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Binding Early Decision - Juris Doctor (JD)

USC Gould School of Law

If you believe that USC Gould clearly offers the best path to your legal future, applying for the Binding Early Decision could be the right option for you.

Every student admitted through the Early Decision program is guaranteed a minimum scholarship covering at least 50 percent tuition for the first year of law school. The scholarship is guaranteed for the remaining two years at that same dollar amount, as long as you remain in good standing.


You may apply to only one law school for binding early decision admission. You remain eligible to apply for nonbinding admission at other law schools.

If you are admitted to USC Gould, you must agree to attend and immediately withdraw all of your other law school applications and refrain from initiating any new ones.

Students admitted to USC Gould through Binding Early Decision will not be granted deferrals. If you apply for Binding Early Decision, we expect that you are fully ready to commit to USC Gould upon being admitted.

Application Process

To be considered for Binding Early Decision, you must apply by the deadline and follow the application process for regular JD admission. You must also include a signed Binding Early Decision agreement form, available through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Your application will be considered incomplete if you do not include the signed Binding Early Decision agreement form. Once the application is submitted, it may not be withdrawn (without good cause) or changed to regular decision.

Submitting Original Work

We expect that all written components of the application will be your original work. This means that the use of Artificial Intelligence, including ChatGPT and other similar platforms, is not permitted in the completion of your application. We value statements written by the applicant that reflect their unique voice and perspective.

The application fee is waived for candidates seeking admissions under the Binding Early Decision option.

The LSAT is required for all Binding Early Decision applicants. You must take the LSAT no later than the November 11, 2023 administration. If you intend to take the November LSAT, you must apply by the November 15, 2023 deadline and your score will be sent with your CAS report when it is available. If you intend to take only the GRE, you are not eligible to apply to the Binding Early Decision program. GRE only candidates must apply via the regular decision application.

Applications must be complete by November 30, 2023. Applications that remain incomplete as of December 1, 2023 will be rolled over to the regular decision cycle. Decisions on all early decision applications will be rendered no later than December 21, 2023.

Binding Early Decision candidates are evaluated using the same criteria as all other applicants. Candidates may be admitted, denied or rolled over to the nonbinding decision pool. Candidates who are rolled over or denied are no longer bound by the terms of the Binding Early Decision agreement and may continue applying to other law schools. However, if you are denied admission to USC Gould, you may not reapply via the nonbinding decision process.

If admitted, you will be asked to submit an Enrollment Confirmation Form, and pay a one-time seat deposit of $1,000 by January 5, 2024. Scholarship awards will be made before the deposit deadline. If you wish to compare multiple admission offers, Binding Early Decision may not be right for you.

Admission Decisions

Binding Early Decision admissions decisions are made in mid to late December. We accept applications on a rolling basis, as space is available. You will be notified via email and postal mail. No admissions decisions will be released over the phone.

Visit Us

We encourage you to visit USC Gould to observe a class, schedule a tour or attend an information session to ensure that USC Gould is the right fit for your needs and goals.


USC Gould reserves the right to revoke an admission offer if a candidate fails to comply with any of the application instructions. At the dean or Admissions Committee's discretion, USC Gould also may provide the names of applicants admitted through Binding Early Decision to other law schools upon request.

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