Notre Dame Law School’s Office of Admissions eliminates early decision application program

Author: Marisa Simon

Eckhall 2016

The Office of Admissions at Notre Dame Law School is pleased to announce the elimination of the Early Decision Application program in an effort to promote a more inclusive admissions process. All prospective J.D. students may apply through the non-binding Regular Decision Application, which opens on September 1, 2022, for Fall 2023 enrollment. Applicants who may have previously considered the binding application as a way to demonstrate their interest in Notre Dame Law School are instead encouraged to address their enthusiasm in the “Why Notre Dame Law School?” statement.

It has become apparent throughout higher education that early decision programs tend to advantage wealthier students and create anxiety for many students when choosing an application program. Notre Dame Law School has set enrollment records for diversity and first-generation law students in our past two classes, and this step to eliminate our Early Decision Application program will further promote greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Law School community.

As Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law G. Marcus Cole said, “The world is in need of ethical lawyers who are deeply committed to protecting people and enhancing their communities. This is the goal of Notre Dame Law School, where we are dedicated to training ‘a different kind of lawyer.’ Our success at enrolling diverse students who have demonstrated excellence will be amplified by this modification of our admissions procedure.”

All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit the optional “Why Notre Dame” and “Different Kind of Lawyer” written statements to share their personal values and aspirations and how those may align with Notre Dame Law School’s mission and opportunities. Students for whom Notre Dame is their top choice for law school, or is among their top choices, can indicate this in their “Why Notre Dame” statement.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in September and initial admissions decisions will be released in late November or early December. While the application will close on March 15, prospective students are encouraged to submit applications early in the admissions cycle.

All admitted students will automatically be considered for merit scholarships. Merit scholarships will be awarded at the time of admission with the exception of named fellowships. Award amounts are determined primarily by an applicant’s LSAT score and CAS GPA along with consideration for professional and personal experiences and accomplishments.

The Office of Admissions will add more information to its website and other resources to provide additional transparency on the admissions process to prospective students. Prospective students are also encouraged to visit the Law School or email any questions to

Marisa Simon is Director of Admissions at Notre Dame Law School.