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Center for Professional Development
63 South Main Street, 2nd Floor
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
(603) 646-2215
Fax: (603) 646-1360
E-mail: Center for Professional Development
Recruiting Program E-mail:

Making the Decision to Apply

When considering Law School, explore both the profession and the law school experience. Carefully examine your interests, abilities and goals. Start your law school journey by:

Additional Resources:

When to apply to Law School

This answer depends on each individual and what fits with their current lifestyle, goals, and plans. In recent years, the Dartmouth applicant pool has contained more recent graduates than graduating seniors and there is no disadvantage to delaying applications.

Here are a few tips to guide you with your decision:

Why you may want to apply upon completing undergrad:

  • Your career choice requires a JD
  • You are already in the school mode and academically motivated and disciplined
  • You may have fewer obligations now than in a few years

Why you may want to take time off before applying:

  • Gain experience working in the career field, to confirm your interests
  • Improve chances of being accepted to law school (ex. more experience, more focused, know what you want to study, greater sense of self, etc)

If you apply and are not accepted, you can always reapply without prejudice. Plan to take at least two years to gain experience and knowledge in a job you enjoy to develop additional skills that will make your next application significantly different from your earlier one. In general, unless you are very certain about a career in law and have a strong record going into senior year, our advice is to wait. Don't rush. Feel free to discuss your questions or concerns with the Pre-Law Advisor in Center for Professional Development.

Last Updated: 10/9/13