J.D. Application Overview

Application Information J.D.

The application for admission to Washington and Lee University School of Law will be available via LSAC.org beginning August 15. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to review our application instructions before beginning the application process. For technical assistance with the online application form available via LSAC, contact the Law School Admission Council at 215.968.1393. For all other inquiries, please contact the Office of Admissions at 540.458.8503 or lawadm@wlu.edu for assistance.

We understand that for many of our students, finances are a main consideration while attending law school. For this reason, we have made the necessary arrangements with the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) so that no fee will be assessed when you apply. For this admissions cycle, applying to W&L Law will be free of charge.

W&L Law Statement on Admissions

W&L Law seeks to admit a highly qualified and diverse student body. The Admissions Committee aims to admit only those applicants whose academic and admission test credentials show the ability for success in law school. These decisions are not based on any formulaic numerical assessment. Our Admissions Committee does not create or adopt an admissions formula, and applicants are not ranked by any numerical index. Each completed application is reviewed holistically. A myriad of factors beyond academic credentials and LSAT scores are considered as part of this holistic review. Other factors that are considered include, but are not limited to, the applicant's demonstrated writing ability, letters of recommendation, employment experience, service work, the rigor of the applicant's coursework and educational institution, hardships overcome, demonstrated work ethic, relevant skills, contribution to a diverse educational environment, and character.

Application Process

International J.D. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review our webpage for international prospective students before beginning the application process.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications that are complete on or before March 1 are guaranteed a decision no later than March 31. Please know that an applicant whose file is complete after March 1 cannot be guaranteed a decision by a particular date, though we make every effort to give a decision in timely manner.
Applicants whose files are completed by February 1 will receive priority scholarship consideration. For admitted students whose files are completed after February 1, scholarship awards will be made to the extent that funds are available. Students receiving an offer of admission to W&L will receive notification at the same time of a scholarship decision.

We encourage you to consider the application process the beginning of your legal career. Law school is a professional school, and you should strive for absolute professionalism in each and every contact you have with any admissions office. Whether it be an email, a phone call, an individual visit, or a conversation with a school representative at a law fair, impressions matter. In one email, one phone call or one conversation, you have the potential to dramatically impact your file's consideration. Such contacts can often prove critical when schools make admissions decisions, particularly when choosing whom to accept from their waiting list, and bad impressions can often be extremely difficult to overcome. 

General Application Advice

As you begin to assemble the various constituent parts of our application, please consider these blog posts:

When can I expect a decision?

Each year, we wait until we have a critical mass of applications before we begin reviewing files (so that we might have some perspective on the kinds of applications we are seeing in a given year). We usually post our first round of decisions in early November and made subsequent decisions on an almost weekly basis throughout the season.

I am wondering how competitive my application might be. Can you provide me with a preliminary assessment of my likelihood of admission based upon my numerical credentials?

At W&L Law, our Admissions Committee does not use an admissions formula, and applicants are not ranked by any numerical index. We consider undergraduate grades and transcripts, LSAT scores, recommendations, significant employment or post-graduate educational experience, extracurricular activities, special skills and talents, community service involvement, and the personal statement. Consequently, due to the holistic nature of our review process, we are unable to provide any preliminary assessment of one's potential admissions decision or scholarship award without reviewing the complete file (LSAT score and/or GPA are simply not enough). Applicants interested in the numerical qualifications of the students we admit and those who choose to attend W&L Law are encouraged to review the statistical profile of our most recent admissions season (available in the ABA - LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools) and the median qualifications of our most recent class.

I am taking a later LSAT administration. How should I handle the submission of my application?

Admittedly, from cycle to cycle, this is a fairly common predicament. Applicants seem to think that there is something wrong with submitting their application before their LSAC file is complete with transcript(s), LSAT score and recommendations. Please don't worry - sending us your application before everything else is teed up is fine. Waiting? Well, that's less fine.

If you're taking a later LSAT, we encourage you to submit an application now, and begin sending along the various constituent parts of your Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report to the LSAC. By doing this, your file will be complete (and therefore eligible for review) much sooner than if you wait until you receive your results to begin the application process or to submit other required documents to LSAC.

If you have previously taken the LSAT, do not worry that we might somehow review your (technically complete) file before we receive your new LSAT score. Simply provide us, in Section 6 of our application, the date of your future LSAT administration, and we willl hold your file for review until we receive scores from that test. If you change your mind, (and decide not to sit for the test after all, or decide to sit for a later test administration), please contact us so that we can either remove the "hold" on your file or change the date on which we will check for a new score.

Furthermore, we make admissions decisions on a rolling basis, and there is no early action program. Each year, we wait until we have a critical mass of applications to begin our review (so that we might have some perspective on the kinds of application we're seeing in a given cycle), and while each year is just a little different than its predecessors, we don't typically achieve this volume until mid-to late October. 

Notes on Bar Admission:

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.

University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

Please click here for the University's nondiscrimination policy.