How to Apply
Thank you for your interest in the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law! The admissions process is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their potential for the successful study of law. A supportive and collaborative community, Louisville Law actively seeks to recruit a diverse student body made up of highly-qualified individuals with distinct backgrounds and experiences.
Our Juris Doctor (JD) program application is accessible through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website. LSAC administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and offers a variety of services to prospective law students. All applicants must create an LSAC account and register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) in order to successfully apply.
Prospective applicants should be mindful of various admissions deadlines:
- October 1, 2020: First-year JD program application opens
- January 15, 2021: Priority application deadline (application must be complete)
- April 15, 2021: Regular application deadline (application must be complete)
- July 15, 2021: First-year JD program application closes
An application will not be considered complete and eligible for review until the law school has received all required components. Please allow an average of two weeks for LSAC to process materials submitted via CAS. The law school will not receive CAS materials until they have been fully processed by LSAC.
Admissions decisions are released on a rolling basis. The Admissions Committee begins reviewing first-year applications in November, with the majority of decisions rendered between January and April. Applicants are typically notified about admissions decisions two to three weeks from the time their applications go under review. Applicants who are placed on the waitlist by the Admissions Committee will have their applications reassessed in the late spring or early summer.
Louisville Law offers scholarship funding on the basis of academic merit. Admitted applicants are automatically considered for available merit-based scholarship funding; no separate application is required.
Applications that are complete and eligible for review by January 15 are deemed priority applications. Priority applications are guaranteed to be reviewed by the Admissions Committee in a timely manner and given priority consideration for merit-based scholarship funding. An offer of merit-based scholarship, if any, will accompany an offer of admission.
Applications that are not complete as of January 15 but are complete and eligible for review by April 15 are deemed regular applications. Regular applications are guaranteed to be reviewed by the Admissions Committee in a timely manner. Regular applications are not guaranteed to be considered for merit-based scholarship funding and will only be considered to the extent that such funding remains available. Further information on the scholarship review process will accompany an offer of admission.
Applications that are not complete as of April 15 are deemed late applications. Late applications are not eligible for merit-based scholarship funding and are not guaranteed to be reviewed. As of July 15, our JD program application will no longer be available and updates to submitted applications will not be accepted.
All applicants to the JD program must submit an electronic application through the LSAC.org, plus associated materials to be submitted via the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Louisville Law does not charge an application fee.
As a reminder, your application will not be considered complete and eligible for review until the law school has received all required components. Please allow an average of two weeks for LSAC to process materials submitted via CAS and release them to the law school.
You must have a reportable score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) from within the past five testing years. Typically, you must take the LSAT by February or March in order for your score to be released by our April 15 regular application deadline. You may submit your application before you have a reportable LSAT score, but your application will not be complete until your score report has been received.
Please note that you must submit at least one LSAT Writing component, administered separately, to be processed by LSAC before your LSAT score will be released. To learn more about the LSAT, including preparatory resources, please visit LSAC.org.
You must submit via CAS your official transcripts from all undergraduate and post-undergraduate academic institutions where you have been enrolled, even those institutions from which you neither have received nor will receive a degree. This includes all institutions where you have earned transfer credits, such as summer course credits or dual enrollment credits earned while in high school. Transcripts for completed academic programs must show all degrees conferred and dates of conferral.
You must receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited postsecondary academic institution prior to enrolling in the JD program. To check the accreditation status of your institution, please consult the US Office of Postsecondary Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
Letters of Recommendation
You must submit via CAS at least two, and at most three, letters of recommendation. The Admissions Committee expects letters to be academic or professional in nature and strongly encourages any applicant currently or recently enrolled in a full-time academic program to submit at least one letter from a faculty member who has taught the applicant in a traditional classroom setting for one or more upper-division courses. Personal letters of recommendation, such as those from friends or family members, are strongly discouraged. Additional letters of recommendation will not be considered once a decision has been rendered.
You must include a personal statement with your application. The personal statement is an open-ended essay written on any topic of your choice. It should be two to three double-spaced pages in length, with standard typography and margins, and should demonstrate your capacity for high-quality written work. Ideally, the personal statement provides insight to the Admissions Committee on your personality, experiences or anticipated contributions to our law school community and the legal profession.
You must include a current résumé with your application. The résumé should be clearly organized and appropriately formatted, outlining your education and work history as well as other notable achievements and experiences. Most applicants’ résumés can fit on a single page, though a second page may be reasonable for applicants with significant work histories.
Character & Fitness Addendum
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every US 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.
Many jurisdictions, including Kentucky, require a copy of your law school application to accompany your petition for admission to the bar. The Character & Fitness section of the application requires the disclosure of information pertinent to your character and fitness to study and practice the law. Failure to answer these questions truthfully and completely could affect your eligibility for admission to the bar.
If you answer “Yes” to one or more of of the questions in the Character & Fitness section of your application, you must include an addendum explaining your affirmative answers. The Admissions Committee may request clarification or additional information if not sufficiently addressed by your Character & Fitness addendum, and review of your application will be suspended until you have provided a sufficient response.
Diversity Statement (Optional)
To assure that access to both legal education and the legal profession is visibly open to all qualified members of our heterogeneous society, the Admissions Committee gives serious consideration, as one factor in its analysis, to the ways in which applicants might contribute to a diverse educational environment and broaden the ranks of the legal profession to include those who have been historically underrepresented.
To that end, you may include a diversity statement with your application. The diversity statement should be one to two double-spaced pages in length, with standard typography and margins. Potential topics of focus could include but are not limited to: racial and ethnic identity, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability status, socioeconomic status, unusual hardships or other unique experiences.
