How to Defer Law School Admission

If you are accepted to a law school, you may request to defer admission by a year or two, meaning that you delay your enrollment until then. If your request is approved, you will be required to put down a seat deposit and sign a binding commitment to withdraw from all outstanding waitlists and pending applications. In return, the school promises you may enroll in a future class.

Once you have deferred admission, you may not apply to other law schools. You may, however, decide not to attend after all, in which case you will lose only your seat deposit and perhaps the law school’s goodwill. Violating the terms of a deferment contract may put your future legal career at risk. If state bar examiners find out, it may put your ability to practice law in doubt.

Law schools vary in their openness to deferment. Some are flexible while others rarely grant requests. Hidden factors may influence this decision, like the size of a law school’s waitlist, their forecasts for admissions trends or the strength of your candidacy. Typically, law schools are most receptive to one-year deferments.

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