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Law School Essay Questions

Application Requirements for Top Law Schools (2017)

⚠️These requirements may change. Make sure you check the actual application before you start writing your essay!

Also check out our chart of law school medians and our free, public spreadsheet of T20 app requirements.

Table of Contents (USNWR Rank/School)

1/ Yale University (CT)
2/ Stanford University (CA)
3/ Harvard University (MA)
4/ University of Chicago
5/ Columbia University (NY)
6/ New York University
7/ University of Pennsylvania
8/ University of Michigan
8/ University of Virginia
10/ Duke University (NC)
10/ Northwestern University (IL)
12/ University of California—Berkeley
13/ Cornell University (NY)
14/ University of Texas—Austin
15/ Georgetown (DC)
15/ University of California—Los Angeles
17/ Vanderbilt University (TN)
18/ Washington University in St. Louis
19/ University of Southern California (Gould)
20/ University of Iowa
20/ University of Notre Dame (IN)

1/ Yale University (CT)

Deadline: Feb 28
Early decision: not offered

Personal Statement

Please submit a personal statement that will enable the Admissions Committee to make a fully informed judgment on your application. Many applicants include the personal statement they have prepared for other law school applications.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended.

College Activities

Please answer a, b, and c separately from any included résumé.  Your application will not be considered complete unless a, b, and c are answered.  Please list:

(a)  Significant extracurricular activities and unpaid externships or internships in college, in order of their relative importance to you.  Please estimate your time commitment for each activity.

(b)  Paid employment while in college and during vacations.

(c)  Other activities during college (in or out of school) that you consider relevant.

Post-College Activities

If it has been more than three months since you attended college, describe what you have been doing in the interval.  You should include graduate or professional education, paid or unpaid employment, as well as any other activities that you consider relevant. Please answer this question separately from any information provided in a résumé.

250-Word Essay

Write an essay of not more than 250 words about a subject of your choice. The Admissions Committee looks to the 250-word essay to evaluate an applicant's writing, reasoning, and editing skills. The subject is not limited; the choice of topic itself may be informative to the readers.

Addendum

You may use this attachment slot to provide any additional information necessary for a full representation of your candidacy. [This is an open-ended addendum prompt, which could be used to submit a diversity statement, GPA addendum, or LSAT addendum, among other things.]

2/ Stanford University (CA)

Deadline: Feb 1
Early decision: not offered

Personal Statement

Please attach a statement of about two pages describing important or unusual aspects of yourself not otherwise apparent in your application.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended.

Optional Diversity Statement

Although admission to Stanford Law School is based primarily upon superior academic achievement and potential to contribute to the legal profession, the Admissions Committee also considers the diversity of an entering class as important to the school's educational mission. If you would like the committee to consider how your background, life and work experiences, advanced studies, extracurricular or community activities, culture, socio-economic status, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expressions, or other factors would contribute to the diversity of the entering class (and hence to your classmates' law school experience), you may describe these factors and their relevance in a separate diversity essay.

Optional Short Essays

If you think these optional short essays could help us get a better sense of who you are, we encourage you to consider submitting your responses to no more than two of the following questions. Note that there is a 100 to 250-word limit for each question.

  • What literary character do you most associate yourself with?
  • You're given the opportunity to teach a one-day class to your fellow students at Stanford Law School. Based on your particular skills and talents, what would you teach?
  • The library in the town where you grew up has been destroyed. Choose three books to contribute to rebuilding the library's collection.
  • Music has a way of setting tone and mood for any occasion. With this in mind, pick three songs or musical works to be playing in the background as the Admissions Committee reviews your materials.

Optional Addenda

If you wish to provide additional and relevant information that is not explained in the required application materials, please attach a brief statement. [This is an open-ended addendum prompt, which could be used to submit a GPA addendum, standardized test addendum, or work or study break addendum, among others.]

Our advice: answer one of the short essay prompts; only write out the optional diversity statement or addendum if it will add value to your application.

3/ Harvard University (MA)

Deadline: Feb 1
Early decision: not offered.

Personal Statement

Limit your statement to two pages, typed, double-spaced, minimum 11-point font and 1-inch margins.

The personal statement is intended as an opportunity to give the Admissions Committee a better sense of who you are as a person and as a potential student and graduate of Harvard Law School. In many instances, applicants have used the personal statement to provide more context on how their experiences and strengths could make them valuable contributors to the Harvard and legal communities, to illuminate their intellectual background and interests, or to clarify or elaborate on other information in their application. Because applicants and their experiences differ, you are the best person to determine the content of your statement.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended.

Optional Statement

The Admissions Committee makes every effort to understand your achievements in the context of your background and to build a diverse student body. If applicable, you may choose to submit an optional additional statement to elaborate on how you could contribute to the diversity of the Harvard Law School community. [This is a diversity statement prompt.]

Addenda

If you have an addendum, please attach it here. [This is an open-ended addendum prompt, which could be used to submit a GPA addendum, standardized test addendum, or work or study break addendum, among others.]

4/ University of Chicago

Deadline: Mar 1
Early decision: Dec 1

Personal Statement

Please use the personal statement to introduce yourself to the Admissions Committee and to help the Committee get to know you on a personal level. It should demonstrate your potential contribution to the Law School community beyond simply academics and should demonstrate your ability to communicate your thoughts effectively. The Admissions Committee generally finds that a statement that focuses on a unique personal attribute or experience is usually the most informative (as opposed to a restatement of your qualifications or resume).

While there is no page or word limit on the personal statement, please note that the Admissions Committee values an applicant's ability to communicate his or her thoughts in a clear and concise manner. The Admissions Committee typically finds that 2-4 pages is a sufficient length for most personal statements.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended, but don’t rehash your qualifications or your résumé.

Doctoroff Statement

If you answered "yes" to the Doctoroff Program question: "If you are admitted to the Law School, do you want to be considered for the Doctoroff Business Leadership Program", please attach a statement of interest describing in 250 words or less why you are interested in the Doctoroff Program and how you intend to leverage the program to help achieve your career goals.

Optional Addendum 1 and 2

Please use the additional addendum options to provide any additional information that you believe is important to the Admissions Committee's evaluation of your application. For example, you may use an addendum to discuss how your background or experiences will enhance the diversity of the University of Chicago Law community, a disparity in multiple LSAT scores, any weaknesses or significant trends in your undergraduate record, a gap in education or work, or any other questions or issues that you believe may arise as the Committee is reviewing your record. Please note that it is not necessary to attach an addendum. Please do so only if you think it is necessary to the review of your file. [This is an open-ended prompt. You could respond with a diversity statement, LSAT addendum, GPA addendum, or something else.]

