What Does Rolling Admission Mean? Guide For Law Applicants

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Rolling admission is often perceived as a great chance to get into a dream law school. Of course, it is true. But at the same time, it involves several issues, which are worthy of consideration in case you want to benefit from this process. In this article, we listed all important aspects every applicant should know before submitting the application. 

Rolling Admission: What Is It?

Rolling admission and application on a regular basis have a lot of common features, except for one thing. Law schools with rolling admissions continue evaluating the applications until they fill all the open slots for the classes. Also, this type of admission has such features as:

  • Law schools review applications on an ongoing basis;
  • Many schools with rolling admission often adhere to the priority deadlines.

Even if the rolling admission implies lots of benefits, it has several pitfalls you need to consider for not missing your chance to win your place. Let’s look through the common pros and cons of law schools with rolling admissions:

  • Rolling admission boosts your chances of getting accepted;
  • You have a chance to spread out the application process for several months;
  • Applicants become more flexible in their application options;
  • Rolling admission is less stressful than regular one;
  • If you are late with the application, you will still have a chance to find a spot.
  • Free spots can be filled up very quickly;
  • Some of the law schools can set priority deadlines;
  • Financial aid and housing are available on the first-come, first-served basis, so the applicants who were approved through rolling admission may lose these opportunities;
  • In most cases, the rolling admission is beneficial for early application;
  • The competition is often still high, the same as during a regular application.


Overall 2020-2021 Statistics on Law Applications

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2021 broke all records in terms of law school admission. The statistics show that the overall number of applicants increased up to 13% compared to the previous years since 2002. It means that the competition was also higher than ever.

The LSAT results also became higher, scoring from 175 to 180. The number of applications increased to 42%, and the level of the applicants was very high. So, the admission committee required more time for the final decisions. As a result, 2020-2021 became really stressful for both admission officers and law applicants.

Apart from such a fruitful application period, 2022 is predicted to decrease the number of law applications. Hence, the applicants will have more chances to get into the desired institution through the rolling admission process.

How to Benefit From Rolling Admission?

After analyzing the advantages and disadvantages, it becomes clear that rolling admission is quite a controversial issue. Nevertheless, these working tips can help increase your chances of getting approved:

  1. Early application means that you will have more opportunities to fill up the free slot. Also, you get an application strategy sooner than other applicants and will be able to change the strategy (if necessary).
  2. Conduct research before submitting. Law schools with rolling admission have different deadlines and requirements for applications.
  3. Plan ahead for LSAT testing. Those who take tests during their junior year will have a chance for early admission. Furthermore, you will plan your preparation or retake it if you want to improve your results.
  4. Be attentive and responsible, the same as in the case of regular admission. Rolling admission doesn’t mean that you can let it go and relax.

How to Increase Chances While Retaking The LSAT

Retaking the LSAT is one of the working strategies to increase chances during the rolling admission. But it is important to remember one thing — it’s suggested not to retake the test multiple times.

Of course, law schools won’t average your scores, but the admission committee will look at your performance. In case of bad/not-satisfying results, you will benefit from retaking the LSAT, but do not do it too often. It is better to prepare carefully and take it from the last (or, at least, second) attempt.

What to Avoid During Rolling Admission Process

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Almost everyone makes mistakes, and it is normal. But when you acknowledge the possible outcomes, it will be easier to avoid some problems during the application. Thus, this list will help you avoid widespread rolling admission mistakes.

Putting Away The Application

Waiting till the final deadline is not the best strategy to apply for the desired graduate program. Thus, the professors get a lot of applications during the late fall, so your admission can be missed or skipped. So, if you are in a rush with your letter, it won’t yield the best results.

Ignoring LSAT Scores

Do not forget that your LSAT scores matter. Many law schools allow several attempts to pass the test. So, do not hesitate to prepare and improve your LSAT scores. This way, you will definitely boost your chances to be accepted to your dream university. Who knows, maybe, the Ivies won’t be a hopeless dream as it seems before.

Missing The Deadlines

If the applicant wants to succeed, it is vital to adhere to all the deadlines. The matter is that the policies and application deadlines differ depending on the chosen university. So, it is better to make a list or a schedule with all law schools to ensure that you will do everything on time.

