If you're applying to law school, you need a strategy to help keep you organized and stop you from feeling overwhelmed. Start planning early with our advice on when and where to apply.

law school application strategy

When Do I Apply?

Forget the official deadline. The truth is that the longer you wait to apply to law school, the slimmer your chance of getting in. Admissions teams don't wait until the deadline to start making their decisions. Get those applications as early into the process as you can.

You should also strongly consider applying early admission. If you get in, then you won't have to stress until April to find out where you'll be spending the next three years of your life. If you don't get in, it can help you see what your chances are at other schools. Plus, it's better to get waitlisted in December than April (or whenever you would be notified for regular admissions). If there's a tie among applicants on the waiting list, there's a good chance the school will admit whoever applied first.

How Many Law Schools Should I Apply To?

Your best bet is to apply to a minimum of two reach schools, two match schools, and three safeties.

  • A reach is a law school whose students' average LSAT and GPA scores are higher than yours. Don't be discouraged from applying, but based on the numbers alone your chances are not outstanding.

  • A match is a law school that accepts students with about the same LSAT scores and GPA as yours. Your scores combined with a strong application mean you have a good shot here.

  • A safety is a law school where students' average LSAT scores and GPAs are below yours. Your chances here are pretty high!

Why seven schools? Better safe than sorry. Most admissions experts agree with the 2–2–3 or 2–3–2 ratios. If you feel that you must really play it safe, apply to three in each category. No matter how many schools on your list, make sure you would really attend each one if you had no other choice.

Use our law school search to find the right program for you or browse our law school ranking lists.

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