On Time: An Empirical Analysis of U.S. Law School Admissions Deadlines

12 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2008 Last revised: 10 Dec 2012

See all articles by Paul R. Dorasil

Paul R. Dorasil

University of Florida

Clifford Chad Henson

Texas A&M School of Law; Property & Environment Research Center

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

Dorasil, Paul R. and Henson, Clifford Chad, On Time: An Empirical Analysis of U.S. Law School Admissions Deadlines (March 20, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1099481 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1099481

Paul R. Dorasil (Contact Author)

University of Florida ( email )

Gainesville, FL 32611-7140
United States

Clifford Chad Henson

Texas A&M School of Law

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States

Property & Environment Research Center ( email )

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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