Sign up to our Newsletter

Law School Application Timeline

April 2, 2024
6 min read


Reviewed by:

David Merson

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

Reviewed: 4/2/24

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! 

Imagine a world where you don’t have to apply to law school with endless levels of stress because you know the entire process and are well-prepared. Sounds like a fever dream, right?

With our comprehensive guide on the entire law school application timeline, this doesn’t have to be just a fever dream – it can be your reality. 

In different sections of this guide, we’ll cover the best time to apply to law school, when you should take the LSAT, and when you should submit your application to law school. Consider this article your personal assistant to help you get into the law school of your dreams!

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, here are all the law school admission requirements you need to know. 

Law School Admission (Spring)

Spring is your chance to gather all your important materials before your application. In this time, be prepared to study for important tests like the LSAT and add to your school list before applications open.

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

Law School Admission (Summer)

Summer can be one of the busiest and most stressful seasons for law school, but after reading our guide, you thankfully won’t have to worry. During this period, you’ll focus on gathering academic reports, taking the LSAT, and building your law school selection.

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. 

Law School Admission (Fall)

This season is all about what you’ve been waiting for - applications! That’s right, law school accepts applications during the fall time. So work off the list you’ve prepared and don’t quit until you’ve applied to every last one!

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 haven’t received recommendation letters yet, you should follow up with your recommenders at the beginning of the month. 

law school application timeline

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!

Law School Admission (Winter)

Congratulations, you’ve entered both the most relaxing and nerve-wracking season of law school admissions. How can that oxymoron be the case? Well, there’s not much to do outside of tidying up your applications. However, this is when you’ll receive potential interviews and eventually an admissions decision. Don’t stress – you’ve got this!

November: Complete the Rest of Your Applications

Once you’ve applied to your early decision school, it’s time to turn your attention 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!

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? 

The best time to apply to law school is in the fall or early winter. Submitting your application during this period allows you to take advantage of rolling admissions and increases your chances of being accepted.

2. When Do Law School Applications Open? 

Law school application cycles typically open in August or September each year. The exact dates may vary depending on the school, but most law schools start accepting applications in late summer or early fall.

3. When Should You Apply to Law School?

You should apply to law school as early as possible without compromising the quality of your application. Since most law schools have rolling admissions, submitting your application in October or November can improve your chances of being accepted.

4. When Are Law School Applications Due?

Law school application deadlines vary by school, but most regular decision deadlines fall between February and March. Submitting your application well before the deadline is always recommended.

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

No, December is not too late to apply to law school. Many applicants submit their applications in December and still receive offers of admission.

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

February is not necessarily too late to apply to law school, as long as you submit your application before the school's deadline. However, applying in February may lower your chances of being accepted compared to applying earlier in the cycle.

7. When Should I Take the LSAT to Apply for Law School?

Experts recommend taking the LSAT between June and August. Taking the LSAT early gives you more time to retake the test if needed.

8. When to Start Applying for Law School for Fall 2024?

If you're planning to start law school in the fall of 2024, you should begin the application process in the fall of 2023. In general, it's best to apply early in the year before you intend to enroll.

9. Is August Too Late to Take the LSAT?

No, August is not too late to take the LSAT if you're planning to apply to law school that same year. However, taking the LSAT in August may not give you enough time to retake the test if you're unsatisfied with your scores.

Final Thoughts 

Navigating the law school application timeline can seem daunting, but with careful planning and preparation, you can make the process much more manageable. By following the month-by-month guide outlined in this article, you'll be well-equipped to tackle each stage of the application journey with confidence and ease.

Remember, the key to success is starting early and staying organized. Begin researching schools and preparing for the LSAT well in advance, and make sure to give yourself plenty of time to craft a compelling personal statement and gather all the necessary application materials.

As you move through the application cycle, don't be afraid to reach out for help and support when you need it. Whether it's seeking guidance from a certified mentor, working with an LSAT tutor, or connecting with other aspiring law students, building a strong support network can make all the difference.

With the right mindset and preparation, you'll be well on your way to creating a bright future for yourself in the legal profession.

Schedule A Free Consultation

Plan Smart. Execute Strong. Get Into Your Dream School.

You May Also Like