This is a milestone moment in your life. You have decided that you will become a lawyer! You’ve done your research on the profession and on law schools. You’ve taken or begun to prepare for the LSAT. You have a list of schools where you will apply. Perhaps you have visited schools or even attended a Pre-Law program to learn more about law school itself. Congratulations! Now it is time to apply.
These days, applicants are waiting later and later to submit their applications even though law schools open them up in the fall. Why should this matter?
Here’s 8 reasons why you should take the LSAT and apply early in the admission cycle.
1. You have a chance to retest.
Early test takers can retest if they did not achieve the score they hoped to receive or a score that might get them into a dream school – the LSAT is now offered 9 times/year. Most schools take the highest score for admission and scholarship consideration even though we see every test score posted to your CAS account.
2. It gives you time to focus.
Applying early allows plenty of time to submit the required and optional materials without the errors that inevitably result from frantically applying at the last minute. Focus on the details and fully and accurately answer the questions asked on your applications. Be thorough and take your time so you do not omit anything or end up with careless typos.
3. You’ll get your decision earlier.
Early birds get the worms! Many law schools make decisions on a rolling basis, and the earlier you apply and complete your application packet, the earlier you could get a decision (and a seat at your dream school!).
4. It will be easier to receive scholarships.
Law schools have scholarships – and generous ones at that. The earlier in the cycle you apply, the greater your chance of earning a scholarship. As the cycle wanes, funds may become limited or even depleted. Don't shortchange your scholarship eligibility with an unnecessarily late application.
5. You’ll have more time to go through your options.
When you get your decisions early, you will have more time to decide your home for the next few years! You can critically evaluate your law schools and pick the best fit. We recommend using the ABA Standard 509 Information Report for each school so you have "apples-to-apples" data. Here is the Stetson University College of Law Information Report. And, it also gives you time to plan a visit – it's inadvisable to attend a law school that you have never visited.
6. And more time to find a place to live.
You’ve found your perfect law school and now you need a place to live. When you apply early you have more time to research housing options. Many law schools have residential life offices and some, like Stetson University College of Law, have dedicated law student housing!
7. You can be ready if something goes wrong.
What happens if you don’t get into your dream school? LSAC offers good advice and stresses that by applying early, you will be able to "apply to other schools you had not previously considered."
8. Enjoy more time to relax!
Once you know where you will call home for three years you can start to relax and enjoy the moment. Read some good books. Travel. Work and save money. Do something fun!