We are one month away from the Junior Deferral Program (JDP) application deadline on July 1. Here are a few thoughts and reflections from the members of the JDP Committee about what they value in JDP applicants.
We hope that they are helpful as y’all put the finishing touches on your applications. ~Nefyn

I appreciate applicants who are honest.
Monique Atkinson Admissions Officer

It is always a pleasure when applicants show that they have reflected on their motivations. Honest understanding of what drives you will help to direct your graduate study and shed light on the opportunities that will shape your future in law for the better.

Ultimately, applicants who are sincere about who they are and what they are passionate about, rather than constructing a voice they assume will be more competitive, are often the most memorable to me.

I expect applicants to have spent some time reflecting on whether
JDP is right for them.
Kristi Jobson Assistant Dean and Chief Admissions Officer

It is an exciting opportunity, but it is not for everyone. JDP may be right for you if you know you want to go to law school, you are certain you want to go to HLS, and you are committed to spending at least two years engaging in the world before beginning your formal legal education. If that doesn’t sound like you, take some more time. You can always apply to HLS in the future through our regular cycle.

I encourage applicants to be visionary and intentional.
Alessandra Luedeking Admissions Officer

The Junior Deferral Program is unique in its early outreach, which means that all interested candidates should have a clear interest in law school and a vision for their deferrals. We are delighted by the myriad experiences, talents, and perspectives you share with us in your applications. How do you intend to pursue, sharpen, or continue exploring these avenues post-undergraduate? How does JDP help you achieve these goals as opposed to the regular J.D. admissions cycle? I am most impressed by candidates who are prepared with thoughtful and deliberate responses to these questions.

But don’t worry! We don’t expect your plans to be finalized at the time of your application. We are primarily interested in learning about what excites or motivates you to pursue law and other academic or professional opportunities.

I can tell when applicants are certain about their desire to pursue
a deferral and gain work experience ahead of law school.
Courtney McMann Assistant Director

This program offers more than an opportunity for early admission – it provides the freedom to do something that will prompt you to grow and strengthen you as a person and an incoming law student. It is clear when an applicant values that aspect of this program and shares that excitement about what those two (or more) years between college and law school can provide.

I hope that applicants to the Junior Deferral Program see that is an opportunity to help them have a truly transformational experience
before and during law school.
Nefyn Meissner Associate Director

Taking a few more trips around the sun to work, explore, and get to know yourself is immensely valuable. Junior Deferral Program students do so many things while on deferral, and bring those experiences and perspectives with them into 1L year and beyond. Whether you want to work in community organizing in your hometown, travel to teach in a new area, or analyze financial markets at a startup, we hope that you find opportunities that leave you refreshed and ready for life for your journey in the law.

Filed in: Junior Deferral Program

Contact the J.D. Admissions Office

Website: hls.harvard.edu/jdadmissions

Email: jdadmiss@law.harvard.edu