Seems like a sensible strategy for what at times feels like an unreasonable admissions process.
Could an application submitted shortly after the early decision deadline but long before the regular deadline be passed over for an equivalent application sent right at the (regular) deadline? I imagine so... psychology playing its part.
You'd like to think that from the outset they place all "maybe's" applications in a giant stack to be fairly reconsidered after they give out all of their definite admits/denies. Unfortunately, comparing all of the on-the-fence candidates against one another demands an impossible time constraint. This is why your softs need to catch an eye or two and give good impression if your stats are borderline.
I applied to a previous cycle at the regular deadline (right out of UH undergrad) and was denied. Applied at the deadline this time round as well, with my LSAT a bit better and softs much better.
I'd say if you have stellar numbers, the earlier you app the better. Just don't be careless with your softs. If you have borderline numbers then I don't see how it hurts to submit near the deadline so long as you're not late. The admittance trending here shows that you most likely would not have been auto admitted, but instead WL or even worse, denied.
Anyone know what the deadline is for animal sacrifices?