Early Decision

We offer a binding Early Decision program for applicants who have considered and investigated their law school options carefully and are confident that the University of Michigan Law School is their clear first choice.

In return for the Law School's commitment to give an Early Decision applicant a decision by a particular date, applicants must restrict their law school choices and commit, at the time of application, to attend Michigan Law School if admitted. 

Applicants to our Early Decision program may apply to other law schools, but you may not apply to any other binding early decision programs. If admitted under the Early Decision program, applicants must withdraw any existing applications to other law schools (regardless of the status of those applications), as well as not initiate any new applications. 

While Early Decision candidates are evaluated for admission according to the same selection criteria that apply to all candidates, their clear enthusiasm for Michigan Law School as their first choice will be taken into account as a positive factor in our evaluation.

Early Decision programs are not for everyone, and we urge you to consider carefully before you apply.

Students admitted under these programs restrict their law school choice in return for the certainty of learning an admission decision earlier than is typical. While Early Decision applicants are eligible for merit- and need-based financial grants on the same terms as every other admitted student, students for whom financial aid considerations are paramount are not well-suited for this program: Financial aid decisions are not made until later in the season, and those admitted under Early Decision will not have an opportunity to compare awards from other schools. Likewise, students who have not had an opportunity to research law schools thoroughly prior to applying may end up being dissatisfied at having restricted their choices. 

Early Decision applications must be submitted by November 15. 

Early Decision applicants must take the LSAT no later than the October administration, and must register with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service no later than October 10. The Admissions Office must receive all application components by the deadline, with the exception that the LSAC Report and LSAT score, which may not be available until later if applicants sat for the October LSAT administration. 

We will automatically consider Early Decision applications that are incomplete by the deadline as part of the regular admissions process, and we will inform applicants accordingly. Early Decision applicants must indicate on the application form that they are applying for the binding program by checking the Early Decision box, as well as by signing the Early Decision certification.  

Applicants admitted via Early Decision will be required to submit a $600 deposit by January 15.  

Deferred Admission

Applicants should apply during the year in which they intend to enroll. If, however, after receiving an offer of admission, you wish to defer enrollment, please email us at law.jd.admissions@umich.edu. Deferrals are granted at the discretion of the Dean of Admissions, and considerations include your strength as a candidate relative to anticipated future applicant pools, your commitment to attending law school, and your plans for the deferral year. We will automatically grant deferrals for Teach for America Corps members and City Year AmeriCorps members who are or will be completing their term of service. It is difficult for us to grant deferrals that have no clear end date. It also gets increasingly difficult to defer candidates as we get closer to the start of classes. If you are granted a deferral and choose to accept it, it is binding; you must commit to attend Michigan Law School in the agreed-upon year, and may not apply to any other law schools during your deferral period. 

Reapplying

If you have applied to the University of Michigan Law School in a previous admissions season and are interested in reapplying, we appreciate your continued interest, and we would be pleased to receive your new application. Please be assured that your previous application does not place you at any disadvantage, whatever the outcome was. You will be competing against our new pool of applicants on an equal footing.

To reapply, you must:

  • submit a new application
  • submit a $75 application fee
  • re-register or maintain your registration with CAS, even if you do not plan to retake the LSAT.

If you completed further coursework since your previous application, you should have updated transcripts sent from your college or university directly to CAS.

In addition, you must resubmit all supplemental materials (that is, essay(s), résumé, addenda) with your new application, even if the content of those documents has not changed. Thus, if you wish, you may re-use your prior essays; we strongly suggest, however, that you  consider new or refreshed writing for the benefit of our reviewers. Likewise, we encourage you to provide us with any new information you think would help us evaluate your qualifications. Finally, you are welcome to re-use your prior letters of recommendation or to submit new ones; we will review any letters that you have assigned through LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service for the current admissions season.