When Do Law School Applications Open? Your Ultimate Admission Guide


When do law school applications open? If you’re planning to apply for law school, you might be wondering about the admission deadlines. The truth is that dates for applying to law school differ from school to school, as much as we wish there was a single, universally specified application time. 

To assist you in keeping track of when you need to apply, we have created a list of law school application deadlines for some top law schools. This article will also cover best practices for completing quality applications, and how to manage the waiting period after you apply. Planning ahead is key to successfully gaining admission into law school for 2024.

A man and a woman discussing on the stairs at the Law Library - When Do Law School Applications Open

When Do Law School Applications Open: Understanding Law School Application Timeline

Preparing a successful application takes planning, forethought, and an understanding of key deadlines. Mapping out a law school application timeline from the LSAT prep stages through submission can help you stay on track.

January: LSAT Preparation and CAS Registration Begins

  • Start LSAT Prep: When should I take the LSAT? Starting your LSAT study in January is a well-planned move, particularly in light of LSAT test dates. Beginning early affords substantial time for test preparation, vital for grasping the test layout and pinpointing where you need the most practice. Starting now positions you advantageously to pick a test date that offers sufficient prep time without haste.

  • Register for CAS: Registration for the LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) is crucial for your application journey. Doing so now ensures you’re prepared to receive your LSAT scores and begin assembling transcripts and letters of recommendation.

February to April: LSAT Preparation and Researching Schools

  • Continue LSAT Prep: Allocate these months for rigorous LSAT study. Consider enrolling in a prep course or creating a study group for added support. This phase is key for refining your comprehension of LSAT content. Also, remember how long does it take to get the LSAT scores to stay on track with your application schedule.

  • Research Law Schools: Start your search for potential law schools now. Look into their programs, faculty, campus culture, and specific admission criteria. If you’re juggling work and study, closely examine programs offering law school part time options. These options cater to working individuals, allowing you to balance personal and professional commitments while pursuing a legal education.

May to July: Take the LSAT and Begin Application Components

  • Take the LSAT: Aim to sit for the LSAT by early summer. This scheduling ensures you get your scores in time before law school application deadlines.

  • Start Personal Statements: Begin drafting your personal statements. This key application element narrates your story and showcases why you’re an ideal candidate for law school.

  • Gather Recommendations Letter:  Reach out to potential recommenders. Choose individuals who know you well and can speak to your qualifications and potential for success in law school.

September to October: Finalize LSAT and Application Documents

  • Final LSAT Opportunity: If necessary, take or retake the LSAT to improve your score.  It’s vital to comprehend how long are LSAT scores valid as part of your application planning. Generally, LSAT scores are valid for five years, and knowing this is important to maintain the applicability for the schools you’re applying to during this application cycle.

  • Finalize Application Documents: Keep refining your personal statements and verify that your recommenders have sent in their recommendation letters. Additionally, ensure all transcripts have been forwarded to CAS.

November to January: Submit Applications

  • Early Decision Deadlines: For early decision applications, target submission by November or December. Early decisions are binding, hence the need for careful selection.

  • Submit Regular Applications: Persist with your application submissions, aiming for completion by January. Although some schools may have later deadlines, early submission is beneficial, particularly with institutions that operate on rolling admissions.

Law School Admissions Consulting can significantly influence this phase. Consultants can provide pivotal advice on enhancing your application, from crafting compelling personal statements to securing impactful letters of recommendation, and guide you through optimal submission timings to boost acceptance chances.

February to April: Monitor Your Applications and Prepare for the Next Steps

  • Interviews: Be prepared for potential interview invitations from some schools. Ready yourself to articulate your experiences, ambitions, and legal interests comprehensively.

  • Decisions: Late winter and spring are when admissions decisions begin to be communicated. Maintain an optimistic outlook and monitor your email and application portals closely.

May to July: Final Decisions and Preparing for Law School

  • Respond to Offers: Decide on your law school choice and make any necessary deposits.

  • Prepare for Law School: Start getting ready for law school. This includes securing accommodation, registering for orientation, and tackling any prerequisite reading or coursework.

Top 20 Law School Application Deadlines

“When to apply for law school?” is probably one of your first thoughts if you intend to apply to law school. Making an Admission Roadmap will help you stay organized, as deadlines for applications differ throughout law schools.

To give you an idea of target dates, here is an overview of application deadlines for several top-ranked law schools:

Law School Early Admission Deadline Regular Admissions Deadline
Stanford University Law School N/A February 15
Yale University Law School N/A February 15
University of Chicago Law School December 1 March 1
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School  September 1 March 1
Duke University Law School November 4 February 15
Harvard University Law School N/A February 1
New York University School of Law November 15 February 15
Columbia University Law School November 15 February 15
University of Virginia School of Law N/A March 1
Northwestern University (Pritzker)  November 15 February 15
University of California – Berkeley Law November 15 February 15
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)  November 15 February 28
Cornell University Law School November 1 March 1
University of California – Los Angeles School of Law  November 15 February 1
Georgetown University Law School March 1 Rolling Admission
University of Minnesota Law School November 15 June 1
University of Southern California (Gould) November 20 April 1
University of Texas at Austin School of Law November 1 March 1
Vanderbilt University – School of Law November 1 April 1
University of Georgia School of Law December 1 June 1
Washington University in St. Louis  N/A August 10

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Application Tips and Best Practices When Applying for Law School

The law school application process demands grit and perseverance. Implementing best practices months in advance leads to high-quality applications, improving the likelihood your goals become reality.