Applying for One/Two Law Schools

Being realistic is a nice strategy to succeed during the application process. But it does not mean that you have low chances to get into the law school of your dream. At the same time, it is always good to have a backup plan, isn’t it? That’s why choose several universities you would like to apply for.

Late Admissions

Applicants who decide to take a February test for fall admission risk failing the application. Thus, late admission means that the applicants won’t have a chance to receive full consideration. What is more, some law schools provide an award package. But in case of late admission, the applicant loses this opportunity.

Poor Personal Statement

The personal statement is the tool that helps to formulate clearly your goals and highlight why you are the best candidate to apply for a chosen grad program. So, you need to be very attentive to it. In case of inappropriate tone, lots of mistakes, unclear goals, and so on, you will decrease your chances for success.

Panic and Anxiety

One more widespread mistake is starting to panic ahead of time. Of course, the admission process is quite stressful, but it is not a reason to perceive it as a “life or death” matter. Anxiety can lead to impulsive decisions, mistakes in the essay, and so on.

If you do not know how to cope with it, try to use some working tips to overcome anxiety and burnout during the admission process.

Being Dishonest

Being honest is the best strategy to persuade the admission committee that you are the right person they need. When an applicant pretends to be someone else, it becomes evident from the first lines of your application essay. So, your main goal is to highlight your unique personality and strengths.

Showing Ignorance or Unprofessionalism

Undoubtedly, it’s better to stay professional in all stages. For instance, if the applicant responds timely, adheres to the instructions, and tends to use the formal tone for any contact with the admissions committee, he/she has more chances to be approved.

Step by Step Guide On Rolling Admission

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Our experts prepared a short guideline on rolling admission based on the application timeline. These tips will help be confident that you followed all the necessary recommendations. So, let’s look through them to identify what steps are significant to ensure a smooth application process.

24-18 Months Before Getting Approved

The preparations usually start long before the admission process begins. Thus, there are several early steps necessary for a successful application:

  • Make up a plan to study for the LSAT;
  • Search for the information about the law schools you want to apply for;
  • Register to take a test;
  • Investigate the financial aid opportunities (research on the costs of the schools, scholarship, and student loan options, if necessary).

18-14 Months Before Getting Approved

During the spring semester of junior year, it will be a good idea to ensure that you have everything required for the application. So, these steps will be really helpful:

  • Take the LSAT test (or retake it if you are not satisfied with the results);
  • Make a decision concerning the potential law schools;
  • Start preparing the recommendation letters.

14-12 Months Before Getting Approved

During a senior year, it is important to prepare everything you need for a successful application:

  • If you still have not taken the LSAT yet, you still have time for it;
  • Start outlining your personal statement and admission essay;
  • Some law schools require a resume, so it’s better to check whether it corresponds to the admission committee’s instructions.

12-8 Months Before Getting Approved

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The fall semester (senior year) is a perfect time to make final decisions. Also, some of the law schools open the application during this period. So, in the case of early admission, you will have many advantages. The important preparations are the following:

  • October LSAT is good for retaking the test;
  • Make final decision about the list of law schools for applications;
  • Visit the desired schools to confirm your choice;
  • Submit the application form attentively;
  • Finish and proofread the personal statement and application essay; If you are not confident that everything is correct, EssayEdge experts are always ready to help you with editing;
  • Search for scholarships and grants.

8-3 Months Before Getting Approved

During this time, applicants often start to receive admission decisions. If you are an applicant with a high GPA and LSAT results, do not hesitate to discuss scholarship opportunities. What is more, several steps can be taken during this period:

  • Finish all the applications if you have not done it yet;
  • In case you are waitlisted, it’s high time to send a continued interest letter;
  • If you are going to relocate, you need to search for housing options;
  • Attending various student events can help you make a final decision about the law school.

3-1 Month Before Application

The final application period is a time to make final preparations:

  • Ensure that you followed all the enrollment procedures (e.g. deposits or papers);
  • Confirm the housing details and prepare for moving;
  • Get ready for the new stage in your life! Finally, you did it!

Key Takeaway

Taking everything into consideration, rolling admission is quite a tricky process. Anyway, you know all the important aspects to consider if you set hopes on it. We hope that our recommendations will be beneficial for you during the admission process. Wish you the best of luck!

Robin W.
Professional essay editor and proofreader with 10+ years of experience. Education: Cornell University. PhD in English Studies and M.F.A in Creative Writing.
Update: April 11, 2022

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