J.D. Admissions First Year Applicants


To be considered for admissions, applicants must follow the application instructions, register with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and Credential Assembly Service (CAS), take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and demonstrate that they have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian university or the foreign equivalent whose program has been deemed comparable to that of a four-year baccalaureate degree, prior to registering for the first academic quarter at UW Law.

Application Deadlines

  • October 1 - Applications open for incoming first-year students
  • November 15 - Early Decision Program application deadline
  • January 15 — Application deadline for the Gates Public Service Law Scholarship, which includes both the JD application and the Gates Public Service Law Scholarship application. Please note that you must have an LSAT score on file in order to proceed with the selection process. The last LSAT accepted for consideration is the January 2024 administration.
  • March 15 - Priority application deadline for incoming first-year students 

These deadlines are non-negotiable.

Admissions Policy

The law school faculty has adopted the following policy regarding admission to UW Law:

The primary goal of the University of Washington School of Law admissions process is to enroll students who demonstrate outstanding academic and professional promise and whose background and experience will contribute beneficially to the learning environment of the law school. As the state’s public law school, we have a responsibility to educate lawyers who will serve the legal needs of all members of society, through the practice of law, the formulation of public policy and other law-related activities. Our admissions policy is designed to identify individuals who will help fulfill this responsibility.

In measuring academic potential, we evaluate candidates holistically, balancing multiple considerations in selecting a cohort of students for each incoming class. No single factor is dispositive for admission, including GPA and standardized test scores. Factors we consider include but are not limited to: the rigor of the applicant’s undergraduate curriculum; the nature and attainment of an advanced degree; the applicant’s pre- and post-college experience as it relates to the applicant’s academic and professional potential; the quality and strength of recommendations which address the applicant’s academic and professional potential; variations in the level of academic achievement over time; any other indicators that may aid in the determination of academic and professional potential. Additionally, we encourage law students to identify any aspects of their backgrounds that would benefit the diversity of the law school community and the legal field as a whole.

Nondiscrimination Policy

UW Law provides for a selective admission process with the objective of attracting students who demonstrate the strongest prospects for high quality academic work. This selective admission process shall assure that the University's educational opportunities shall be open to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability or veteran status. The process of admission shall be mindful of the need for diversity in the student body and for highly-trained individuals from all segments of the population. For more information, please visit here.

Applicant Responsibility and Accuracy of Information

Applicants are under a continued obligation to notify the law school immediately of any and all circumstances and events that may occur from the date an application is submitted to the first day of enrollment that may change any of the responses to their application. UW Law reserves the right to rescind an offer of admission if the candidate fails to maintain satisfactory scholastic standing for work in progress, if final records fail to show completion of courses and/or degrees required for admission or if the admission decision was based on incomplete, inaccurate or misleading information furnished by the applicant. In addition, the law school may also report its findings to LSAC's Misconduct and Irregularities Committee.

Character and Moral Fitness

Applicants who have been convicted of a felony or other serious crime are eligible for admission into the law school; however, because state bar associations often prohibit persons with criminal records from being admitted to the bar regardless of their degrees or training, it may be impossible for such individuals to practice in some states.

In addition to the 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.

Application Instructions

An application is complete and ready for evaluation when the following items are received:

  • Application - Applicants may submit the application through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
  • $60 Application Fee - The application fee will be collected through LSAC.
  • Personal Statement - The University of Washington School of Law aspires to be the best public law school in the nation and one of the world's most respected centers for interdisciplinary legal studies. Advancing access to justice, facilitating a fair and thriving global marketplace and fostering an environment of inclusivity and equity is integral to who we are.

    The primary goal of the admissions process is to enroll students who strive to be leaders; demonstrate outstanding academic, professional and leadership promise; are committed to generous public service and ethical advocacy; and who have background and experiences that will enhance the diversity of the student body, thereby enriching the law school educational environment. As such, applicants are invited to write a personal statement that describes their potential contributions to our vibrant community.
    Please limit your response to 700 words.

    Applicants may include the following factors in their personal statement or the optional supplemental statement: perseverance against substantial obstacles; social or economic disadvantage; family or personal adversity; social hardships; disability; prejudice or discrimination; leadership potential; studying or living abroad; foreign language skills; special talents; unique life experiences; or geographic diversity.
  • (Optional) Supplemental Statement - Applicants may supplement their personal statement by including a response to one (1) of the following optional questions: (a) why are you interested in pursuing a legal education at the University of Washington; (b) what life events or experiences have had the greatest influence in shaping your character and why; or (c) if you were asked to create a non profit organization, what would be the organization, its mission and its purpose?

    Please limit your response to 500 words.
  • Résumé - Please provide a résumé detailing any significant vocational, non-vocational, extracurricular or community activities, volunteer work, honors, awards, any service in the Armed Forces, job descriptions and major areas of responsibility along with dates of employment (mm/yyyy) and the number of hours per week devoted to such activities, publications or other information that you believe the University of Washington School of Law should consider in evaluating your application. Also please include details as to any foreign language proficiencies you possess, including the level of ability with regard to speaking, comprehension, reading and writing.

    Your résumé may not exceed three (3) typewritten pages.
  • Credential Assembly Service Report - The Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report will include: (1) the applicant's transcript(s) from each institution of higher education prior to obtaining your bachelor's degree; (2) Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score(s): and (3) any letter(s) of recommendation. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that LSAC has received all necessary materials to complete the CAS file. You are advised to confirm that your CAS file is complete; LSAC will not send the law school a CAS report until then.
  • Letters of Recommendation - Two (2) Letters of Recommendation are required and must be submitted through LSAC's Letter of Recommendation Service. The strongest recommendations are those submitted by a professor who knows an applicant's work well and can give a well-substantiated assessment of their academic potential. For applicants who have been out of school for some time, professional recommendations are appropriate.

Please note: all records become part of the official file. They will not be returned or duplicated.