5/ Columbia University (NY)

Deadline: Feb 15
Early decision: Nov 15

Personal Statement

Candidates to Columbia Law School are required to submit a personal statement supplementing required application materials. We are curious about your interests, goals, and aspirations and how the J.D. program at Columbia can help you achieve these. You are encouraged to think about the contributions you hope to make to both the Columbia community and the legal profession while considering your personal, intellectual, and professional background and any relevant information that you may not have otherwise conveyed through your other application materials. Please note that the personal statement should be double-spaced and approximately two pages in length. This statement should be attached electronically.

Bottom line: the prompt is mostly open-ended, but you should explain why you’re going to law school by the end of the essay, and why you’re interested in Columbia in particular.

Supplementary Statement

Optional: Candidates may add brief supplementary statements they believe will enable the Admissions Committee to make a fully informed decision on the application. The Committee especially welcomes addenda that allow it to understand the contribution the applicant's background (e.g., socioeconomic status, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation) would add to the Columbia Law School community. Should you have multiple addenda, please combine (on separate pages, if necessary) these into one document and upload here. [This is an open-ended prompt. You could respond with a brief diversity statement, LSAT addendum, GPA addendum, or something else.]

Optional Short Answer Question

In the space below, feel free to share any "fun facts" about yourself (hobbies, interests, special talents, and accomplishments, etc.) that the Admissions Committee may not be able to glean otherwise from your application. Please note that whether you choose to answer the question or not, there will be no impact on your admissions decision. (maximum characters 1000)

6/ New York University

Deadline: Feb 15
Early decision: Nov 15

Personal Statement

Please clearly identify your personal statement and include your name and LSAC Account Number on all attachments.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended.

Underrepresented Group

Please attach a brief statement describing aspects of your identity, as indicated in section 7 (Underrepresented Group), that are relevant to your application. [This prompt calls for a diversity statement about being a member of an underrepresented group.]

Additional Optional Information

The Committee on Admissions encourages you to provide any information that may be helpful to us in reaching a thoughtful decision on your application. While the choice as to whether and what information to submit to the Committee is entirely yours, any information you provide will be used to give you full credit for your accomplishments, to help the Committee reach an informed decision on your application, and to aid the Committee in selecting a diverse student body.

Information that has been helpful in the past includes, but is not limited to, descriptions or documentation of disabilities, a history of standardized test results, unusual circumstances which may have affected academic performance, or personal/family history of educational or socioeconomic disadvantage. This list is not all-inclusive, but we offer it for you to think about as you consider whether such information might be relevant in your case, and to assure you that including it is quite appropriate.

You may attach a brief statement including any such information. Please include your name and LSAC Account Number on all attachments.

Application materials and all supporting documents submitted in connection with an application for admitted students who enroll at NYU School of Law become part of the student's law school records and are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). [This is an open-ended prompt that could include a disability diversity statement, a standardized test addendum, a GPA addendum, or an economic disadvantage diversity statement.]

AnBryce Essay

As an applicant for the AnBryce Scholarship, you should complete your JD application by January 1, and you should have a complete CAS report ready to be requested by our office no later than January 1. You must also submit an additional essay (500-750 words) with the JD application that discusses the circumstances surrounding the challenges you have encountered in your life that qualify you to be a recipient of this scholarship. You should be sure to address how you have embodied the attributes of an AnBryce Scholar in overcoming personal obstacles, and how your legal education will enable you to promote the ideals underlying the program in your career.

For more information about the AnBryce Scholarship Program, please visit: http://www.law.nyu.edu/financialaid/jdscholarships/anbryce

ASPIRE Essay

The ASPIRE Cybersecurity Scholarship provides full-tuition scholarships for students who are dedicated to state, local, or federal government service and passionate about national security, cybersecurity, and information security (no previous technical background is necessary). For more information, please visit: http://www.lawandsecurity.org/ASPIRE-Scholarship.

As an applicant for ASPIRE, you should complete your JD application by January 1, and you should have a complete CAS report ready to be requested by our office no later than January 1. You are required to submit, as an addendum to the JD application, a statement (no more than 500 words) that describes your interest in cybersecurity and in public service. You are also required to submit at least two references that may be contacted during the interview process.

Furman Academic Essay

As an applicant for the Furman Academic Scholars Program, you should complete your JD application by January 15, and you should have a complete CAS report ready to be requested by our office no later than January 15. You are also required to submit an additional essay (approximately 500 words) with the JD application that describes why you wish to pursue a career in legal academia and gives some sense of the field of legal scholarship you hope to pursue. In addition, you should explain why NYU School of Law is the right place for you to pursue your legal studies. Selections are based on the strength of a candidate's record and recommendations. All Furman Academic Scholars Program finalists are invited to visit the Law School for interviews and an introduction to the program.

For more information about the Furman Academic Scholars Program, please visit: http://www.law.nyu.edu/furmanprogram/furmanacademicscholarsprogram

Public Policy Essay

As an applicant for the Furman Public Policy Scholarship, you should complete your JD application by January 1, and you should have a complete CAS report ready to be requested by our office no later than January 1. You are required to submit with the JD application an additional essay (no more than 500 words) that describes your interest in public policy, and what specific public policy areas you wish to pursue with your law school training. You are also required to submit a recommendation letter that speaks to your interest or experience in public policy.

For more information about the Furman Public Policy Scholarship, please visit: http://www.law.nyu.edu/financialaid/jdscholarships/furmanpublicpolicyscholarship

Latinx Rights Essay

As an applicant for the Latinx Rights Scholars Program, you should complete your JD application by January 1, and you should have a complete CAS report ready to be requested by our office no later than January 1. You are also required to submit an additional essay (no more than 500 words) with the JD application that addresses your interest in serving the needs of Latinx communities.

For more information about the Latinx Rights Scholars Program, please visit:http://www.law.nyu.edu/financialaid/jdscholarships/latinx-rights-scholarship

Law and Business Essay

As an applicant for the Jacobson Leadership Program in Law and Business and/or the Nordlicht Family Scholarship, you should complete your JD application by January 1, and you should have a complete CAS report ready to be requested by our office no later than January 1. Please indicate your specific scholarship interest(s) in your essay. You are also required to submit an additional essay (no more than 500 words) with the JD application. The essay should address your interest in the area of law and business or law and social entrepreneurship.

