Early-decision (ED) applications are usually due in October or November, and you will typically receive a response in December. This option is ideal if you have completed all of your applications materials early (including the LSAT), and you are absolutely committed to the school where you apply for an early decision.
The main drawback to the ED process is that it is usually binding. This means if you are admitted after submitting an early-decision application, you are required to withdraw any other applications that you have submitted. You may only apply ED to one program at a time. The ED process may be a bad choice for you if you plan to choose a program based on scholarship support. It is also a bad idea if you are interested in more than one program and want to weigh multiple options. We encourage you to discuss this decision with a pre-law advisor. (For appointments, please visit our Connect with an Advisor page.)
A school that issues either a waitlist or hold decision is not quite ready to commit to admitting you to its class. Such a decision will usually come with instructions. Read them carefully and provide any additional information that the school is requesting. If you are no longer interested in the program, respectfully and graciously decline the offer for future consideration. If you are hoping to be admitted to that specific program, it is wise to express continued interest in writing.