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Application Timeline

  • Apply by July 1

    The 2024 Junior Deferral Program (JDP) application opens on May 1 and closes on July 1.

    To apply, please submit the application and required materials via the HLS Junior Deferral Program Application Portal. 

    The JDP application is hosted entirely on the HLS Junior Deferral Program Application Portal linked below. JDP applicants should not apply via the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website.

    Access the Junior Deferral Program Application

  • Check your Application Status

    It typically takes several weeks to process required materials and to “complete” the application so it is ready for the Admissions Committee to review. We will not begin processing materials until after the application deadline. Therefore, you will not be notified of any updates to the status of your application until after July 1. 

  • Wait for the Review

    The Admissions Committee reviews applications roughly in order of completion. Each application is considered in its entirety — there are no computational methods for making decisions and no numerical cut-offs below which a candidate will not be considered. The time it takes to fully review a file will vary from case to case.

  • Interview

    During the application review process you may be invited to interview. These interviews will happen after applications have been submitted and completed, typically in mid-July. The Admissions Office will contact you directly to set up an interview, where applicable.

  • Receive your Decision

    Unlike the regular J.D. admissions process, this program does not operate on a rolling admissions basis. We will accept applications from the date the application opens through the application deadline. All admissions offers will be made by August.

Deferral Timeline

  • Accept the Offer of Admission

    You will be asked to accept an offer of admission by mid-August. During your senior year, focus on your academic and extracurricular pursuits. If you are admitted to HLS through the JDP, we expect that your academic performance senior year will reflect the same caliber of academic achievement demonstrated by your original application to Harvard Law School.

  • Gain Experience During your Deferral Period

    Students admitted to the Junior Deferral Program explore a range of opportunities during their two-year deferral period between college and beginning law school.

  • Prepare to Enroll

    The J.D. Admissions Office will contact you in the spring before you begin 1L year with next steps. You will apply for financial aid at this time.