If you are applying for the Nordlicht Family Scholarship which supports social entrepreneurship through legal studies, your essay should address your interest in pursuing a career in social entrepreneurship. The Nordlicht Family Scholarship is limited to applicants with financial need as determined by the Law School financial aid application process. If you do not qualify for need-based financial aid, your Nordlicht Family Scholarship application will be considered for the Jacobson Leadership Scholarship.

For more information about the Jacobson Leadership Program in Law and Business, please visit: http://www.law.nyu.edu/leadershipprogram and http://www.law.nyu.edu/centers/grunin-social-entrepreneurship.

Root-Tilden-Kern Essay

As an applicant for one or more of the scholarship programs listed below, you should complete your JD application by January 1, and you should have a complete CAS report ready to be requested by our office no later than January 1.

You may apply for any or all of the following scholarships: Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship; Lindemann Family Public Service Scholarship; Jacobson Public Service Scholarship for Women, Children and Families; Sinsheimer Service Scholarship; Filomen M. D'Agostino Scholarship for Women or Children; and Filomen M. D'Agostino Scholarship in Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Criminal Justice. Supplement your admissions personal statement with a short public service essay not to exceed 750 words. Discuss your public service commitment and goals, and the factors that have most significantly influenced them, or any other aspects you consider relevant to your qualification for the scholarship(s). If your personal statement directly addresses your public service commitment, you may choose not to submit a separate essay and instead indicate on the personal statement that you would like it to also serve as your public service essay. If you are applying for one or more specialized scholarships, your essay must also address your interest in the specific subject matter of the scholarship. At least one letter of recommendation must address your public service commitment.

For more information about the Root-Tilden-Kern Program, please visit: http://www.law.nyu.edu/financialaid/jdscholarships/rootscholarship

7/ University of Pennsylvania

Deadline: Mar 1
Early decision: Nov 15 (round 1); Jan 7 (round 2)

Personal Statement

The Admissions Committee requires that every applicant submit an original example of written expression. The purpose of this personal statement is to provide you with as flexible an opportunity as possible to submit information that you deem important to your candidacy. You may wish to describe aspects of your background and interests--intellectual, personal or professional--and how you will uniquely contribute to the Penn Law community and/or the legal profession. Please limit your statement to two pages, double spaced and label it as "Personal Statement" with your name and LSAC account number on each page.

Bottom line: the prompt is open-ended, but consider explaining why you’re going to law school and why you’re interested in Penn in particular by the end of the essay.

Optional Essays

If you wish, you may write an additional essay on any of the following topics. These optional essays allow you an opportunity to provide the admissions committee with additional relevant information that you were not able to include in your personal statement. Please include the essay with your application by electronically attaching it to your application before submission through LSAC. You may answer more than one essay topic if you so choose. Include your name and LSAC account number on each page. Please limit any optional essay to one page, double spaced and title it appropriately.

  • Describe how your background or experiences will enhance the diversity of the Penn Law community (e.g., based on your culture, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ideology, age, socioeconomic status, academic background, employment, or personal experience). [This is a diversity statement prompt.]
  • These are the core strengths that make Penn Law the best place to receive a rigorous and engaging legal education: genuine integration with associated disciplines; transformative, forward-looking faculty scholarship; highly-regarded experiential learning through urban clinics and our pro bono pledge; innovative, hands-on global engagement; and a manifest commitment to professional development and collegiality. These qualities define Penn Law. What defines you? How do your goals and values match Penn Law’s core strengths?
  • Describe a time when, as a member of a team, you particularly excelled or were especially frustrated. What was your role within that team? What was the outcome?
  • If you do not think that your academic record or standardized test scores accurately reflect your ability to succeed in law school, please tell us why. [This is a standard call for a GPA or LSAT addendum.]

Our advice: write the core-strengths or team-member essay; only include the diversity statement and addendum if they will add value to your application.

8/ University of Michigan

Deadline: Feb 15
Early admission: Nov 15

Personal Statement

As you prepare to write your personal statement, please keep the following in mind. First, we do not have a fixed checklist of particular attributes we seek in our students, and you will have the best insights into what is most important for us to know about you. Second, there is no set convention for communicating the information you choose to share. A successful essay might involve writing directly about expansive themes such as your goals or philosophy or background or identity, or very differently, might be a vignette that reveals something significant about you. In other words, think broadly about what you might wish to convey and how you might best convey it.

While the form and content of your personal statement are up to you, for ease of reading, please use double-spacing and at least an 11-point font.

There is no formula for a successful personal statement, and different individuals will find different topics to be well-suited to them. Applicants have, for example, elaborated on their significant life experiences; meaningful intellectual interests and extracurricular activities; factors inspiring them to obtain a legal education or to pursue particular career goals; significant obstacles met and overcome; special talents or skills; issues of sexual or gender identity; particular political, philosophical, or religious beliefs; socioeconomic challenges; atypical backgrounds, educational paths, employment histories, or prior careers; or experiences and perspectives relating to disadvantage, disability, or discrimination. Any of these subjects, and many more, could be an appropriate basis for communicating important information about yourself that will aid us in reaching a thoughtful decision. The length of your personal statement is up to you.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended.

Supplemental Essays

The University of Michigan Law School has long understood that enrolling students with a broad range of perspectives and experiences generates a vibrant culture of comprehensive debate and discussion, and we view our student body as one of our richest resources. The wide-ranging and challenging conversations of our diverse student body, inside and outside the classroom, enrich the quality of our community’s intellectual life and enhance the quality of the legal education here.

Essay submissions are an extremely helpful tool for evaluating your potential contributions to our community. As you prepare to write any optional essays, please keep the following in mind. First, we do not have a fixed checklist of particular attributes we seek in our students, and you will have the best insights into what is most important for us to know about you. Second, there is no set convention for communicating the information you choose to share. A successful essay might involve writing directly about expansive themes such as your goals or philosophy or background or identity, or very differently, might be a vignette that reveals something significant about you. In other words, think broadly about what you might wish to convey and how you might best convey it.

While the form and content of your essays are up to you, for ease of reading, please use double-spacing and at least an 11-point font.

Supplemental essays allow you an opportunity to provide us with relevant information that you were not able to include elsewhere in your application materials. If you wish, write one or two essays (but no more) on the following topics. Each essay should be about one page (and no more than two).

