Law School Application Deadlines | The Timeline & Milestones to Becoming a Lawyer

Law school application deadlines are some of the most important dates for a lawyer-to-be. Miss one test, and you'd have to wait several months for another chance at it and extend your stay in college. 

If your goal is to finish law school as quickly as humanly possible, make sure you are up-to-date with all the important dates necessary to graduate, from LSAT prepping (see here) to CAS registration, and even applying to your chosen law school. 

Law School Application Deadlines - Overview and Timeline

Law school admissions are quite different to other courses since several factors affect the steps you have to take before, during and after submitting applications. So if you are in your junior year of pre-law degree, then here are several things you must know and accept: 

  • Rejection is possible. Accept that you can be rejected by at least 1 school you apply to. This is because many law schools look at GPA scores or your LSAT tests on top of other requirements, so competition can be tough. 
  • Apply to 2 or more law schools - Make a list of the top 5 schools you wish to go into, but be reasonable. Include only 2 "dream schools" that you hope of getting into, and around 3 or more schools that you have a good chance of admission.
  • Law school admissions vary - The law school application deadlines vary between colleges. As such, you have to learn about the application dates from your top 5, top 7 or top 10 schools to be able to submit requirements early. 
  • Your journey to law schools begins 1 to 2 years before completing your pre-law degree. Once you hit junior year earning a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, your clock starts for the law school hunt, completion of requirements and the actual application. Then, as you get closer to your end goal, the question "is law school hard?" pops up!

Applying to Law School

You cannot just walk into a law school and enroll whenever you want to. Each school in America (and even other parts of the world) follow their own law school applying timeline that they publish regularly and that students have to meet. 

Applying to a law school takes time. 

How much time, you ask? Well, it takes as little as 1 year or as long as 2 years to go through the process of getting into law school

When do law school applications open? Check out your law school choices below:
Watch with Deadline sign

1. Prep for the LSAT - LSAT Prep Timeline

One of the biggest factors that affect the length of your law school preparation is the month when you'll take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and if you pass this standardized test your first try or not.

As you may have known by now, the LSAT is offered several times a year and the registration deadline for each of them comes a month in advance. 

By your junior year, you should have decided when to take the LSAT and make an outline for your LSAT prep (do you have enough time to prepare for the LSAT throughout an entire school year? or do you prefer the last-minute studying for a month or so?)

No matter which law school you decide to go to, your law school application timeline begins with the following:

 Junior year 

  • Finalize the list of law schools you wish to apply to.
  • Decide when to take the LSAT. There are LSAT dates almost every other month.
  • Begin studying for your LSAT. Create a reasonable study plan based on when you're planning to take the LSAT. If you decided to go with a February test, you should start anytime during the last quarter of the current year. If you still have a long time to prep, then decide when or how you will go about your LSAT studies.
  • Set up your LSAC account. This is where you'll receive any official news about the LSAT, take the actual LSAT and receive your LSAT scores. This account also lets you apply online to your chosen law schools and check the status of your application. 
  • Take your LSAT. If your timeline requires you complete the LSAT at the later part of your junior year, then take the test as scheduled.
  • Check LSAT scores. Once you receive an email about your LSAT scores, decide if you're OK with your score, or if you prefer to retake the test. Only do this if you still have a lot of time before law school application deadlines. 

 Senior year

  • Compile information packets of your chosen law schools. You must know the requirements for each of the law schools you're applying to, since some of them may have additional documents you're required to submit. 
  • Register for CAS. This paid service by the LSAC is a huge help if you want to organize your law school applications into one portal. 
  • Retake the LSAT. If you weren’t content with your initial LSAT scores, you can still retake the test and hope for the best that the next test results in better scores.
  • Complete requirements. Get all your school records into your CAS account, from school transcripts to letters of recommendations, essays, and other documents. You can all upload them into your CAS account. 
young man studying

2. Register for CAS

The Credential Assembly Service is a service provided by LSAC. 

When you pay $195 for a CAS account, you can simplify your law school application process. This is particularly helpful if you are planning to apply to multiple law schools. And since that fee is valid for the next 5 years, you can perform various tasks, such as: 

  • Store everything. Your LSAT scores, transcripts, letter of recommendations, essays, and other required documents can be uploaded here once, stored and then organized into a full report.
  • Process letter of recommendation.
  •  Authentication of your academic records.
  • Apply to all your chosen law schools. All American Bar Association-approved law schools can be applied to via your CAS account.
  • Receive a law school report (this cost $45/school report, so use only when necessary)

Note that since processing transcripts would take at least 2 weeks and letters of recommendations are checked and evaluated at around 5 days each, make sure to take care of your CAS account early in your law school application timeline. 

