After taking a brief moment to look at the heavens, ponder the cosmic ballet that was the Great American Eclipse, and consider their place in the grander symphony of the universe, law school AdComms return to their offices and confront absolute chaos—it’s Deposit Deadline Season! Everyone has something going on that’s totally mission critical. The exact nature of that totally mission critical matter just depends on when that particular school’s deposit deadline falls. So let’s take a deep calming breath

and then spend a few minutes checking in on the news and updates from the world of law school admissions.

April and June LSAT Registrations

Before descending into the madness of deposit deadlines and waitlists, let’s take a quick look at LSAT registrations now that we’re on the eve of the April administration. Per LSAC’s LSAT Registrants and Test Taker Volumes report, we’re still expecting a bit of a tidal wave:

Let’s do a “good news/bad news” analysis here for the folks applying next year.

Good News

  • You’re taking the LSAT in a few days! That’s awesome. Good for you!
  • Oh, and you’re taking the LSAT again in June! That’s cool. 
  • April LSAT registrations went down by 7% last week! Yay for less competition!

Bad News

  • Although April LSAT registrations went down over the past week, it looks like all those April cancellations just moved their registrations to June—oof.
  • The April LSAT was first offered during the 2020–2021 testing cycle (Trivia tidbit—it was the first LSAT-Flex after COVID hit!). This will be a record high number of test takers for the April LSAT.
  • June registrations went up 19% just over this past week.

Although we’re still waiting for a fully functioning crystal ball to arrive one of these days, these data points really are suggesting that next year will have more applicants than this year. And the admissions math here is usually:

More applicants = More applications
More applications = More competition
More competition = More time spent on your phone’s Calm app

Looks like it’s time to make sure we still have those login credentials for Calm!

Deposit Deadline Craziness

But enough with creating dread among next year’s applicants when we can spend a few moments with this year’s applicants. Deposit Deadline Season is among us, and we at 7Sage hope that you enjoy spending these high holy days with the ones you love!

Every year brings a bit of confusion regarding what these deadlines mean and how to proceed if you’re still waiting on financial aid awards, waitlist decisions, or—heck!—just any decision on that app that you submitted back in November and which appears to have fallen into a black hole. So let’s break down a few of the commonly asked questions that we receive from our students at this time of year.

When are the deposit deadlines?

The most common deadlines are April 1, April 15, and April 30/May 1. The most common grouping tends to be:

  • T14s: April 30/May 1
  • T15-30s: April 15
  • Everyone else: April 1

This date should be featured rather prominently in your admit letter, your financial aid letter, and—if the admissions office is doing their job!—every mass communication that they send to their admitted students. When I was an AdComm at this time of year, it felt like I was signing off every email with:

Jacob Baska
And don’t forget that our deposit deadline is April 15!

If you have any question at all about a deadline for a school, just give them a quick call to verify the deadline.

How do I submit my deposit?

While there’s nothing universal, most schools will create an online form that will allow you to both submit your deposit form (which indicates that you intend to enroll at the school) and pay your deposit (which will be applied to your first tuition bill in the fall).

Hold up. You said, “intend to enroll.” Is a deposit binding? Do I have to attend this school?

As future lawyers, now is a great time to start obsessing about semantics! A deposit just indicates that you intend to enroll in the upcoming academic year. But you won’t actually enroll until orientation hits in August or September. AdComms are very aware that a lot can change between now and then!

What do I do if I’m still waiting on a fin aid award from my other top choice law school?

Oof. This is a delightfully emotionally complex moment. Welcome to being an adult!

Your first action point is with the school that hasn’t provided you with your fin aid award yet. Let’s call them School A. You will want to check with them to ensure that you have submitted all of your required paperwork/forms to be considered for aid (and that’s if the school requires any). You can also politely ask them when you may expect to receive a notification regarding your financial aid. Ideally they’ll provide you with a real date (like April 20th) rather than a fictional date (like March 31st).

Once you have that information, it’s time to put your hat in your hand, work on your puppy dog eyes, and go talk with your other top choice—School B. Keep in mind that School B likes you. They admitted you. They provided you with your fin aid award in a timely manner. They would be thrilled if you deposited. They’ve done everything right … and now you’re going to ask them if it’s possible to have a little more time to make a decision because School A is late to the Fin Aid Party. If you’re a method actor, this is the motivation for your scene!

It’s okay to ask School B—politely and professionally—if it would be possible to have a slight extension on your deposit deadline. I would suggest being open and mentioning School A by name as well as the date that they have indicated that they’ll be back in touch with your award. This information puts boundaries around your request. It’ll be clear to School B’s AdComms that you don’t have cold feet but, rather, you’re just waiting on information from one school and that you have a set date in mind. That’s a much more reasonable request than being vague about who this mystery school is and when the mystery date may be.

What do I do if I’m on a waitlist at my top choice law school?

This one’s a bit more straightforward and less emotionally complex!

For the purposes of right now, those waitlisted schools don’t exist. You have not been admitted and you may not be admitted. The earliest that you’ll know is going to be after their deposit deadlines pass. The first big waves of waitlist admit offers—if they happen—will be May. So for right now, just focus on the admit offers you have.

What do I do if I’m still just waiting on an admissions decision from my top choice law school?!?!

And we’re back to being emotionally complex!

Much like being on the waitlist at a school, not having received an offer from your top choice means that they don’t exist for the purposes of your deposit decision.

But here’s the twist. While you don’t know when or if you’ll be admitted from a waitlist, you at least can feel sure that you won’t hear until after that school’s deposit deadline passes and that the main season for waitlist admits is in May. But for that school where your decision is still pending? You could hear from them tomorrow … you could hear from them next month … you could hear from them on March 31st next year. Sigh!

So for situations like this, our advice is similar to the answer about waitlists but with a corresponding twist. Focus first on the admit offers you have and determine which school (School A) you’re going to deposit at if you don’t hear back from your top school (School B) in time. After you figure out the identity of School A, be ready to deposit by their deadline. Regarding School B, it’s generally alright to reach out to their admissions office to inquire about the status of your application. But the BIG EXCEPTION is if the school has already reached out to you to let you know that they’re still working on your application. If that’s the case, your best course of action is hanging tight. Patience is a virtue, and moments like these are reminders that virtuous people are in short supply during Deposit Deadline Season!

7Sage Events and Blogs

And in a smooooooth segue from what we were just discussing, we have a new post up from our Lulu Dewey about how to choose the law school for you! Additionally, fans of our How to Get into Law School series may want to listen to the most recent episode about letters of continued interest. The first episode of our new season should be up on (and wherever you listen to podcasts) soon! And Tajira McCoy and Sam Riley have their latest “Dear A.O” column to peruse!