The process of legal education has long been a massive concern at one of the nation’s top law schools. Part of the process of legal education at Harvard Law has been recently the development of a highly prestigious program known as the Junior Deferral. The program allows current college juniors to apply to the school before they graduate from college. In turn, they are asked to delay admission to the law school for two years after graduation. In that time, admitted applicants are supposed to spend those two years doing work or study the university deems meaningful. The goal of the program is to help applicants develop a well rounded view of the world an a better understanding of their own character at the same time.
A New Process
While the program itself has been a large hit with the public, officials at Harvard Law believe it has certain drawbacks. Two of the most important are the school’s application fees and the often cumbersome process of application. Officials here are looking for ways to remedy both issues and create a friendlier, more accessible application process. Before the efforts at streamlining, all applicants were required to apply via the Law School Admission Council’s site. Students are required to pay almost two hundred dollars just to register at the site. Then it’s $45 to report their LSAT scores to each school. On top of that, the university used to charge an additional fee of $85 just to apply for the Junior Deferral program.
The program began in 2014 but was only accessible to Harvard undergraduates. Since then, they have opened it up to many other college students in varied places in the United States. One of their goals is to bring in more students from public universities who might not have thought about attending Harvard Law School in the first place. Officials would like to students with a more diverse background make the decision to apply as they believe this will help make Harvard Law a more responsible institution. They are hopeful this new process will make it less stressful and more open to students all over the country.
A Pilot Program
The new program is considered a pilot program but officials are hopeful it will lead to the results they want. Officials at Harvard Law will not reveal data for individual students in the Junior Deferral Program but state it is consistent with the qualities they look for all in all applicants. Dropping the fees and hosting a separate application process should help reduce tensions and make it clear to students of all backgrounds they are welcome here. Before the new program was implemented, it is estimated that the application process itself could cost about three hundred dollars. This is not a small sum for students who are often struggling to pay the many bills they need to pay in order to attend college right now. This should help them meet their bills.