UW School of Law > Admissions > How to Apply > J.D. Admissions

J.D. Admissions


In order to be considered for admissions, applicants must follow the procedures outlined in J.D. Application Instructions, register with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and demonstrate that they have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian college or 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 the School of Law.

Accelerated J.D.

Students can choose to participate in the Accelerated J.D. Program at the end of their first year.

Policy Statement Regarding J.D. Admissions

  1. The primary goal of the admissions process is to enroll students who demonstrate outstanding academic and professional promise and whose background and experience will enhance the diversity of the student body, thereby enriching the Law School educational environment.
  2. In measuring academic potential, the Law School relies primarily on the applicant's undergraduate grade-point average and performance on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The weighing of these two indicators is determined statistically by reference to past experience at this School. For most applicant's, the ranking that results is the most nearly accurate measure of relative academic potential. In cases where numerical indicators do not appear to be an adequate measure of academic potential, the admission decision will be affected by consideration of other factors. They are:
    1. the difficulty or ease of the undergraduate curriculum and the scholastic quality of the school;
    2. the nature and attainment of an advanced degree;
    3. the applicant's post-college experience as it relates to the applicants academic potential;
    4. any substantial changes in the applicants health or economic position as they would affect academic performance;
    5. the quality and strength of recommendations which address the applicant's academic potential;
    6. variations in the level of academic achievement over time;
    7. documentation of the applicant's performance on other standardized tests (e.g., the SAT test) which may indicate that the LSAT has under-predicted the applicants academic potential, and
    8. any other indicators that may aid in the determination of academic potential.
  3. Important academic objectives are furthered by classes composed of students having talents and skills derived from diverse backgrounds believed to be relevant to a rich and effective study of law. An applicant will be regarded as potentially contributing to student diversity if his or her background or experience would not ordinarily be well represented in the student body. Factors that indicate this diversity include, but are not limited to, the following: persevering against substantial obstacles such as prejudice or discrimination, economic disadvantage, family or personal adversity or other social hardships; having lived in a foreign country or spoken a language other than English at home; career goals (with particular attention paid to the applicant's commitment to public service); employment history; educational background (including graduate study); evidence of and potential for leadership (perhaps demonstrated by extracurricular, school, civic or community service achievement); special talents (such as a career as a performance artist); geographic diversity or unique life experiences. This list is not exhaustive and no single factor is dispositive. Furthermore, no factor will confer admission on an academically unqualified applicant. Applicants are invited to describe these and other aspects of their backgrounds that would benefit the diversity of the law school community.
  4. Consideration is given to past evidence of a lack of scholarly integrity if it seems there is a strong likelihood that the applicant could not be relied upon to maintain the integrity necessary to the administration of the Law School (e.g., cheating in examinations). Admission may be denied in such cases. No applicant is denied admission on this basis without first being informed of the grounds for the possible denial and being given the opportunity to respond.

Application Deadlines

  • October 1 - Applications open for incoming first-year students
  • March 15 - Application deadline 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

These deadlines are non-negotiable

Foreign Applicants

Foreign applicants who have earned a baccalaureate degree and are proficient in English are eligible to apply. Applicants who completed all of their undergraduate work at colleges outside of the US, its territories, or Canada must use the CAS and submit their international transcripts to LSAC.


All first-year applicants must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) no later than the February administration immediately prior to the application deadline. Scores are accepted for tests administered within the last three (3) years. If an applicant has two or more scores on the same score scale, the applicant's scores will be averaged, however, the admissions committee will be able to evaluate each score independently.

Each applicant is also required to register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Registration information for both the LSAT and CAS are available at www.lsac.org.

Federal Financial Aid

All applicants interested in receiving federal financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 28.  The University of Washington-Seattle federal code is #003798.  Students who are interested in applying to scholarships are strongly encouraged to complete a FAFSA to be considered for need-based funds.  For additional information, including eligibility, please visit www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Applicants may also contact the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) at osfa@uw.edu or (206) 543-6101.


Prospective applicants may visit the school and meet with the admissions staff to answer any questions they may have.  A formal interview, however, is not part of the admission process for incoming first-year students.  We are happy to discuss our policies and procedures with applicants or prospective applicants, but these discussions do not affect the admission decision.

Withdrawal of Admission

The School of 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 or inaccurate information furnished by the applicant.

Deferral of Admission

Deferrals are considered on a case-by-case basis for one year only (or two years for students participating in the Peace Corps or Teach for America). Requests for deferral must be submitted in writing to the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid.

Washington State Residency

The Registrar's Office administers residence classification for the University of Washington. When requesting a change in residence status, applicants must obtain, complete, and submit a Residence Questionnaire to the Residence Classification Office at resquest@uw.edu or (206)543-5932. To be classified or reclassified as a Washington State resident, for tuition and fee purposes, students must establish a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington primarily for purposes other than education for the period of one year immediately prior to classification as residents.

Please note that applicants who are Washington residents and have been out of Washington to attend an out-of-state college or university, must still submit a completed Residence Questionnaire to the Residence Classification Office. For additional information, please visit:http://www.washington.edu/students/reg/residency/index.html.

Criminal Convictions

Applicants who have been convicted of a felony or other serious crime are still eligible for admission to the University of Washington School of Law; 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. Persons who have been arrested or convicted for any crime are strongly urged to inquire directly of the bar association in the jurisdiction in which they intend to practice, before applying to law school.

Character and Moral Fitness

Applicants who intend to practice law should be aware that admission to the bar in all states involves character, fitness, and other qualifications. Applicants are encouraged to determine what those requirements are in the state(s) in which they intend to practice by consulting the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Equal Opportunity and Accommodation Statement

J.D. Admissions

Admissions FAQ

J.D. Application Timeline

  • October 1: UW Law begins accepting and reviewing completed J.D. applications on a rolling admissions basis
  • November 15: Application deadline for those applying under the Early Decision Program.  All application materials must be submitted for the application to be complete.
  • January 15: Gates PSL Scholarship application deadline.

    NOTE: If you intend to apply for the Gates Public Service Law Scholarship, you must submit both your J.D. application AND your Gates Public Service Law Scholarship application by JANUARY 15. There are no exceptions.

  • February: Last LSAT administration eligible for current the J.D. application cycle.
  • March 15: Regular J.D. application deadline.
  • April 1: All admissions decisions made and applicants notified.

Last updated 11/24/2014