  1. Say more about your interest in the University of Michigan Law School. What do you believe Michigan has to offer to you and you to Michigan?
  2. Describe your current hopes for your career after completing law school. How will your education, experience, and development so far support those plans?
  3. If you do not think that your academic record or standardized test scores accurately reflect your ability to succeed in law school, please tell us why. [This is a GPA or LSAT addendum prompt.]
  4. Describe a failure or setback in your life. How did you overcome it? What, if anything, would you do differently if confronted with this situation again?
  5. Describe an experience that speaks to the problems and possibilities of diversity in an educational or work setting. [This is an opportunity for an applicant without any diversity factors to write about diversity.]
  6. What do you think are the skills and values of a good lawyer? Which do you already possess? Which do you hope to develop?
  7. How might your perspectives and experiences enrich the quality and breadth of the intellectual life of our community or enhance the legal profession? [This is a diversity statement prompt.]
  8. Describe your educational experiences so far. What kinds of learning environments, teaching methods, student cultures, and/or evaluation processes lead you to thrive, or contrariwise, thwart your success?

Our advice: write at least one of the optional essays; only include the optional diversity statement or addendum if they will be a valuable addition to your application.

8/ University of Virginia

Deadline: Priority deadline (for a decision by April 13): March 12, 2018
There is no hard deadline. 
Early decision: Mar 12

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should provide information, in your own words, you believe relevant to the admissions decision not elicited elsewhere in the application. The statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself; it may address your intellectual interests, significant accomplishments or obstacles overcome, personal or professional goals, educational achievements, or any way in which your perspective or experiences will add to the richness of the educational environment at the Law School. Please upload your personal statement to your e-application via LSAC.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended.

Optional Addenda

Should you wish to address topics (or other aspects of yourself or your application) that are not addressed elsewhere in your application, this section can be used to attach as many topics as you wish. If multiple topics are addressed, we prefer that you separate topics and upload each separately, and as descriptively labeled if possible. [This is an open-ended prompt, which could be used to submit a diversity statement, GPA addendum, standardized test addendum, or work or study break addendum, among others.]

Optional Short Answer Question

The University of Virginia School of Law and our graduates have a well-known and long-standing reputation for collegiality, involvement, and collaboration. Therefore, because we would like to know how you may have displayed these qualities, please list your significant extracurricular, extra-professional, community and/or other activities in the order of importance to you. Please provide a brief description of each activity, and specify your involvement, length of involvement, special projects, and responsibilities required (maximum characters 2000).

10/ Duke University (NC)

Deadline: Feb 15
Early decision: Nov 10 (round 1); Jan 8 (round 2)

Personal Statement

You are required to submit a personal statement. The statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions committee and should include (1) what you think have been your significant personal experiences beyond what may be reflected in your academic transcripts and on your résumé, and (2) your personal and career ambitions. There is no required length or page limit.

The personal statement, optional essays, and all other writing samples must be your own work. This means that the ideas and expressions originated with you, and you wrote all drafts and the final product. It does not preclude asking family members, friends, pre-law advisors, and others for proofreading assistance or general feedback.

Bottom line: Describe (1) significant personal experiences and (2) personal and career ambitions.

Optional Essay I

You are invited to supplement your personal statement with either or both optional essays. These topics are helpful in forming a full picture of our applicants, so we encourage you to provide any relevant information either in your personal statement or in the optional essays (though, of course, it is not necessary to duplicate information in both places).

You may submit an essay providing additional information about why you have chosen to apply to law school in general and Duke in particular. We are interested in the factors that have prompted your interest in a legal career and the ways in which you think Duke can further that interest. [This is a “why Duke” essay. You should also say a few words about why you’re applying to law school in general.]

Optional Essay II

Duke Law’s admission process is guided by the view that a student body that reflects the broad diversity of society contributes to the implementation of Law School’s mission, improves the learning process, and enriches the educational experience for all students. In reviewing applications, the Law School considers, as one factor among many, how an applicant may contribute to the diversity of the Law School based on the candidate’s experiences, achievements, background, and perspectives. This approach ensures the best and most relevant possible legal training and serves the legal profession by training lawyers to effectively serve an increasingly diverse society. You are invited to submit an essay that describes your particular life experiences with an emphasis on how the perspectives that you have acquired would contribute to the Duke Law’s intellectual community and enhance the diversity of the student body. Examples of topics include (but are not limited to): an experience of prejudice, bias, economic disadvantage, personal adversity, or other social hardship (perhaps stemming from one’s religious affiliation, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity); experience as a first-generation college student; significant employment history (such as in business, military or law enforcement, or public service); experience as an immigrant or refugee; graduate study; or impressive leadership achievement (including college or community service). [This is a diversity statement prompt.]

Miscellaneous Addenda

You are welcome to submit an addendum or additional information not included elsewhere in your application.

The personal statement, optional essays, and all other writing samples must be your own work. This means that the ideas and expressions originated with you, and you wrote all drafts and the final product. It does not preclude asking family members, friends, pre-law advisors, and others for proofreading assistance or general feedback. [This is an open-ended addendum prompt, which could be used to submit a GPA addendum, LSAT addendum, or work or study break addendum, among others.]

Our advice: write the “Why Duke” statement; only write out the optional diversity statement or addendum if they will add value to your application.

10/ Northwestern University (IL)

Deadline: Feb 15
Early decision: Nov 15
Automatic $150k scholarship to ED admits

Personal Statement

Include a typed personal statement (recommended length: one to three pages, double-spaced). Please look upon this essay as an opportunity to introduce yourself to members of the Admissions Committee. In doing so, keep in mind that the committee evaluates applicants in many areas beyond test scores. We encourage you to discuss personal and professional goals that are important to you and to include information about your achievements. Feel free to comment further about your education, background, community involvement, and strengths and weaknesses in certain courses or activities. Please type your name and LSAC account number on the top of each page. The statement should be electronically attached.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended, but consider describing your personal and professional goals.

Optional Essay

The following question provides you with an additional opportunity to give the Admissions Committee relevant information that you were not able to include in your personal statement. While you are not required to answer it, if you choose to do so, please limit your response to one typed page or less. The optional essay should be electronically attached. You can only attach one document to this section.

The students at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law come from many different backgrounds. Please describe an aspect of your background that you feel would allow you to contribute uniquely to the school and/or your classmates. [This is a diversity statement prompt.]

