How to Apply
Earning your Juris Doctor from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law starts with the application process, an opportunity for interested candidates to demonstrate their potential for the successful study of law. A supportive and collaborative community, Brandeis Law actively seeks to recruit a class of talented individuals with strong credentials, diverse backgrounds and unique experiences.
Prospective applicants should be mindful of several important dates:
- October 1, 2023: First-year JD program application opens
January 1, 2024: Early Bird application deadline
- April 1, 2024: Regular application deadline
- July 1, 2024: First-year JD program application closes
Applications must be complete by the dates above in order to meet the application deadlines. Your application will not be considered complete until the law school has received all required application components. Applicants are automatically considered for all available institutional scholarship funding with no separate application required. Brandeis Law does not charge an application fee.
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) handles the collection and processing of all application materials. Please allow up to two weeks for LSAC to process materials submitted via the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The law school will not receive your CAS materials until they have been fully processed and released by LSAC.
The Admissions Committee reviews applications on a rolling basis, beginning in November. Once an application is under review, a decision is typically rendered within three weeks. If an applicant is placed on the waitlist by the Admissions Committee, their application will be reassessed in the summer.
Early Bird Applications
Applications that are complete and ready for review by January 1, 2024, will be given priority in allocating institutional scholarship funding. You must take the LSAT no later than November 2023 in order to meet the Early Bird application deadline.
Applications that are incomplete as of the Early Bird application deadline but complete and ready for review by April 1, 2024, will be considered for institutional scholarship funding to the extent that funding remains available. You must take the LSAT no later than February 2024 in order to meet the regular application deadline.
Applications that are incomplete as of the regular application deadline are generally ineligible for institutional scholarship funding. The application for Fall 2024 admission will no longer be available for submission after July 1, 2024, and updates to incomplete applications will no longer be accepted. You must take the LSAT no later than June 2024 in order to apply for Fall 2024 admission.
A complete first-year application to the JD program includes the electronic application form available on LSAC.org plus the following additional components:
LSAT Score Report
You must have a reportable score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) from within the past five testing years. You may submit your application before you have a reportable LSAT score, but your application will not be complete until LSAC releases your score report to us. You must complete at least one LSAT Writing, administered separately, before your LSAT score will be released.
If you would like to withhold your application from review until a future LSAT score release, you must submit a Review Delay Request, a link to which will be provided to you once your application is verified as complete. If you do so, your application will not reviewed by the Admissions Committee until a future LSAT score that you specify has been released. If the future LSAT score is released after January 1, 2024, your application will not be considered to have met the Early Bird application deadline. Likewise, if the future LSAT score is released after April 1, 2024, your application will not be considered to have met the regular application deadline.
Once a final decision has been rendered for your application, the Admissions Committee is under no obligation to amend its decision in light of a new LSAT score.
You must provide your official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions where you have been enrolled. This includes institutions from which you have not received a degree, such as those where you earned transfer credits or those where you earned dual enrollment credits 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 U.S. Office of Postsecondary Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
If you earned your bachelor’s degree by September 2023, your transcripts must show the degree as conferred for your application to be considered complete. If you are still undertaking coursework toward your bachelor’s degree, your application will be considered complete with “in progress” transcripts, but you must submit your final official transcripts to LSAC once your bachelor's degree has been conferred and are encouraged to submit updated transcripts in the interim.
Official transcripts must be sent to LSAC for required processing. Transcripts sent directly to Brandeis Law or to the University of Louisville cannot be accepted.
Letters of Recommendation
You must provide at least two letters of recommendation, and you may provide a third letter of recommendation if you so choose. The Admissions Committee expects letters to be academic or professional in nature and strongly encourages any applicant currently or recently enrolled in an academic program to submit at least one letter from a faculty member who has taught the applicant in a traditional classroom setting. Personal letters of recommendation, such as those from friends or family members, are strongly discouraged.
Letters of recommendation must be sent to LSAC by the recommenders themselves. You must then access your LSAC account and assign your letters of recommendation to the law schools to which you are applying. Letters of recommendation received via any other means cannot be accepted.
