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JDP Overview

The Junior Deferral Program (JDP) is an excellent option for students who know they want to go to law school but want to explore other professional, educational, or service opportunities first. Through JDP, undergraduate students in junior standing (or the international equivalent) can apply to HLS as long as they are scheduled to complete all required coursework and graduate the following year. If admitted, they must commit to defer their admission offer for at least two years once they’ve completed their undergraduate degree. Students can then use this deferral period to explore their interests and gain hands-on work experience before returning to the law school classroom.

Eligibility

Students interested in applying to the Junior Deferral Program during the current admissions cycle (summer 2024) must be scheduled to complete coursework and graduate from their undergraduate program by Spring 2025. In addition, an applicant’s undergraduate degree must be equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree to be eligible to apply. The duration of the undergraduate program may vary. If you aren’t sure whether or not you are eligible to apply, please email jdadmiss@law.harvard.edu.

Information Sessions

Join one of our virtual information sessions. In these 45-minute webinars, participants will hear from members of the J.D. Admissions team as well as a current student admitted through the Junior Deferral Program. We will provide a brief overview of the program, answer pre-submitted questions, and address live questions submitted through the Q&A box. For a broad overview of HLS and the admissions process, we encourage participants to view our recorded J.D. Admissions Information Session and browse our JDP FAQs before joining a session.

Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Click below to join our mailing list for the latest updates and information about the Junior Deferral Program.

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Cohort Profile

  • Number of Undergraduate Institutions 80
  • Number of Majors 57
  • States & Territories Represented 47

*Data reflects all students admitted to HLS via the Junior Deferral Program in the past six years

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