This post continues our 10-part series of posts on the Top Ten Mistakes That Law School Applicants Make.
The #9 Top Ten Mistake That Law School Applicants Make every year is…
THEY APPLY TOO LATE.
In most cases, if you’re applying by the law school’s deadline, you’re applying too late!
Most law schools have rolling admissions. That means that they admit people on a rolling basis until they’ve admitted enough to fill their 1L class. Rolling admissions means that you want to apply earlier so that you can get in earlier. But it’s not just admissions that’s rolling. Scholarship offers are also rolling. So again, apply earlier so that you can better ensure your chance of being admitted and being offered money.
Did you know that only about a third of law school applicants apply by November? Because of this, I believe the ideal deadline for applying to law school is by Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November). Applying by the end of November gives you the advantage of having your application reviewed when way fewer people have applied.
But, you don’t have to wait until November to apply. If you took an earlier LSAT and will have your score by July, then bump up your timeline and apply when applications open in September and October. Even better!
If you’re planning on taking the December LSAT, you have two options. You can apply this season or wait to apply next year. If you feel good about your performance on the December LSAT, you should write, revise, and finish your application materials by January 1st. Then, once the scores are released during the first week of January, assess your list of schools and decide if you want to add more or take some off. Then tailor your materials to the application directions for your final list of schools and apply by January 25th.
If it’s already February and you still haven’t applied, I recommend waiting. Take the next eight months to get more work experience, save money, and polish your applications materials until they are stellar. Then apply to your schools in September and October. You’ll be applying before even a third of applicants have their applications in! Less competition = more chances for admissions and scholarships.
So, there you have it. Apply to law school from September through January. Don’t make the mistake of applying too late and missing your chance for successful admissions and scholarships.