Several law schools offer applicants the option to enroll in an Early Decision (ED) program. Although this is similar to undergraduate ED programs with which law school applicants may be familiar, today we’d like to take some time to discuss law school ED to help applicants decide whether or not this option is right for them.
Through law school ED programs candidates submit their applications before the regular decision deadline, typically have their applications reviewed earlier than regular decision applicants, and are quickly given an admission decision – admitted, denied, waitlisted, or moved in to the regular decision pool. These admissions decisions are usually administered by mid-February, giving applicants the opportunity to apply to other schools regular decision if they do not receive a favorable admissions decision.
The benefit to applying ED is that applicants are considered earlier in the admissions season, as well as in a smaller pool, thus giving them an advantage in the rolling admissions process. In addition, ED applicants hear about their admissions decision earlier than regular decision applicants, giving admitted ED applicants the opportunity to relax during the spring before they attend law school.
Unlike regular decision, the ED program is binding, and thus applicants must attend the law school if they are accepted; candidates can therefore only apply to one school through a binding ED program. It is therefore important that applicants only apply ED to the law school that they prefer over all others, as being accepted ED means they do not have the opportunity to consider attending other law schools; candidates must withdraw all their applications to other schools after being admitted to their ED school. If it is discovered that applicants have applied to more than one school ED or double-deposited for more than one school in the spring, law schools will revoke their offer of admission. We therefore encourage all law school applicants to take the rules and regulations regarding ED and deposits very seriously.
We hope this post was helpful for all law school candidates considering Early Decision. Good luck with your applications!