General Addendum (Optional)
You may include a brief general addendum addressing any aspects of your application that you feel are necessary to explain for the Admissions Committee. The addendum should be no longer than one double-spaced page, with standard typography and margins, unless exceptional circumstances warrant a longer explanation.
If you have already submitted your application, you can check the status of your application at any time using our application status portal. To log in for the first time, you will need the user name and password provided in the email sent to you confirming receipt of your application.
The 3+3 Accelerated Law Program allows certain undergraduate students to apply to Louisville Law in their junior year. Students admitted under the program fulfill their senior year of undergraduate credits and earn their bachelor’s degrees after successfully completing the first year of JD coursework.
To be eligible for admission under this program, students must complete three years of undergraduate coursework in a qualifying major at the University of Louisville or one of its 3+3 partner institutions: Campbellsville University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Murray State University and Union College. Students must satisfy all general education requirements for the bachelor’s degree prior to matriculating at Louisville Law as well as all major coursework requirements, unless they have received approval that first-year JD courses will satisfy outstanding major requirements. Students must also satisfy any other institutional requirements for graduation.
Interested students must apply by April 15 of their junior year to be considered for admissions under the 3+3 program. 3+3 applicants are subject to the same entrance standards as traditional first-year applicants. In addition to the standard application requirements, 3+3 applicants must interview with a Louisville Law admissions representative as part of the application process.
Please note that 3+3 students will pay the law school tuition rate for all three years of their enrollment at Louisville Law. For 3+3 students earning their bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville, undergraduate scholarships may be applied toward the first year of the JD program.
Louisville Law welcomes both transfer and visiting students to apply to join our community. Transfer students are those who have completed their first year of JD study at another law school but wish to complete their education at Louisville Law. Visiting students are those who have completed at least their first year of JD study at another law school and wish to remain enrolled there but have reason to attend Louisville Law for no more than one academic year.
A student who has completed the first year of JD study at another law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) may apply to join the second-year (2L) class at Louisville Law. Transfer applicants are subject to the same entrance standards as first-year applicants as well as to consideration of their first-year law school performance. An applicant who has been dismissed from another law school for academic insufficiency or for misconduct may not be eligible for transfer consideration.
Pursuant to the ABA’s accreditation standards, Louisville Law may award a transfer student up to, but no more than, thirty (30) credits for first-year coursework. Transfer credits are awarded only for courses in which the student earned a grade of C or better, and a student who receives transfer credit for a course cannot earn credit for the a duplicative course at Louisville Law. No credit will be awarded for coursework completed prior to matriculating at an ABA-accredited law school. An applicant must be admitted as a transfer student before a determination on the number of qualifying transfer credits will be made.
If you are applying to enroll as a transfer student, you must provide your official transcript from your current law school, showing that you have completed the full first year of coursework. You may also be asked to provide a letter from your current law school verifying that you are in good academic and disciplinary standing as of the conclusion of the first year.
Upon acceptance, all transfer students are required to reserve their seats in the 2L class with a deposit to be applied toward their first tuition bill.
The transfer application for Fall 2021 entry will be available from April 1 to July 15, 2021. Transfer students cannot apply to start in the Spring or Summer.
On a limited basis, a student enrolled at another ABA-accredited law school may attend classes at Louisville Law for a designated period of time of no more than one academic year. If you are applying to enroll as a visiting student, you must provide your official transcript from your current law school, as well as a letter from your current law school stating that it will accept credits earned from your anticipated coursework at Louisville Law. You may also be asked to provide a letter from your current law school verifying that you are in good academic and disciplinary standing as of the conclusion of the first year.
Upon acceptance, all visiting students are required to submit a signed letter of intent.
Visiting students can apply to study at Louisville Law in any term. The visiting application for all 2021 terms will be available October 1, with the application deadline varying by term:
- Spring 2021: Application must be complete by December 15, 2020
Summer 2021: Application must be complete April 15, 2021
- Fall 2021: Aplpication must be complete July 15, 2021
Louisville Law welcomes the interest of international students and those who have been educated abroad. To study in the United States requires substantial preparation and careful planning, so it is recommended that international students apply early. Please note that Louisville Law offers only a traditional 90-credit JD degree; we offer neither a Masters in Law (LLM) degree nor an accelerated program for foreign-trained lawyers.
International students are billed at the nonresident tuition rate and are eligible for the same institutional scholarship funding as domestic students. However, federally-funded student financial aid is available only for eligible US citizens, nationals and permanent residents.
In addition to the standard application materials, all applicants for whom English is a second language and who were educated at an institution where the primary language of instruction was not English must submit a valid score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT).
You must provide your foreign education records via the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) if:
- you received your undergraduate degree from a foreign institution, or
- you were directly enrolled at one or more foreign institutions and the total combined amount of work you completed at all such institutions is the equivalent of more than one year of undergraduate study in the United States or Canada.
As with domestic education records, all appropriate documents (e.g., transcripts, degree certifications or mark sheets) should be sent directly to LSAC from any institutions you have attended. Canadian education records are treated as domestic, as opposed to foreign, and therefore must be submitted in their entirety.
International students must also demonstrate that they have adequate financial resources to support their educational and living expenses for the duration of their studies in the United States. The University of Louisville reserves the right to require an advance deposit equal to a full year of tuition and fees as proof of sufficient financial resources.
Once you have met all International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) requirements, the University will issue you a Certificate of Eligibility: I-20 for students or IAP-66 for exchange visitors. You will need to provide your Certificate of Eligibility to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country, along with your valid passport and proof of sufficient financial support for your studies, in order to obtain the necessary visa for study in the United States.
Please do not arrange to travel to the United States until you have received a written offer of admission and a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or IAP-66) from the University of Louisville.