Maybe you didn't, drusba, but lots of people do.
I don't know what the # is now, but a while back, 70 people in an incoming Yale Law class had deferred at least one year. I mean they had been admitted and got permission to wait at least one year before enrolling. Now many of these folks got good news after being admitted--they got a Rhodes, a Marshall, or other fellowship or they were accepted by Teach for America , Peace Corps or other worthwhile community service type programs. Yale Law's admissions statistics specifically mention deferrals. http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/admissions.htm
Harvard Law's website suggests they are routinely granted:
What is your deferral policy? |
We believe that prospective students benefit from experiences outside of a college or university setting and thus encourage you to take time off before going to law school. You may want to take time off before applying because your experience during that time off may inform your decision to attend graduate school; also, you may be able to put together a more complete application because you have had additional opportunities to write about (and from which to obtain recommendations). You may want to apply and then defer after you are accepted. That is okay, too. We rarely turn down a request for a deferral if it is made in a timely manner and if the prospective student explains why they are taking time off. Generally we grant one-year deferrals, but we also grant two-year deferrals for certain types of activities (e.g., Teach For America, Peace Corps, 2-year analyst programs at banks and consulting firms, etc.). We also grant extensions to deferrals when necessary.
Law schools vary a lot in terms of how willing they are to grant deferrals. I think someone posted a chart regarding this a few years back. Do a search. My mind may be playing tricks on me, but my recollection is that it was based on something Anna Ivey wrote.
Be aware of a few things. Some law schools will ask you to put your reason in writing and sign a pledge that you will not apply anywhere else. (Don't think about lying .) If you defer, you'll often be asked to pay two deposits--one in the year you defer and the following spring. Some law schools may not let you defer a merit aid package and fin aid has to be requested again as well. You might be good enough to get a great merit award THIS year, but law schools want to wait and see if you're equally competitive in the next cycle.