Happy summer! It’s August 15 – one month until our regular J.D. application opens for the Class of 2022.

Speaking to prospective students this summer on the road, a number asked whether there is any advantage to submitting an application “early” in the cycle.

The short answer: yes.  The lawyerly answer: it depends.*

Your biggest priority should be to carefully craft an application that reflects your goals, interests, and potential.  Far better to take the time you need to perfect your personal statement than to press submit just for the sake of having it in “early.”

All that said, we do make offers of admission on a rolling basis.  Applications are reviewed roughly in the order that they are received.  Given the adjustments to the LSAT schedule this year, we expect to receive a larger number of applications in September and early October than past years.  We will begin inviting applicants to interview in October, and build the 1L class in a series of admit batches beginning in December.

That means there is some advantage to applying early.  You have more opportunities to rise to consideration for interview, and for admission during our committee meetings, which begin in December.

So what does “early” mean?  Our application opens on September 15, 2018, and closes on February 1, 2019.  We consider applications “early” if they are submitted prior to December 1.  Those applications will have a greater chance of being processed and read before the New Year.

Again, you should take the time you need to get your application exactly where you want it before you press submit.  To the extent you can tackle the first draft of your personal statement before the last days of summer, or begin emailing potential recommenders now, you may put yourself in a better position to apply earlier in the cycle.

Best of luck, and we look forward to reading your applications this year.

– Kristi and the J.D. Admissions Team

*As you’ll see when you come to law school, lawyers just love to say “it depends.”

Filed in: Inside the Black Box

Contact the J.D. Admissions Office

Website: hls.harvard.edu/jdadmissions

Email: jdadmiss@law.harvard.edu