, and closes early November. 

We understand that navigating due dates can be stressful, but it does not have to be. Knowing your school’s due dates will allow you to submit your application package or, if you are applying to several law schools, packages in an organized and timely manner. By being proactive and organized, you are increasing the likelihood of submitting an application package you’re proud of.

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