A person typing on the laptop

3. Submit your transcripts and letters of recommendation to CAS

Your colleges won't send your transcripts automatically. You need to request them to send the transcript to the CAS. The good news is you'd only have to do this once for every school you completed pre-law.

The letters of recommendation can also be compiled, stored and included with the CAS report, which will be sent to various law schools when you submit your application.

List down the people like professors and colleagues who know you and are well enough to provide some thoughts about your past record and predictions of future performance. Ask if they could write a recommendation letter for you. 

3 to 4 is the recommended number of recommended letters you must obtain. 

paper and pen

4. Search for Law Schools

There is no rulebook on how to apply to law school. The steps you might take may be entirely different to the next person trying to go into law school. Aside from keeping with the school deadlines, there is no wrong way and right way to go about your applications, as there are no good or bad law schools. 

However, this also means that there is no guarantee that you will get into the law schools you have chosen. This is the reason many pre-law advisors recommend that you pick at least 3 or more law schools to apply to. 

 If you've ran out of choices, here are several ways to search for law schools: 

  • Talk to your college advisors: Most colleges have an advisor who is readily available for students to talk to when needed. If you're at a loss as to which law schools would fit the bill, there's a good chance that your pre-law advisor could help you create your finalized list of law schools. 
  • Attend Pre-law Forums: If you love to meet fellow pre-law students who are getting ready to attend law school, join any third-party pre-law forums like the Kaplan and The Princeton Review, or stick with the LSAC-sponsored forums.  
  • Law school search: For those who prefer to keep their research online, there are various law school search tools that can be useful in filtering schools based on location, tuition fees, specialty, and other factors that may (or may not be) important to you. 
4 US Law Schools

5. Apply to Law Schools

If you're wondering when to apply to law school, the answer depends on three things: 

  •  Is your LSAT score back yet?
  •  Is the application deadline for your chosen law school not due yet?
  • Have you completed your letters of recommendations, transcript of records and other documents? 

If so, then you should focus on what is known as the college essay, personal statement, or admissions essay. It's a quick introduction about you, why you want to go to that particular school, your strengths, weaknesses, dreams, life story, and so on. Since this is a personal letter, it doesn't have to follow a particular type of writing, as long as it showcases your love for law and the particular legal field that interests you.  

You don't need to wait for the exact law school deadlines to submit your application. Once applications for that particular season or year opens up and you've completed all your documents, then go on and begin submitting applications. 

