On Time: An Empirical Analysis of U.S. Law School Admissions Deadlines
12 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2008 Last revised: 10 Dec 2012
Date Written: March 20, 2008
Setting an application deadline is an important decision for a law school admissions committee because the deadline partly determines the quantity and quality of applications that a law school receives. As such, information that would help an admissions committee set its deadline appropriately and strategically is valuable. The intention of this essay is to provide such information. To do so, we treat law school admissions as a market and set up an econometric model, which provides information on how various types of schools set their deadlines. From this, we interpret a number of strategies in which law schools seem to engage. We find that better law schools tend to set earlier deadlines, generally. However, we also find that the most elite schools tend to set later deadlines than the general model would predict while medium-quality law schools tend to set deadlines earlier than the general model would predict. We use economic theory to interpret these deviations from the general model as strategic signaling of quality to potential applicants. Furthermore, we find that some in-state tuition reciprocity agreements may significantly affect deadlines.
Keywords: education, spatial model, graduate school, law school
JEL Classification: A23, C21, D12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation