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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.


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

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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We compiled the application resources, information, and advice from across our website to help you put together an application that best reflects your abilities and readiness for Harvard Law School.

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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

  • Featured image for JDP Reflections: The Varied Roles of a Teacher article

    JDP Reflections: The Varied Roles of a Teacher

    –Mohini Tangri ’24 During the second semester of my junior year, I decided to apply to Harvard’s Junior Deferral Program. I was excited and nervous — I didn’t know what my chances were, and I also wasn’t sure what I would spend my two gap years doing if I got in. But in June of

    May 1, 2024

  • Featured image for Announcing Dates for the 2024 Junior Deferral Program (JDP) Application Cycle article

    Announcing Dates for the 2024 Junior Deferral Program (JDP) Application Cycle

    This year, the Junior Deferral Program (JDP) application will open on May 1, 2024. The application will be available on the Junior Deferral Program website. We invite you to get started on your application components before the application officially opens. In particular, we encourage you to reach out to your recommenders early so they are

    March 18, 2024

  • Featured image for Our Favorite Interview Questions article

    Our Favorite Interview Questions

    November officially marks the beginning of interviews for those applying in the 2023–2024 cycle! To help you prepare, we wanted to share some of our favorite interview questions. Before we dive in, here’s some additional context about interviews: If you have been invited for an interview with a member of the J.D. Admissions team, you can

    November 2, 2023