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Law School Application Timeline

January 3, 2024
8 min read
Contents

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Reviewed by:

David Merson

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

Reviewed: 8/1/23

Understanding the timeline for applying to law school and what’s required of you can make your journey to law school less stressful. Read on to learn about law school deadlines and more! 

When’s the best time to apply to law school? When should you take the LSAT and submit your applications? Our month-by-month timeline will answer all these questions and help you stay on track at every step.

Writing down key dates for law school application in calendar

The Law School Application Timeline: Month-by-Month

Although most law schools have rolling admissions, this application timeline can help you stay on task and meet various milestones. If you’re wondering when to apply to law school, read on. 

law school application timeline

March to April: School Research and Setting Up Your Summer

If you haven't compiled a list of your top law schools, you should start your school research now. You can compare and search for law schools using LSAC’s JD program guide. Inputting your undergraduate GPA and potential LSAT score can help filter your admission likelihood. 

April is an excellent time to request recommendation letters before the spring semester ends. You should also consider how you want to spend your summer; consider employment, volunteer opportunities, or internships to boost your profile. 

May: LSAT Preparation In Full Swing 

To be fully prepared to take the LSAT, you should study for at least three to four months. If you haven't taken the LSAT by the end of your junior year, preparing now should place you in good standing for the end of summer LSAT test dates. The LSAT is offered nine times per year in: 

  • January 
  • February 
  • April 
  • June 
  • August 
  • September 
  • October 
  • November 

Taking the LSAT in June means you’ll have enough time to retest if needed before you submit law school applications. Ensure you take the LSAT before application deadlines. To ace the LSAT the first time, consider supplementing free online classes and self-study with an expert LSAT tutor’s help

June: Request Transcripts Through the Credential Assembly Service

If you're not taking summer courses, you should create a Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) account and register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Most law schools request all your official undergraduate and graduate transcripts be sent through the CAS. 

June-August: Take the LSAT

Although there are no precise 2023 LSAT dates past June, you should take the LSAT between June and August. Taking it in June will give you more time for a potential retake, but you could potentially retake the test in September if you opt for the August date. 

Remember, law schools won’t evaluate your applications until you receive your LSAT scores! Scores are released approximately three weeks after your test date.

August: Resume Building and Law School Selection

This is the perfect time to build your law school resume after finishing your summer activities. Once you receive your LSAT scores, you can create a more concrete school list based on your profile. 

September: Fill Out Applications and Craft Your Law School Personal Statement 

Most law school applications open on LSAC in September. You can get a headstart by:

  • Filling out your LSAC application
  • Crafting first drafts of your personal statements (you may need multiple versions) 
  • Brainstorming content and writing first-draft school-specific essays

If you didn’t receive recommendation letters yet, you should follow up with your recommenders at the beginning of the month. 

October: Work On Applications and Submit For Early Decision 

Keep working on your applications for any program you're not applying for through early decision. If you're applying through early decision to any school, law school application deadlines for most schools are approaching. Most early decision deadlines are on November 1. 

Ensure you review the school’s application checklist before submitting your application!

November: Complete the Rest of Your Applications

Once you’ve applied to your early decision school, it’s time to turn your attending toward perfecting the rest of your applications. Double-check to ensure you’ve completed all documents before submission. 

You may start receiving interview invitations after law schools receive and review your application. 

December: Finish Outstanding Applications 

If you still have outstanding law school applications, try to get them all in by the end of December. Most law schools accept applicants on a rolling basis, meaning you’ll want to submit your application before spots fill up. 

If you haven't already, you may receive law school interview applications. After schools receive and review your applications, invitations are typically sent on a rolling basis. 

January - April: Interviews and Admissions Decisions 

Once you've submitted all your applications, you may receive more interview invitations after law schools review them. 

Between January and April, you should receive admissions decisions for all schools you applied to. Don’t get discouraged if some schools take longer to get back to you. If you receive multiple admissions offers, you can: 

  • Evaluate all your options 
  • Visit schools to assess your fit 
  • Examine scholarship/financial aid offers before you decide 

As soon as you've decided, accept your offer of admission to your dream law school!

Happy law student

Prepare for the law school application cycle with the help of our free Law School Admissions Checklist!

FAQs: Law School Application Timeline

If you still have questions about the law school admissions timeline, read on to have all your queries answered. 

1. What Is the Best Time to Apply for Law School? 

Fall or early winter is the best time to apply to law school. 

2. When Do Law School Applications Open? 

The law school application cycle typically opens sometime in August and September each year. 

3. When Should You Apply to Law School?

You should apply to law school as early as possible without sacrificing the quality of your applications. Most law schools review applications on a rolling basis, meaning you may have a better chance of acceptance if you submit yours in October or November. 

4. When Are Law School Applications Due?

Application dates vary depending on the school, but most law school deadlines for regular decision fall between February and March. Some schools may accept applications into the summer. 

5. Is December Too Late to Apply to Law School?

December isn’t too late to apply to law school; many applicants apply in December. 

6. Is February Too Late to Apply to Law School?

February isn't necessarily too late as long as you apply before the deadline. However, you may have a lower chance of acceptance as fewer spots are likely left at this stage in the admissions process. 

7. When should I take the LSAT to apply for law school?

Experts recommend taking the LSAT between June and August. The earlier you take your test, the more time you have to retake your test if necessary.

8. When to start applying for law school for fall 2024?

Each individual institution has their own deadlines for when to apply to law school. However, it is generally recommended to apply early in the year before you intend to begin law school. 

9. Is August too late to take the LSAT?

No, August is not too late to take the LSAT, however you may not have enough time to retake the LSAT if you leave it until August.

Final Thoughts 

Although most law schools have rolling admissions, following this application timeline for law school helps you ensure your applications are submitted on time. Good luck with your applications!

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