The application deadline is rapidly approaching.  February 1, 2010 (11:59:59 PM PST) to be exact…

Take note of this date and mark it clearly on your calendar if you’ve not already done so as I must confess I’m not all that generous when it comes to applicants who ask for special consideration in submitting a late application.  If you’ve only discovered today that you want to go to law school next fall and you’ve not even taken the LSAT yet,  you are not in an enviable position.  4000-plus candidates will have managed to hit that “submit” button in a timely fashion.  What might your reason be for not making the deadline?  Am I being harsh?   Perhaps.  Probably.  But deadlines are important and they are plentiful in law school – paper deadlines, clinic application deadlines, add/drop deadlines, financial aid deadlines and the list goes on.  Let’s not even get started on “real life” deadlines.  So, if you’ve not been good about meeting deadlines in the past, make a change and chart a new course starting today.   Now, of course, if there truly is a compelling reason for a late submission, let me know and I will give it full and careful consideration.  I’m not that harsh all the time.

If you’ve not yet gotten that application in – but have every intention of doing so by the deadline noted above –  and are wringing your hands because you think you’re late and behind the eight ball, stop the worrying.  The class is not yet full.  There are seats still waiting to be filled.  Take that nervous energy and use it instead to put the finishing touches on that personal statement.  And, savor the moment when you are done and have turned things over to us.

12 Responses to Submit that application…
  1. Ms. Deal,

    I work in publishing, and my respect for deadlines is probably greater than what is healthy; I submitted my application in late December and have been alternately savoring and panicking ever since.

    If an applicant experiences a life change which comes after the deadline (in my case, a promotion), should he or she submit an addendum detailing that change? Or is it preferable to treat a submitted application as fully closed – in effect, published?

    Thank you,


  2. Meaghan:

    It is indeed a good idea to update your materials in a situation like you describe. It is, as you say, a “life change” and that carries importance. Now, on the other hand, if you were thinking of telling us that you’ve increased the number of hours you’re volunteering with one particular pet project, then I’d say hold off. While that is a worthwhile endeavor in its own right, updating your application with that information will have no impact on the review.

    How to get this information to us? Send it electronically – it’s quick and we just upload the document into your file.


  3. Ms. Deal,

    I recently founded a new group on my campus, but it falls under areas of interest already listed on my application. Would this be useful information to include in an update?

    Thank you,



  4. Thank you, Ms. Deal! Both for your advice and for operating this blog even at the height of your busy season.


  5. Jessica:

    If your case, I’d say there is no need to update your application. As you state, it’s an area of interest already highlighted. I would also assume, given its recent founding, that you would most likely have little in terms of outcome to discuss at this point. Now, let’s say you are placed on our waitlist (purely hypothetical) down the road. Enough time may have passed that there are now outcomes you can discuss – this would be an excellent time to let us know about the group.


  6. Dean Deal,

    Thank you for taking the time to manage this blog and shed light on an otherwise opaque process.

    When I applied early in the cycle I included a supplemental essay on my interest in Stanford. I later sent your office an update to the application. However, in both cases I overlooked emphasizing that Stanford is by far my first choice.

    What would be the best way to convey such a message at this point? I assure you that it is sincere and has been since I first submitted my application.

    Thank you!



  7. Dean Deal:

    For those of us still in university, would taking on an additional leadership role in a high-profile campus organization that is not mentioned in one’s application warrant an update?

    If so, would it be appropriate to send the update as part of a letter of continued interest or should only a short addendum be sent?


  8. Mary:

    You’ve already included a supplemental essay highlighting your interest in SLS so consider the task done and cross that item of your to-do list. If, down the road, you’re placed on our waitlist, think about reiterating that interest at that point.


  9. Nate:

    If the additional leadership role is substantive and adds sufficiently more to your plate, then do a brief addendum. If not, let things stand. You don’t want us reading through additional paperwork only to find out that you’re only doing a bit more than you were before. Use your best judgement in determining whether this added responsiblity needs to be brought to our attention.


  10. Dean Deal,

    If I feel as though I did not adequately convey my interest in attending Stanford Law in my application, would you recommend sending a “Why Stanford” essay as a supplement?




  11. Dean Deal,

    I am a recent college graduate and I will be starting my LSAT courses in June. I plan on taking the LSAT on the October 9th test date and I am wondering if this is considered to be late in terms of me wanting to submit my applications as soon as I can once the law school starts accepting applications. I want my applications in as early as possible but I realize if I take my test in October, I will not have my scores until November. Thus, my completed application will not go in until mid-November. Is this still considered as an early applicant?

    Also, will Stanford Law School post a personal statement question for those applying this fall (for admissions next fall)?

    Thank you for your time.


  12. June:

    Taking the LSAT in October is not too late by any means. In fact, the December LSAT score is the last one that we’ll take into consideration. I start reading in earnest around mid-November so taking the October test does not put you at any kind of disadvantage. Remember, also, that it is much more important to put together a well-crafted application than to be overly concerned about getting that application in early.


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