ssanonymous wrote:Lavitz, thanks for the information. I was always under the assumption that YLS reads apps as they come in and didn't have a "hold" pile like other law schools i.e. you either get accepted, rejected, or waitlisted as soon as your file is reviewed. That's why I'm surprised to hear that someone submitted in October and heard back in February. I do still think it's rare to hear back that late after submitting, but it does make the admissions cycle less predictable.
The Admissions Committee does read the apps as they come in, but if you're not an auto-admit or auto-reject then yes, your app is sent off for faculty review, which basically is the hold. And yes, some of them do take their sweet time, as evidenced here:
Our admissions process takes longer than most schools, because we involve our entire faculty in the admissions process. I've described the admissions process here. As anyone who's been to law school can attest, it's hard enough to get a professor to turn in grades, let alone a stack of 50 admissions files. Multiply that by 60 and you have my reasons for wanting to fling myself out a window from about December through April. Seriously, though, while our process is time-consuming, it does ensure that every application is read very thoroughly, regardless of grades and LSAT scores, by up to 6 readers (which includes me and in tough cases, my entire admissions staff). So we don't make any decision lightly.
As a result of our process, your chances of admission are the same regardless of when you apply. Many applicants will hear within a couple of months of applying, but applicants who go through the full round of faculty review, as well as applicants who apply later in the season, may not hear until late March or early April, when most of our final decisions are made.
So that's basically why you shouldn't assume waitlist or reject if you don't hear in December.