Addendum

If you have any additional information you would like to share with the Admissions Committee, you can electronically attach your addendum here. [This is an open-ended addendum prompt, which could be used to submit a GPA addendum, standardized test addendum, or “why Northwestern” essay, among other options.]

Optional Short Answer Questions

  1. What are your career interest(s) immediately after law school? (maximum characters 500)
  2. What are your long-term career goals? (maximum characters 500)
12/ University of California—Berkeley

Deadline: Feb 1
Early decision: Nov 12
Automatic $60k scholarship to ED admits

Personal Statement

Please provide more information about yourself in a written personal statement. The subject matter of the essay is up to you, but keep in mind that the reader will be seeking a sense of you as a person and as a potential student and graduate of Berkeley Law.

Berkeley Law seeks to enroll a class with varied backgrounds and interests. If you wish, you may discuss how your interests, background, life experiences, and perspectives would contribute to the diversity of the entering class. If applicable, you may also describe any disadvantages that may have adversely affected your past performance or that you have successfully overcome, including linguistic barriers or a personal or family history of cultural, educational, or socioeconomic disadvantage.

Your personal statement should be limited to four double-spaced pages. The thoughts and words contained therein must be your own and no one else should assist in its creation beyond basic proofreading and critiquing. Please include your name and LSAC account number on each page of the statement.

Bottom Line: this is an open-ended prompt, but consider discussing any diversity factors that may be relevant.

Why Berkley Law

Tell us more about your interest in Berkeley Law. What makes our school a good fit for you in terms of academic interests, programmatic offerings, and learning environment? (350 word maximum)

Diversity Statement

How will you (your perspective, experience, Voice) contribute diversity in our classrooms and community? (350 word maximum)

Addenda

You may attach any other supplemental materials or addenda to your application here. [This is an open-ended addendum prompt, which could be used to submit a GPA addendum, standardized test addendum, or work or study break addendum, among others.]

Our advice: write out the “Why Berkley” statement; only include the optional diversity statement or addendum statements if it will add value to your application.

13/ Cornell University (NY)

Deadline: Feb 1
Early decision: Nov 1 (round 1); Jan 8 (round 2)

Personal Statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to discuss anything that you believe will be relevant to your admission to Cornell Law School. Attach your personal statement here (required).

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended.

Diversity Statement

In making admissions decisions we give consideration, among other things, to diversity factors (including but not limited to racial or ethnic group identification; cultural, linguistic or economic group identification; sexual orientation; or other factors), obstacles that you have overcome, and/or discrimination that you have experienced. If you choose to submit a diversity statement (in addition to the required personal statement), discuss any or all of these issues to the extent they apply to you.

Short-Answer: Why Cornell

Why have you chosen to apply to Cornell Law School? Briefly explain. (maximum characters 1000)

Study Interrupted

Has your attendance in college, university, graduate school, or professional school been interrupted for one or more terms for any reason?

Addenda

If there is anything additional you believe would be helpful to us when reviewing your application, you may include it here. If you are providing multiple addenda, provide a separate description header for each statement. [This is an open-ended addendum prompt, which could be used to submit a GPA addendum, standardized test addendum, among others.]

Optional Short Answer Question

Who, if anyone, has influenced your decision to apply to Cornell Law School? (maximum characters 1000)

14/ University of Texas—Austin

Deadline: Mar 1
Early Decision: Nov 1

Personal Statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell the Admissions Committee more about your interests, as well as the important experiences and aspects of yourself not otherwise apparent from your resume and academic record. Your personal statement demonstrates to the Admissions Committee not only how you write - a skill fundamental to success in the legal profession - but also how you think and how you have reflected upon and derived meaning from your life experiences. Although there is no specific topic or question for the personal statement, your narrative should at some point address your decision to pursue a legal education. Please review the information at law.utexas.edu/admissions/apply/application-review/ for a list of factors the Admissions Committee considers in the admission process. Your personal statement may not exceed two (2) double-spaced pages with a minimum font size of 11 points.

Bottom line: the prompt is mostly open-ended, but you should explain why you’re going to law school by the end of the essay.

Personal Disadvantage

Statement of Economic, Social, or Personal Disadvantage: The Law School is interested in learning of any significant disadvantage that an applicant may have encountered or endured. Such disadvantage might take different forms, e.g., an applicant's challenges as a first-generation college graduate; an applicant's struggle with a serious physical or mental disability; an applicant's encounter with discrimination based on race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or national origin; or an applicant's limited educational opportunities due to geographical or other restrictions. The committee believes factors such as these may provide additional insight into an applicant's academic potential. Ordinary predictive measures for academic success might be of less value if prior performance has been partly the result of a disadvantage. Optional statements should be limited to one page each. The statement of economic, social, or personal disadvantage may be combined with the personal statement; the personal statement should then be entitled, "Combined Personal/Economic, Social, or Personal Disadvantage Statement." The combined statement may not exceed three (3) double-spaced pages with a minimum font size of 11 points. [This is a diversity statement prompt.]

Undergraduate Performance

If your academic performance for one or more semesters was markedly different from that of other semesters, please explain. Please make any other comments about your college transcript(s) or your preparation for college that you believe will help the Admissions Committee in evaluating your application. [This is a GPA addendum prompt.]

Standardized Test Performance

Candidates sometimes seek to establish that their academic potential is inaccurately reflected by standardized tests or that one LSAT score is more representative than another. If you believe this to be true in your case, please explain. [This is an LSAT addendum prompt.]

15/ Georgetown (DC)

Deadline: Mar 1
Early decision: Feb 1

Personal Statement

You may write your personal statement on any subject of importance that you feel will assist the Admissions Committee in their decision. Please double-space.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended.

Optional Statement

The Law Center recruits students from diverse racial, economic, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. The Admissions Committee encourages you to attach a brief statement that will enable the Committee to understand the contribution your personal background would make to the student body of Georgetown University Law Center. [This is a diversity statement prompt.]

Optional Response

In the Office of Admissions, we take great pride in dispelling the myth that the admissions process is strictly a numbers game. While numbers are important, the Admissions Committee would like to give you the opportunity to express yourself, and us the opportunity to get to know you, in another way. Please feel free to choose ONE of the following 5 optional responses.

When we say optional, we really do mean optional. The Committee will in NO way hold it against you if you choose not to answer any of these questions.