Law School Application Deadlines 

LAW SCHOOLS

DEADLINE OF APPLICATION

University of Akron 

March 31

University of Alabama

Rolling

Albany Law School of Union University

Rolling 

American University

March 1 

Appalachian School of Law

Rolling 

Arizona State University

March 1

Arizona Summit Law School

Rolling

University of Arizona

July 15

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Rolling 

University of Arkansas, Little Rock

April 1 

Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

March 1 

Ave Maria School of Law

July 15

University of Baltimore

July 31

Barry University

Rolling 

Baylor University

March 16

Belmont University

June 30

Boston College

March 31

Boston University

April 1

Brigham Young University

June 30 

Brooklyn Law School

Rolling

California Western School of Law

April 1

University of California-Berkeley

February 15

University of California-Davis

March 15

University of California-Hastings

April 15

University of California-Irvine

March 1

University of California-Los Angeles

February 1

Campbell University

May 1

Capital University

Rolling 

Cardozo School of Law

Rolling 

Case Western Reserve University

April 1

Catholic University of America

July 1 

Chapman University

Rolling 

Charleston School of Law

Rolling 

University of Chicago

March 1

Chicago-Kent College of Law-IIT

Rolling 

University of Cincinnati

Rolling 

City University of New York

May 15

Cleveland State University

July 20

University ofColorado

April 1

Columbia University

February 15

Concordia Law School

August 1

University of Connecticut

June 1

Cornell University

March 1

Creighton University

March 31 

University of Dayton

May 1

University of Denver

Rolling 

DePaul University

Rolling 

University of Detroit Mercy

Rolling

District of Columbia

May 1 

Drake University

Rolling 

Drexel University

April 15 

Duke University

February 15

Duquesne University

Rolling 

Elon University

July 15 

Emory University

March 1

Faulkner University

July 15

Florida A&M University

May 31

Florida Coastal School of Law

Rolling

Florida International University

Rolling until July 31

Florida State University

July 31

University of Florida

March 15 

Fordham University

March 15

George Mason University

Rolling

George Washington University

March 1

Georgetown University

March 1 

Georgia State University

June 1 

University of Georgia

June 1 

Golden Gate University

June 15 

Gonzaga University

April 15 

Harvard University

February 28 

University of Hawaii

April 1 

Hofstra University

May 15

University of Houston

February 15

Howard University

March 15

University of Idaho

July 1 

University of Illinois

March 15 

Indiana University - Bloomington

Rolling

Indiana University - Indianapolis

May 15 

Inter American University of Puerto Rico

June 30

University of Iowa

May 1

John Marshall Law School

Rolling

University of Kansas

April 1 

University of Kentucky

April 25 

Lewis And Clark College

March 15 

Liberty University

August 1

Lincoln Memorial

July 15

Louisiana State University

July 1

University of Louisville

April 15

Loyola Marymount University-Los Angeles

February 1

Loyola University-Chicago

June 1

Loyola University-New Orleans

August 1

University of Maine

Rolling 

Marquette University

Rolling 

University of Maryland

Rolling 

McGeorge School of Law

April 1 

University of Memphis

March 15 

Mercer University

Rolling

University of Miami

July 31

Michigan State University

April 30 

University of Michigan

February 15

University of Minnesota

June 1

Mississippi College

July 10

University of Mississippi

March 15

University of Missouri

March 15

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Rolling 

Mitchell | Hamline

July 15

University of Montana

Rolling 

University of Nebraska

March 1

New England Law | Boston

March 15

University of New Hampshire

March 15

University of New Mexico

March 1 

New York Law School

June 30

New York University

February 15

North Carolina Central University

April 30

University of North Carolina

March 1 

University of North Dakota

July 15 

Northeastern University

March 1 

Northern Illinois University

April 1

Northern Kentucky University

April 1 

Northwestern University

February 15

University of Notre Dame

March 15

Nova Southeastern University

March 15 

Ohio Northern University

August 1

Ohio State University

March 31 

Oklahoma City University

July 31

University of Oklahoma

Rolling

University of Oregon

March 1 

Pace University

June 1

Pennsylvania State - Dickinson Law

June 30

Pennsylvania State - Penn State Law

March 31

University of Pennsylvania

March 1

Pepperdine University

June 24

University of Pittsburgh

April 1

Pontifical Catholic University of P.R.

June 30

University of Puerto Rico

March 30

Quinnipiac University

Rolling 

Regent University

Rolling

University of Richmond

February 1

Roger Williams University

April 1 

Rutgers University

March 15 

Saint Louis University

Rolling

Samford University

May 1

University of San Diego

March 1 

University of San Francisco

Rolling 

Santa Clara University

March 1 

Seattle University

Rolling 

Seton Hall University

April 1

University of South Carolina

March 1 

University of South Dakota

February 1

South Texas College of Law Houston

March 15 

University of Southern California

February 1 

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

April 1 

Southern Methodist University

March 1

Southern University

May 1

Southwestern Law School

April 1

St. John's University

March 16 

St. Mary's University

March 1

St. Thomas University (Florida)

July 1 

University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)

August 1

Stanford University

February 1

Stetson University

May 15 

Suffolk University

April 1 

Syracuse University

April 1

Temple University

March 1

University of Tennessee

Rolling

Texas A&M University

February 3 

University of Texas at Austin

March 1

Texas Southern University

April 1 

Texas Tech University

July 1 

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

July 15

University of Toledo

April 15 

Touro College

Rolling

Tulane University

March 1

University of Tulsa

July 31

University of Buffalo-SUNY

Rolling 

University of La Verne

July 1

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

June 30

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

March 15 

UNT Dallas College of Law

April 30

University of Utah

March 10

Vanderbilt University

April 1

Vermont Law School

July 15

Villanova University

April 1

University of Virginia

March 3

Wake Forest University

March 1

Washburn University

April 1 

Washington and Lee University

March 1

Washington University

June 1

University of Washington

March 15

Wayne State University

June 20 

West Virginia University

March 1

Western Michigan University

Rolling

Western New England University

Rolling 

Western State College of Law

July 1

Widener University-Delaware

August 1

Willamette University

Rolling

William and Mary Law School

March 1

University of Wisconsin

April 1

University of Wyoming

April 30 

Yale University

February 15

Note that schools with rolling admissions mean that the admission will remain open as long as slots are available.  

Leonard Haggin
 

I created this site to help students like you learn from the experiences my team had learned during our extensive academic careers. I am now studying Law at Stanford, but I also make time to write articles here in order to help all you fellow students advance in your academic careers and beyond. I hope our efforts on Study Prep Lounge will arm you with the knowledge you need to overcome whatever trial or test you find in front of you.

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