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Early Decision Program

The Penn State Law Early Decision Program is a binding early selection process designed for applicants who have thoroughly researched their law school choices and are certain that Penn State Law is their first choice.

Why the Early Decision Program May be Right for You

Students committed to Penn State Law through the Early Decision Program can benefit from certainty earlier in the law school admission process. Early Decision applicants:

  • garner earlier consideration for merit-based scholarships;
  • can avoid the financial and time costs of multiple law school application fees or campus visits;
  • get a head start in planning. Some people find that an early decision helps them in finding child care, securing employment for a spouse, or obtaining housing.  

How it Works

Penn State Law will notify Early Decision applicants when a decision has been made; a candidate will be admitted, denied, or deferred. While Early Decision candidates may apply to other law schools, Penn State Law’s Early Decision Program is binding, meaning that Early Decision candidates may not apply to other early decision-type programs simultaneously. Candidates who apply through the Early Decision Program are evaluated for admission at Penn State Law based on the same criteria as other candidates. 

Candidates admitted to Penn State Law via Early Decision must agree to: 1) withdraw any pending law school applications; 2) not initiate any new applications to other law schools; and, 3) enroll in Penn State Law in the fall semester. Once admitted via the Early Decision Program, a candidate may not request to defer to the regular admissions process.

Any candidate who is deferred will be held over for review through the regular admission process. Deferred applicants are no longer bound by the Early Decision agreement and may continue to be considered for admission to law schools where they had previously applied or initiate additional law school applications (if they choose to do so). Candidates who are denied through the Early Decision Program may not reapply through the regular admissions process for admission in the same academic year for which they applied for Early Decision.

While the Admissions Committee will consider a candidate’s submission of application via the Early Decision Program as evidence of the applicant’s strong commitment to Penn State Law, Early Decision candidates are evaluated for admission to the law program using the same criteria applied to regular admission candidates. 

Failure to comply with the terms of the Early Decision Program may result in a revocation of admission. Penn State Law also reserves the right to supply other law schools with the names of candidates admitted via the Early Decision Program.


Early Decision application will be available beginning Tuesday, October 1 and must be complete and submitted to the Admissions Office by December 1, 2013. Due to the December 1 deadline, Early Decision applicants must have taken the LSAT no later than the September/October 2013 administration. A complete application includes:

  • LSAC Law School Report
  • letters of recommendation
  • Penn State Law application, including the application form, personal statement, addendum statements (optional), and résumé. 

Penn State Law will render a decision no later than December 30, 2013. The deposit deadline for Early Decision admitted students is Friday, January 17, 2014. Incomplete or late Early Decision applications will be deferred to the regular admissions process.

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