250 words maximum

  1. Imagine it is ten years after you've graduated from Georgetown Law. Where are you?
  2. Give us your top ten list.
  3. Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. Describe your most interesting mistake.
  4. Fill a 5 1/2" long by 2 1/2" wide box in any way you'd like. (See online paper form for an example.)
  5. Prepare a one-minute video that says something about you. Upload it to an easily accessible website and provide us the URL. (If you are using YouTube, we strongly suggest that you make your video unlisted so it will not appear in any of YouTube’s public spaces.) What you do or say is entirely up to you. Please note that we are unable to watch videos that come in any form other than a URL link.

Optional Addendum

Please attach any addendums you would like included in the review of your application here. [This is an open-ended addendum prompt, which could be used to submit a GPA addendum, standardized test addendum, or work or study break addendum, among others.]

Our advice: answer one of the Optional Response prompts; only write out a diversity statement or addendum if it will add value to your application.

15/ University of California—Los Angeles

Deadline: Feb 1
Early decision: Nov 15 (Early Decision Program); Nov 15 (Distinguished Scholar Program— a fellowship that provides full tuition funding for three years, given to exceptionally qualified students)

Personal Statement

Please upload a separate essay not to exceed two double-spaced typed pages, and no less than 12-point font. In this essay, you may discuss any matters relevant to your ability to succeed in law school and the practice of law and any attributes, experiences, or interests that would enable you to make a distinctive contribution to the law school and/or the legal profession.

Bottom line: the prompt is mostly open-ended, but you should explain why you’re going to law school by the end of the essay.

Programmatic Contribution

If you believe you can make a distinctive contribution to a specific UCLA School of Law Specialization, Academic Program, Joint Degree, Law Review/Journal, or research in a particular subject area (as described at the website: www.law.ucla.edu), please identify one such specific area and explain your prior academic training, work, or extracurricular activities that enable you to make that distinctive contribution.

Joint-Degree Statement

If you checked the box for the J.D./Ph.D. in Philosophy in the Joint-Degree Programs question, please provide a brief statement (not to exceed two double-spaced typed pages, and no less than 12-point font) concerning your interest in law and philosophy and in the joint-degree program.

Disability Statement

(Optional) If you wish, you may upload supplemental information concerning your disability. [This question calls for a diversity statement about a disability.]

Disadvantage Statement

Please describe the socio-economic disadvantages you have overcome. [This question calls for a diversity statement about socio-economic disadvantages.]

Public Interest Essay

The Program seeks to admit those students most likely to achieve academic success who also satisfy one or more of three admission criteria related to the public interest orientation of the Program, which are described below. The Program Committee is interested in students who will work hard at a challenging program, who are committed to developing the intellectual and professional skills necessary for effective public interest work, and who will represent a broad range of backgrounds and ideological perspectives.

A. Public Interest Program Criteria

  1. Commitment to public interest, which will be evaluated in two ways:

(a) Activities in high school, college, graduate school, or career.(For this purpose, "public interest" is broadly defined to encompass any and all interests underrepresented by the private market, including the interests of the poor, ethnic minorities, unpopular social causes across the political spectrum, and broad-ranging interests such as the environment, peace, and the welfare of future generations.)

(b) Evidence that the applicant demonstrated, in the conduct of these activities, the personal qualities of tenacity, idealism, and initiative that are particularly important for public interest lawyers who may forgo material incentives in their careers.

  1. Special abilities enabling the applicant to serve or represent groups or interests lacking adequate access to law and lawyers. While this criterion overlaps somewhat with the first one, this criterion would be evidenced by such things as language skills, cultural familiarity, insight into such groups, or other special skills.
  2. Intellectual strengths and acquired expertise relevant to problem solving and policy analysis. This includes expertise in quantitative methods, social science, policy analysis, ethnographic and historical research, or similar skills, acquired through formal education or work experience.

B. Public Interest Essay

Please write an essay of no more than four double-spaced typed pages responding to the following: We are interested in knowing about the concept and vision for your future public interest practice. This can derive from your personal or professional experience, your philosophy of how public interest practice relates to contemporary issues, your approach to problem solving, or some other relevant criteria of your own choosing. How do you hope that your public interest career will develop, and what are the means by which you expect to achieve your public interest goals?

Optional Addendum

If there is additional information you would like to include in your application, please attach an addendum. [This is an open-ended addendum. You could use it to add a diversity statement not covered by the disability and socio-economic prompts.]

UCLA Law Achievement Fellowship Program

To apply to the UCLA Law Achievement Fellowship Program, you are required to submit a one page essay describing the obstacles you have overcome, what you are proudest of, and any other information that might bear on the strength of your candidacy and contributions to the UCLA community. [This questions calls for a diversity statement for the achievement fellowship.]

Our advice: write out the Programmatic Contribution statement; don’t write out the diversity statements just because they ask— make sure all extra essays add value to your application.

17/ Vanderbilt University (TN)

Deadline: April 1
Early decision: not offered

Personal Statement

Please present yourself to the Admissions Committee by writing a personal statement. You may write about your background, experiences, interest in law, aspirations, or any topic that you feel will help readers of your application get a sense of you as a person and prospective law student. Please limit your statement to two pages.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended.

Diversity Statement

This attachment is optional and welcome.

In addition to listing diversity characteristics on the application form, we welcome diversity statements that describe any aspect of your background or experience that you would like to provide.

Other

This attachment is optional and user-defined.

 You are welcome to use this attachment to provide any other information that you would like to make available to readers of your application [This is an open-ended addendum prompt, which could be used to submit a GPA addendum, LSAT addendum, or work or study break addendum, among others.]

18/ Washington University in St. Louis (MO)

Deadline: Aug 17
Early decision: Feb 1
Automatic full-tuition scholarship to ED admits

Personal Statement

A personal statement, approximately one to three pages in length, is not required during application submission and may be sent as an email attachment directly to the Washington University School of Law Admissions Office at applylaw@wustl.edu. Successful applicants have written about significant experiences and sources of personal motivation.

Bottom line: this prompt is open-ended.

Other

Please attach any additional addendums. [This is an open-ended addendum prompt, which could be used to submit a GPA addendum, standardized test addendum, or work or study break addendum, among others.]

19/ University of Southern California (Gould)

Deadline: Feb 1
Early decision: Nov 15

Personal Statement

You are required to submit a personal statement. Your statement should be between 2-3 pages, double-spaced, and at least 12 point font. 

