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Future JD Students

How Law Schools Determine Whom to Admit

Before a law school can make an admission decision, it must receive your

Law schools cannot make a decision on your file if they have not received all required items.

Why apply early?

Many law schools operate under a rolling admission process: the school evaluates applications and informs candidates of admission decisions on a continuous basis over several months, usually beginning in late fall and extending to midsummer for waiting-list admissions.

Although schools that practice rolling admission try to make comparable decisions throughout the admission cycle, you’ll be at a disadvantage if you’re one of the last applicants to complete your file. The earlier you apply, the more seats the school is likely to have available.

Even if you have yet to take the LSAT, consider submitting your application early. That way, your CAS law school report will be sent to law schools as soon as your test score is available.

Applying early can also help you make better admission decisions: if you receive more decisions early in the process, you can choose whether to apply to more law schools or to accept one of the early offers you received.

Your LSAT Score & UGPA

The two factors that can be applied objectively to all candidates and are most predictive of success in law school—UGPA and the LSAT score—are fundamental to the admission committee’s decisions.

If your qualifications more than fulfill a school’s admission standards, the admission committee will usually accept you during the first round of decisions.

If your credentials fall below the school’s standards, you will probably be denied admission.

At many law schools, a majority of applicants are neither so well qualified nor so unsatisfactory as to present a clear-cut case for acceptance or denial. These applications require the committee to consider other factors more in depth. The length of time it takes the committee to review these applications varies; consult the individual law schools to which you apply.

Other Factors the Admission Committee May Consider

Waiting Lists

If your qualifications are strong but do not quite match the competition of those currently being admitted at a particular law school, you may be placed on a waiting list. The law school will notify you of its final admission decision as early as April or as late as July.

Many schools rank students who are on the waiting list. Some law schools will tell you your rank. If a law school doesn’t rank its waiting list, you may ask the admission office how many students are on the waiting list.

Questions You May Have

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