1. Craft an Application Strategy

When do law school applications open in 2024? For the 2024-2025 law school application cycle, future students can start turning in their applications as early as September or October 2023, with the specific open dates changing between schools. 

The Law School Admission Council also points out that while some law schools might slightly delay the opening of their applications due to updates to their admissions process, by early October, it is in full swing. Getting ahead is key, as the deadlines for submissions are different depending on the law school, coming as early as November 2023 or as late as February 2024, depending on the school’s specific timeline.

Applying to law school is a major undertaking requiring strategy and forethought. Outline a plan highlighting target schools, key deadlines, tests to take, and components needed. Also, budget time and resources for each step. Having an overview keeps your efforts focused.

2. Excel on the LSAT

Before starting your LSAT prep, it’s wise to look into the average LSAT scores and percentile ranges that top law schools have accepted historically. This approach gives you a clear target for your LSAT score, aligning your goals with the competitive standards of these institutions. 

For example, the top 10 law schools have 75th percentile LSAT scores ranging from 171 to 178, indicating the high benchmarks set by elite programs. This data allows you to benchmark goals for your LSAT score. Then invest significant prep time, taking practice tests to diagnose strengths versus areas needing improvement. 

3. Showcase Your Best Self in Essays

Admissions essays require deep reflection on experiences shaping your journey. Be truthful and vulnerable, highlighting growth opportunities, challenges overcome, and passion for law. Have editors check for typos while preserving your voice. These personal statements introduce who you are.

4. Secure Standout Recommendations

Letters of recommendation validate abilities and potential described in other materials. Typically aim for two academic and one professional reference. Select recommenders who can speak in-depth about your talents, communication skills, and determination. Guide them to highlight relevant examples.

5. Submit Applications Early

Applying for law school early, especially under early decision programs, can expand options and aid chances for admission or scholarships. Have all test scores, letters, forms, and essays prepared to submit by the end of September or early October. Meet deadlines and follow up politely if law school applications are still pending.

Get Accepted to Your Dream Law School with Expert Personalized Guidance

When do law school applications open? Applying for law school admission can feel daunting thanks to varying deadlines and stringent application standards, but Odyssey Test Prep offers end-to-end guidance. Our team makes every step easy whether you need help confidently prepping for the LSAT, strengthening your applications, or deciding where to apply based on your unique goals. 

We recognize preparing for the LSAT exam is pivotal, acting as the first stepping stone to getting into law school and shaping one’s career trajectory. That’s why our consulting service starts with comprehensive LSAT prep through an expert instructor who has helped numerous students raise their scores. By leveraging our services, you’ll have an edge that produces the best possible outcome for you personally.

LSAT Prep Course

Prepare for success in law school with our comprehensive LSAT Prep Course – master the exam and elevate your admissions prospects. Our experienced LSAT instructor guides students through a comprehensive curriculum tailored to regularly tested concepts. Balancing interactive online modules with in-person practice exams and feedback, our approach aims to strengthen areas needing improvement. This combination allows you to increase your test-taking confidence and scores by familiarizing yourself with the exam format and practicing LSAT strategies that work.

LSAT Tutoring

Personalized LSAT tutoring to boost your application profile – let us tailor a strategy to highlight your strengths and secure your spot in law school. Our students receive personalized attention from experienced tutors, so they receive LSAT tutoring that targets their weaknesses and strengthens their unique strengths. You’ll achieve a more thorough understanding of complex material and develop a customized study plan that fits your schedule, learning style, and anticipated score goals, resulting in more concentrated and efficient preparation.

Law School Admissions Consulting

Navigate the intricacies of law school applications with our expert consultants – ensure your application stands out and secure admission to your top-choice law school. Our consultants help map law school options to academic and career goals based on GPA, LSAT, and other priorities. Guidance is then given on application timelines, assembling outstanding materials, and determining where to apply for maximum admissions potential. Our goal is to ensure students not only get accepted at their target law schools but also to secure vital scholarships and funding. 

Final Thoughts

When do law school applications open? For students looking to start law school in the fall semester, the application window generally opens around September or October in the preceding year. However, application deadlines vary widely, ranging from November through March depending on the school. 

Applicants should research and understand the specific timeline and requirements for their target programs. Additionally, gathering statistics on acceptance rates, average LSAT scores, GPAs, and other elements can help better position applications. 

We also offer a 3-week LSAT Free Class so you can experience first-hand our teaching methods and curriculum. Students will cover core concepts and strategies, take a practice exam, and receive feedback from instructors. This free sample of our comprehensive LSAT prep affords the opportunity to diagnose areas for improvement before committing to a course.

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