Because the law school admissions process is rolling, those who apply early in the fall have the highest odds of acceptance. Some applicants seek a further edge by applying either early decision or early action. Early decision and early action applicants submit their complete applications months before the general application deadline. In turn, their applications are evaluated promptly and they receive expedited decisions of acceptance, rejection or placement in the general application pool.
Early decision is a binding commitment with just a few exceptions. Applicants accepted early decision typically must commit to attend the law school that accepts them, withdraw any outstanding applications and not apply elsewhere. In contrast, early action is nonbinding. Applicants accepted early action can still apply elsewhere, secure in the knowledge that they have one certain option. While dozens of law schools offer early decision, early action is rarer. Only a handful of law schools offer both options. Since early decision programs are more common and more limiting for law school applicants, it is worth considering the benefits and drawbacks.