William H. Gates Public Service Law Program Apply to the Gates PSL Scholarship

Applicants to the Gates PSL Scholarship must also have submitted an application for admission to the UW Law JD program.

All application materials (including recommendations) must be sent to gatesapp@uw.edu by January 15, 5 p.m. PST. There are no exceptions.


The components of the application include:

  • Gates Application Form
  • Cover Letter — 500 words or less
  • Essay — 700 words or less
  • Resume — Please limit to one page
  • Two Letters of Recommendation — You may use the LORs submitted with your JD application if they include information about your commitment to public service. You may also have additional letters sent to the Gates Program.

Should you have any questions about the process please e-mail gatesapp@uw.edu or call 206-616-3753.


Elements of the application

  • Gates Application Form — Download and complete.

  • Cover Letter — In the letter address why you are applying for the scholarship, your commitment to and experience in public service, and / or why you are a competitive candidate. Please limit the cover letter to 500 words or less.

  • Essay — Discuss the factors that shaped your vision and influenced your commitment to public service. The essay is an addition to the personal essay submitted with your JD application which will also be reviewed by the selection committee. Please limit the essay to 700 words or less.

  • Resume — Prepare a resume that highlights your public service.

  • E-mail to recommenders — Please provide the following information to your recommenders if you are submitting additional LORs. Letters must be sent by the recommender directly to the Gates Program.

    Please prepare the Letter of Recommendation, include your full name and title in the signature section, and save as a PDF.

    In your letter, please respond to the following questions regarding the applicant’s qualifications and abilities:

    1) How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?

    2) Please evaluate the applicant's commitment to public service. That commitment is evidenced not only the applicant's public service activities in high school, college, graduate school, or career, but also by the applicant's personal qualities of tenacity, idealism, leadership and initiative in the conduct of such activities.

    3)  Does the applicant have special abilities to serve or represent groups or interests lacking access to law and lawyers (such special abilities as language skills, cultural familiarity, insight into a subgroups derived from living experiences)?

    4)  Does the applicant have special intellectual or personal strengths or acquired expertise relevant to conduct of and leadership of public service activities?

    E-mail the PDF directly to gatesapp@uw.edu.

    Please use the following format for the subject field of the e-mail.
    Last Name Applicant, First Name Applicant – LOR Gates PSL Application

Submitting the application:

  • Once all of the above items are complete, assemble them into ONE PDF in the following order:

    • Gates Application Form
    • Cover Letter
    • Essay
    • Resume

E-mail the consolidated PDF to gatesapp@uw.edu.

Use the following format for the subject field of the e-mail:

Last Name, First Name – Gates PSL Application