The personal statement is an open-ended essay written on any topic of your choice. It should be 500 to 750 words in length and should demonstrate your capacity for high-quality, independent written work. Ideally, your personal statement will provide insight to the Admissions Committee on your personal story, experiences, motivations or anticipated contributions to the legal profession.
The Brandeis statement is a required essay written in response to the following prompt: "The mission of Brandeis Law is guided by the vision of its benefactor and namesake, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, to:
- actively engage the community in addressing public problems, resolving conflicts, seeking justice and building a vibrant and sustainable future through high-quality research and innovative ideas, the application of which aims to solve public problems and serve the public; and
- actively engage diverse participants in an academic community of students, faculty and staff that is strengthened by its diversity and its commitment to social justice, opportunity, sustainability and mutual respect.
How would you contribute to Brandeis Law's mission as described?" Your response should be 250 to 500 words in length.
Your 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 if formatted thoughtfully, though a second page may be reasonable for applicants with significant work histories.
If you so choose, you may include a brief addendum addressing any aspect of your application not addressed elsewhere that you feel is necessary to explain for the Admissions Committee. The addendum should be no longer than 250 words unless exceptional circumstances warrant a longer explanation. The addendum is entirely optional and not a required application component.
Character and Fitness
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. Many jurisdictions, including Kentucky, require a copy of your law school application to accompany your petition for admission to the bar. The Character and Fitness section of the application requires the disclosure of information that may be pertinent to your character and fitness to study and practice the law. Failure to answer these questions truthfully and completely could affect not only your application for admission to Brandeis Law but also your petition for admission to the bar.
If you answer "Yes" to any of the questions in the Character and Fitness section of this application, you must provide a written explanation for each affirmative answer, including all relevant details, dates and outcomes. The Admissions Committee may request clarification or additional information if not sufficiently addressed by your initial disclosure, and review of your application may be suspended until you have provided a sufficient response.
All applicants to the law school have a continuing obligation to disclose pertinent character and fitness information. If your answer to any of the Character and Fitness questions changes from "No" to "Yes" after you have submitted this application, you must immediately contact the Office of Admissions and provide a written explanation for each newly affirmative answer, including all relevant dates, details and outcomes, for review by the Admissions Committee.
If you have already submitted your application, you can check the status of your application at any time. 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 application status check is administered by LSAC and uses its own login system and credentials, separate from those used by the University of Louisville for its online services.
For students who feel they are unable to take on the full standard first-year course load, Brandeis Law offers a reduced first-year course load option. Students may choose to take a reduced first-year course load of 9 credit hours per semester rather than the usual 15. Students who continue to take a reduced course load throughout their time in law school would complete the JD program in four to five years rather than the usual three.
Students who take the the reduced first-year course load take three full-year course sequences:
- Contracts I (Fall) » Contracts II (Spring)
- Torts I (Fall) » Torts II (Spring)
- Lawyering Skills I (Fall) » Lawyering Skills II (Spring)
Because first-year courses are sequenced, students must maintain their course load, whether standard or reduced, for the duration of their first year of study. However, a student taking the reduced course load may request permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to add Civil Procedure I (3 additional credit hours) to their Spring semester course load, if their schedule allows and if they have performed sufficiently well in the Fall semester.
After the first year, students may increase or decrease their course load in subsequent semesters as they see fit.
Students taking the reduced course load are not a separate cohort and attend the same class sessions as students taking the standard course load. All first-year classes and other mandatory programming are held on weekdays during the day, and if necessary, course faculty may hold make-up sessions at different times than classes would normally meet. As such, students taking the reduced course load, especially those who plan to work while enrolled, must ensure that they will be available to attend classes.
Students who take 10 or more credit hours in a given semester are billed at the standard full-time tuition rate, while students who take fewer than 10 credit hours in a given semester are considered part-time for tuition purposes and are billed by the credit hour. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the part-time tuition rate is $1,270 per credit hour for eligible Kentucky residents and $1,520 per credit hour for nonresidents.
