Although the final deadlines for submitting applications to most law schools fall in February and March, Senior Consultant Heike Spahn advises applicants to get their applications in well before those dates arrive.

Law school admissions are always competitive, Heike warns. Even in years when overall application volume is relatively low, she says, “Most schools admit less than one-third of their applicant pool.”

Another factor to consider in timing applications is that many law schools use a rolling admissions system. That means that the admissions committees review applications as they come in and offer seats to qualified applicants as they are identified. Later applicants may find that there are no openings left in the upcoming class, no matter how strong their applications are.

“I’ve seen almost perfect applications denied simply because they applied too late in the process,” says Heike.

Heike’s advice to applicants is always to submit their applications sooner rather than later – but only after they’re sure they’ve prepared a file that makes a winning case for their admission to a J.D. program. Applicants must remember that the clock is ticking. “The sooner your application is submitted, the better chance you will have of being admitted to your top choice school,” says Heike.

– Heike is formerly Associate Director of Admissions and Assistant Dean of Financial Aid at the University of Chicago Law School.

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