Of the qualitative or “soft”” factors of the application, the personal statement is of critical importance to the admissions committee. This is your primary opportunity to discuss who you are beyond the quantifiable components of your application. While there is no prompt and we encourage you to approach the personal statement with an open mind, we are particularly interested in how your background (academic and otherwise) has led to your decision to study law. Please note, the personal statement is not the place to repeat items on your resume. 

Bottom line: this prompt is mostly open-ended, but include “why law.”

Diversity Statement

If you answered “yes” to the diversity statement question, please include your statement as an attachment.  Please limit your statement to 1-2 pages, double-spaced, and at least 12 point font.

Rothman Statement

Submit your statement here for application to the Frank Rothman Scholars Program. This application is a requirement to be considered for the program and should be different than your Personal Statement. Finalists will be selected for an initial round of interviews and notified in late February.

The program honors the late Frank Rothman '51, one of the nation's most respected sports and entertainment lawyers. 

The benefits of being a Rothman Scholar are quite extraordinary:

  • Full-tuition scholarship guaranteed for 3 years (estimated at $180,000)
  • $2,000 stipend each year for 3 years
  • Paid 1L summer fellowship at one of the top law firms in the world - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Los Angeles

One Frank Rothman Scholar is selected each year. Selection criteria include strong academic indicators (LSAT and undergraduate cumulative gpa) combined with a specific interest in the areas of law to which Frank Rothman dedicated his life. Frank Rothman was known for his influence in the halls of corporate America as well as his spirit of always doing the very best he was capable of.  Past recipients successfully conveyed the ideals of Frank Rothman via accomplishments such as running a successful business, inventing useful devices, engaging in cutting edge medical research, and publishing books and articles. Many have gone on to become successful corporate lawyers, business entrepreneurs, and judicial clerks. To learn more about the Rothman Scholars Program, please visit http://gould.usc.edu/academics/degrees/jd/financial-aid/rothman/. 

PROMPT: In one to two pages, please share more about your entrepreneurial spirit, how you believe you embody the ideals of Frank Rothman, and what inspires you to be the next Rothman Scholar.

Public Interest Statement

This section is optional.

Submit your statement here for application to the Public Interest Scholars Program. The application is a requirement to be considered for the program. Scholars will be notified shortly after their acceptance.

This program honors the commitment of both USC Gould and our students dedicated to working and serving the public interest. 

The benefits of being a Public Interest Scholar include:

  • Special public interest merit based scholarship
  • Access to public interest certificate mentoring opportunities
  • Guaranteed public interest based summer employment after 1L summer
  • Guaranteed summer grant for 1L summer employment
  • Opportunity to serve as a future mentor to subsequent groups of Public Interest Scholars

Public Interest Scholars are selected on the basis of merit and demonstrated commitment to public interest work. Selection criteria include strong academic indicators (LSAT score and undergraduate cumulative gpa) and significant achievements in the fields of public interest or government service. The committee will give priority to applicants with a history of full-time non-profit or public interest focused work. Public Interest Scholars will be required to complete a minimum of 25 hours of pro bono service each year and participate in programming including nonprofit career fairs. For more information, please visit the Public Interest Scholars page: http://gould.usc.edu/academics/degrees/jd/financial-aid/public-interest/. 

PROMPT: Please submit a one to two page statement highlighting your public interest or government service background and your commitment to a career in public service.

20/ University of Notre Dame (IN)

Deadline: Jan 5
Early decision: Mar 15

Personal Statement

The Admissions Committee gives considerable emphasis in its evaluation to the personal statement. The statement should provide the Admissions Committee with insights about the applicant and the applicant's interest in pursuing a legal education. Applicants often use the personal statement to provide further insight into their personality, background, professional interests, or matters that are not fully present in other parts of the application.

The personal statement must be the applicant's original work in their own words. It should be no more than two double-spaced pages. The personal statement must be included with the application at the time of submission. The personal statement's header must include the student's name, LSAC account number, and be titled "Personal Statement."

For further information regarding formatting preferences of the Admissions Committee, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions page here.

Bottom line: this prompt is mostly open-ended, but explain why you’re applying to law school.

Why NDLS?

The Admissions Committee strongly encourages applicants to use this optional statement as an opportunity to express a specific interest in Notre Dame Law School. Applicants may wish to address how their background, experiences, personal character, and/or career aspirations align with the legal education that NDLS provides and how the Law School can assist them with both their professional and personal formation.

The "Why Notre Dame Law School?" statement must be the applicant's own work in their own words. It should be no more than two double-spaced pages. If an applicant plans on providing this statement, it must be included with their application at the time of submission. The statement's header must include the applicant's name, LSAC account number, and be titled "Why NDLS Statement."

For further information regarding formatting preferences of the Admissions Committee, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions page here.

DKL Statement

This section is optional.

The mission of Notre Dame Law School is to educate a "Different Kind of Lawyer": one that realizes that the practice of law is not an end in itself. Students at the Law School come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and are encourage to broaden their social, spiritual, and personal lives while honing their intellectual and professional skills to serve the good of all. This perspective encourages robust debate on difficult questions of policy, values, and faith - both inside and outside the classroom. How will your unique experiences and goals contribute to the Law School's mission to educate a different kind of lawyer?

The "Different Kind of Lawyer" statement must be the applicant's own work in their own words. It should be no more than two double-spaced pages. If an applicant plans on providing this statement, it must be included with their application at the time of submission. The statement's header must include the applicant's name, LSAC account number, and be titled "DKL Statement."

For further information regarding formatting preferences of the Admissions Committee, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions page here. [This could be used to submit your diversity statement, but everyone should write a DKL essay.]

Addenda

If an applicant believes the Admissions Committee would benefit from additional information about their candidacy that is not specifically and/or fully addressed elsewhere in the application, the applicant is welcome to provide further notes via the Addenda. Examples of information typically provided in this section of the application include academic or LSAT explanations, further information regarding specific items on an applicant's resume or about the applicant's background, and eligibility for various veterans benefits such as the Yellow Ribbon program.

Applicants should double-space the Addenda. The Addenda' s header must include the applicant's name, LSAC account number, and be titled "Addenda." /

Our advice: submit a “Why NDLS” essay and a DKL essay.

20/ University of Iowa

Deadline: May 1
Early decision: not offered

Personal Statement

Attach a personal statement (limited to two or three pages) that addresses the following questions. This is your opportunity to tell us what you really want us to know and remember about you.

Why do you want to study law?

Why do you want to study at The University of Iowa College of Law?

What has been your most significant accomplishment?

