Dec 4, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

The law school admissions process is stressful enough. Now, experts recommend applying to law school on the early side.

Why? That old adage 'the early bird catches the worm' has some currency here.

Many law schools use a rolling admissions process, which means that admissions committees evaluate applications as they come in. So there are typically more slots available at the beginning of the admissions cycle than the end.

According to a recent article in US News, Dineen Pashoukos Wasylik, a partner and owner of DPW Legal, said, "I tell anyone planning on applying to law school to apply early. [...] The class just fills up, and it gets harder and harder to get in as time goes on."

Wasylik knows from experience. On her first go-round in the admissions process, she applied late. She said, "One Ivy League school granted me deferred admission, saying 'we're full this year, but if you pay a deposit, you can come here next year.' That is what really told me I was late to the game."

She took a gap year and applied again, this time early, and to her first choice: Georgetown.

She said when she reapplied, other than her essay and one year of work experience, her resume was exactly the same, and she had not retaken the LSAT or done anything else to boost her application. "But the packet arrived in admissions super early. I was thrilled to get an acceptance fairly quickly, and the admissions office handwritten note said, 'so glad we had room for you this year!'" she added.

Jeffrey Zavrotny, assistant dean for admissions at the University of Baltimore School of Law, had similar advice for those seeking law school acceptance letters. He said, "It can be advantageous for students with lower LSAT scores and GPAs to apply earlier in the admission process. Schools are less focused on those indicators earlier in the process."

A word of caution, though: don't submit that application until it's truly ready. In other words, don't rush. Take your time to do it right.

Learn more about applying to law school. 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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