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ABA-accredited Law Schools Early Decision Deadlines

Depending on applicants' situation, The early decision or early action program may be a better choice for admitting a law school. The deadline for the early decision is usually one or two months before the general admission deadline. Because most law schools have rolling admission, the admission committee promptly starts the review process as they get in and applicants can quickly received the decision. It gives higher chance of acceptance to applicants.
The common reasons for applying to early decision or early action plan is:
  • You have a law school that you really want to go.
  • Your LSAT score or GPA is lower than the school's median value.
  • You want to reduce stress in admission and get more time to prepare for school living.
  • Your situation does not allow to apply other law schools, for example location and finance.

Early Decision vs. Early Action

In short, both gives an opportunity to apply early, but early decision is binding and and early action is non-binding. The applicants for early decision plan cannot apply more than one law schools. In principal, since the early decision is a biding commitment, you must attend the law school if you are accepted. There are few exceptions such as financial issues and critical health problem, but in most case, accepted students will enroll to the school. To reject the early decision offer is not illegal, because the commitment is on between a school and an applicants. However, it is not a practical choice for your legal career and the school may notify to other law schools about it.
Unlike early decision, for early action plan, you don't need to accept the offer right away. You can decide later and apply to other law schools under regular decision. In addition, it's typically allowed to multiple schools for early action plan. If you accepted multiple schools, you have more chance to compare and negotiate based on financial aid plan and more desirable facts. Furthermore, if you got higher LSAT or other test scores than ones when you apply for early action place, you may consider apply to other law schools that you prefer to go.

Things to Consider When Applying Early

The benefits seems clear, if you have a reason and accepted for early decision plan. However, you must consider following issues if you don't have clear reason or not sure about it.
  • You may receive less financial aid than regular decision admitters. Because it is a binding commitment and you agree to attend to school, the you may not have the right to negotiate for better financial aid option for 1 or 2 years. You are already accepted and must attend the school, the school does not have reason to give better option to you. However, if the financial issue does not matter and the school gives another chances, it is still a better option for you.
  • It should be prepared in a short period of time. If you want to apply for early decision plan, you need to start much earlier. Literally, it is a early process. It is required to apply early and submit items early. There are number of components for applying to law schools and the preparation for each component is not simple and time-consuming. It will be easier to get transcripts and LSAT scores, but you may need more time to complete personal statement, letters of recommendation, resume, and other writing martials. So, it is important to start early.
  • Time may not be enough to apply regular decision, if you are rejected. May law schools' regular deadline is roughly between December and February. If you got the result of early decision in December, then you have only few weeks to 1 or 2 month. Additional component should be prepared and you may need to do another LSAT test.

List of Early Decision Deadlines

The below table lists law schools which have early decision deadlines. Typically, the deadline is in October and some schools have in December and even in next year. It's rare, but some schools have two rounds of early decision deadline. You may want to contact admission office to confirm the school has a early decision plan, if your school is not in the list.
ABA-accredited Early Decision Deadlines
SchoolApplication OpenEarly Decision deadlineRegular deadline
Baylor Law School2022-12-152023-03-15
Boston College Law School2022-09-152022-12-152023-03-31
Boston University School of Law2022-11-10
Case Western Reserve University School of Law2022-09-012022-11-30 (I)
2022-12-20 (II)
Columbus School of Law2022-09-012022-12-01 (I)
2022-12-22 (II)
University of Chicago Law School2022-12-012023-03-01
City University of New York School of Law2023-01-012023-05-15
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law2022-11-01 (I)
2023-01-01 (II)
Columbia Law School2022-09-012022-11-152023-02-15
Cornell Law School2022-11-01 (I)
2023-01-08 (II)
Creighton University School of Law2022-09-012022-11-012023-07-01
David A. Clarke School of Law2022-09-252023-02-152023-05-01
Drexel University School of Law2022-08-252022-11-152023-04-01
Duke University School of Law2022-09-012022-11-04 (I)
2023-01-06 (II)
Emory University School of Law2023-03-15
Fordham University School of Law2022-09-152022-10-152023-03-15
The George Washington University Law School2022-09-012023-02-012023-03-01
Georgetown University Law Center2022-09-062023-03-012023-03-01
Hofstra University School of Law2022-11-152023-04-15
University of Houston Law Center2022-09-012022-11-152023-03-15
Robert H. McKinney School of Law2022-09-012022-11-152023-05-15
University of Kentucky College of Law2022-09-012022-11-152023-04-15
Liberty University School of Law2022-12-202023-08-01
Loyola Law School2022-09-122022-12-01
University of Maine School of Law2022-09-152022-11-15
University of Miami School of Law2022-09-012022-11-042023-07-31
University of Michigan Law School2022-11-152023-02-28
University of Minnesota Law School2022-12-312023-06-01
University of Missouri School of Law2022-09-012022-11-152023-03-15
New York University School of Law2022-11-152023-02-15
Northeastern University School of Law2022-12-012023-03-01
Michael E. Moritz College of Law2022-09-152022-11-182023-07-01
Penn State Dickinson Law2022-08-152022-12-012023-06-30
Penn State Law2022-09-012022-12-012023-03-31
University of Pennsylvania Law School2022-09-012022-11-15 (I)
2023-01-07 (II)
University of Richmond School of Law2022-09-012022-12-152023-03-01
Rutgers Law School - Camden campus2022-09-012022-12-01 (I)
2023-03-01 (II)
University of San Diego School of Law2022-09-012022-12-012023-06-01
Santa Clara University School of Law2022-09-012022-11-01
Gould School of Law2022-09-012022-11-202023-04-01
St. Mary's University School of Law2022-09-152022-11-112023-03-01
University of Tennessee College of Law2022-09-012022-12-15
University of Texas School of Law2022-09-012022-11-012023-03-01
Tulane University School of Law2022-09-152022-11-152023-03-01
University at Buffalo Law School2022-09-012022-11-152023-03-01
S.J. Quinney College of Law2022-09-012022-10-282023-03-10
Vanderbilt University Law School2022-09-012022-11-012023-04-01
Vermont Law School2022-09-012022-11-152023-07-15
Villanova University School of Law2022-09-012022-12-15 (I)
2023-03-15 (II)
University of Washington School of Law2022-10-012022-11-152023-03-15
Widener Law Commonwealth2022-10-012023-01-01 (I)
2023-02-01 (II)
Willamette University College of Law2022-09-012022-12-152023-08-01
University of Wisconsin Law School2022-09-012022-11-302023-04-03
University of Wyoming College of Law2022-10-012022-12-152023-04-30


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