How would you contribute to our law school community and the legal profession?

Describe any life experiences that would indicate unusual drive, determination, motivation, or leadership characteristics.

Bottom line: address their questions.

Educational Development

(Your response to this item is optional. If you choose to reply, please do so in a separate electronic attachment.) If you feel that any circumstances have played a substantial role in your educational development and if you would like the Admissions Committee to weigh the factors involved, please describe your situation and tell us why these circumstances should be considered. Examples of circumstances that could merit consideration are significant economic, social, physical, or cultural factors in your background or any of the following:

a) You have a history of outperforming standardized tests. Indicate the scores you received on the ACT, SAT, or any other standardized test taken before entering college or graduating (see instructions).

b) Your undergraduate grade-point average does not reflect your academic ability. Specify the conditions that interfered with your performance.

c) Describe the importance of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation in your life and educational development. [This is a combined call for an addendum about your GPA, an addendum about your history of standardized test scores, or a diversity statement.]

Attended Law School

If you have ever attended another law school, please explain fully in an attachment.

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Application Status Check

You may check the status of your Harvard Law School application online. This feature will allow you to monitor the status of your file at your convenience. Your status will be updated as soon as changes are made to your application.

Application Components

Application Fee or Fee Waiver

$85 (nonrefundable). You may pay the fee by credit card when you submit your application or you may enclose a check or money order payable to Harvard Law School with your certification form. Do not send cash.

If payment of the application fee poses a severe financial hardship, please follow the recommendations below:

  • We recommend, but do not require, that you request a fee waiver from LSAC (if you have not already done so). If LSAC has granted you an LSAC fee waiver within the last year and you apply electronically to Harvard, your Harvard application fee will be automatically waived. If your fee waiver request has been denied by LSAC, you may consider asking for reconsideration.
  • You may also reach out to us directly to request a fee waiver, if LSAC denies your request for a fee waiver or otherwise. You may call our office at (617) 495-3179 or email at jdadmiss@law.harvard.edu to request a Fee Waiver Request Form.

Application fees are waived on the basis of financial need as demonstrated by information on the Fee Waiver Request Form. We require tax documents supporting the information on your Fee Waiver Request Form. No application for admission will be considered before the application fee has been paid or a fee waiver request has been approved.

Application Form

It is very helpful for you to provide as much information as possible on the online form itself before referring the reader to attached materials. Give as much information as possible in the space provided, and attach additional pages or electronic attachments if you need additional space. Please answer all questions and sign the form or Certification Letter.

Résumés

We require a résumé as part of the application.

The following links are to sample resumes from successful applicants in prior years. You do not have to follow the formatting used in these resumes, but all three are examples of well-organized, easy-to-read drafts.

Personal Statement

The personal statement provides an opportunity for you to present yourself, your background, your ideas, and your qualifications to the Admissions Committee. Please limit your statement to two pages using a minimum of 11-point font, 1-inch margins, and double spacing.

The personal statement is intended as an opportunity to give the Admissions Committee a better sense of who you are as a person and as a potential student and graduate of Harvard Law School. In many instances, applicants have used the personal statement to provide more context on how their experiences and strengths could make them valuable contributors to the Harvard and legal communities, to illuminate their intellectual background and interests, or to clarify or elaborate on other information in their application. Because applicants and their experiences differ, you are the best person to determine the content of your statement.

STANDARDIZED TESTS and LSAC’S Credential Assembly Service (CAS)

All applicants to the J.D. program must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). LSAT or GRE scores taken within the past 5 years are considered valid.

All applicants – whether applying with the LSAT or GRE – must also register for LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service and have all undergraduate and graduate transcripts sent to LSAC. While applicants need only take either the LSAT or the GRE, HLS does require all of those test results from the past 5 years.

Recommendation Letters

Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. Two letters of recommendation are required, but you may submit up to three. We strongly recommend that at least one letter of recommendation come from an academic source. Our experience is that two thoughtfully selected recommenders are likely to be more effective than several chosen less carefully. Your application will be treated as complete with two letters of recommendation.

Character and Fitness Questions

Your application to Harvard Law School includes a set of Character and Fitness Questions. In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

College Certification

While it may not be required as part of the application process, college certification(s) will be required from admitted students prior to matriculation. The College Certification must be filled out by an official from each undergraduate and/or graduate institution that you have attended (regardless of whether you received a degree from that institution).  This is, if necessary, to confirm your degree conferral as well as to confirm the responses you provided on your application to your character and fitness questions. Responsible University officers should return the signed form via email or postal mail to our office.  If sent by postal mail, the form must be submitted in a countersigned official University envelope. If you receive the envelope, do not break the countersigned seal. Submit the countersigned, sealed envelope to the HLS Admissions Office by June 15, 2018. Otherwise, the College Certification may be emailed directly from the school official’s email account to the Law School by June 15, 2018.

Optional Statement

The Admissions Committee makes every effort to understand your achievements in the context of your background and to build a diverse student body. If applicable, you may choose to submit an optional additional statement to elaborate on how you could contribute to the diversity of the Harvard Law School community.

Additional Information

We encourage you to provide any relevant information that may be helpful to us in making an informed decision on your application. Any information that you believe to be relevant to your application is appropriate. Examples of information that may be relevant to individual cases include unusual circumstances that may have affected academic performance, a description or documentation of a physical or learning disability, an explicit history of standardized test results accompanying a strong academic performance, or a history of educational or sociological disadvantage.

If a close relative has attended HLS, you may attach this information in an addendum.

Interviews

During the application review process you may be invited to interview. These interviews will happen throughout the admissions cycle. The Admissions Office will contact you directly to set up an interview.

Interviews are conducted using Skype – a videoconferencing system. As always, we will accommodate individuals who may be unable to conduct their interview in this manner. If there is a reason that Skype would not work for you, we will work with you to find an alternative. However, our expectation is that Skype will be used for the majority of the interviews we conduct.

Information for Foreign-Educated Applicants

Harvard Law School requires that your foreign transcripts be submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS). If you completed any postsecondary work outside the US (including its territories) or Canada, you must use this service for the evaluation of your foreign transcripts. The one exception to this requirement is if you completed the foreign work through a study-abroad, consortium, or exchange program sponsored by a US or Canadian institution, and the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript. This service is included in the Credential Assembly Service subscription fee. An International Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into your Credential Assembly Service report. Questions about the Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at (215) 968-1001, or LSACinfo@LSAC.org.

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