The 3+3 Program allows certain undergraduate students at the University of Louisville to apply to Brandeis Law during their third year of study and start law school early, receiving their bachelor's degree after successfully completing the first year of JD coursework. To be eligible, students must complete three full academic years (90 credit hours) of postsecondary undergraduate coursework, including at least two full academic years (60 credit hours) of in-person instruction at the University of Louisville, in a qualifying major:
- Business Economics (BS)
- Criminal Justice (BS)
- Economics (BA)
- History (BA)
- Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies (BA)
3+3 students must satisfy all general education requirements and major-specific coursework for their bachelor’s degree prior to enrolling at Brandeis Law, unless they have received approval from their undergraduate program that first-year JD courses will satisfy outstanding major-specific requirements.
Questions about how to structure your undergraduate studies to participate in the 3+3 Program should be directed to your undergraduate program advisor.
Interested students must apply to the law school during their third year of undergraduate study, and their application must be complete by the regular deadline of April 1, 2024, in order to be considered for admission under the 3+3 Program. 3+3 applicants are subject to the same entrance standards as traditional first-year applicants, and any offer of admission is contingent upon continued undergraduate academic performance.
Students admitted under the 3+3 Program pay the law school tuition rate for the duration of their enrollment at Brandeis Law, including their first year of JD coursework. 3+3 students may be able to maintain certain undergraduate institutional scholarship funding toward tuition for the first year of the JD program. For specific questions on what undergraduate scholarships would or would not qualify, please contact the Student Financial Aid Office.
Brandeis Law welcomes both transfer and visiting students to apply to join our community. Transfer students have completed their first year of JD coursework at another law school but wish to complete their education at Brandeis Law. Visiting students have completed at least their first year of JD coursework at another law school and wish to remain enrolled there but wish to attend classes at Brandeis Law for no more than one academic year.
A student who has completed the first year of JD coursework at another law school accredited by the American Bar Association may apply to join the second-year class at Brandeis Law. Transfer applicants are subject to the same entrance standards as first-year applicants, plus 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 ABA accreditation standards, Brandeis Law may award a transfer student up to, but no more than, thirty (30) credits for first-year JD 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 a duplicative course at Brandeis 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.
Your application to enroll as a transfer student must include everything required of a first-year application plus the following additional components:
- a transfer statement, no more than 250 words in length, articulating why you wish to transfer to Brandeis Law;
- your official transcript from your first-year law school, including your grades for the full first year of coursework; and
- a letter of good standing from your first-year law school verifying the following as of the conclusion of your first year of JD coursework: (a) your cumulative law school GPA, (b) your class rank or closest approximation and (c) that you are in good academic and disciplinary standing.
In addition, we strongly encourage all transfer applicants to arrange for at least one of their letters of recommendation to be provided by one of their first-year law school professors.
The transfer application for Fall 2024 entry will be available on LSAC.org from May 1 to July 1, 2024. Brandeis Law does not offer Spring or Summer entry.
A student who has completed at least the first year of JD coursework at another ABA-accredited law school may apply to attend classes at Brandeis Law for no more than one academic year. In addition to submitting our online Visiting Student Application, you must arrange for the appropriate official from your law school to provide your official JD transcript and a letter stating that you are in good standing and have permission to attend Brandeis Law as a visiting student.
Visiting students can apply to attend classes at Brandeis Law in any term, including Summer. Please apply at least two weeks prior to the start of classes for the term in which you wish to join us as a visiting student.
Brandeis 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. Brandeis Law does not offers a Masters in Law (LLM) degree or an accelerated JD 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, federal student financial aid is available only for eligible U.S. citizens, nationals and permanent residents.
In addition to the standard JD 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 postsecondary education records, including transcripts, degree certifications or mark sheets, via the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) if either:
- you received your undergraduate degree from a "foreign institution," defined as one outside of the United States, Canada and their territories and associated states; 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.
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.