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, Louisville 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, 2021: First-year JD program application opens
January 15, 2022: Priority application deadline
- April 15, 2022: Regular application deadline
- July 15, 2022: First-year JD program application closes
Applications must be complete (not just submitted) by 5:00 PM Eastern on the respective dates above to qualify for the priority and regular application deadlines.
Your application will not be considered complete and eligible for review until the law school has received all required components. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) handles the collection and processing of all application materials. All applicants must create an LSAC account and register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) in order to apply. Please allow an average of two weeks for LSAC to process materials submitted via CAS. The law school will not receive your CAS materials until they have been fully processed and released by LSAC.
The Admissions Committee will begin reviewing applications in November, with decisions rendered thereafter on a rolling basis. Once review has begun, decisions are typically rendered within three weeks. If an applicant is placed on the waitlist by the Admissions Committee, their application will be reassessed in the late spring or early summer.
Louisville Law offers annually renewable scholarship funding on the basis of academic merit as reflected in an applicant’s LSAT score and undergraduate GPA. Admitted applicants are automatically considered for all available merit-based scholarship funding with no separate application required.
Applications that are complete and ready for review by January 15 at 5:00 PM Eastern are classified as priority applications. For priority applications, an offer of admission will include a concomitant offer of merit-based scholarship funding, if any. Applicants who are interested in our Human Rights or Ordered Liberty Fellowships are strongly encouraged to meet the priority application deadline. You must take the LSAT no later than November 2021 in order to meet the priority application deadline.
Applications that are incomplete as of the priority application deadline but complete and ready for review by April 15 at 5:00 PM Eastern are classified as regular applications. Regular applications will be considered for merit-based scholarship funding to the extent that funding remains available. An offer of admission may include a concomitant offer of merit-based scholarship funding, or the admitted student may be placed in a scholarship queue for later consideration. You must take the LSAT no later than March 2022 in order to meet the regular application deadline.
Applications that are incomplete as of the regular application deadline but complete and ready for review by July 15 at 5:00 PM Eastern are classified as late applications. Late applications are ineligible for merit-based scholarship funding. This application will no longer be available for submission after 5:00 PM Eastern on July 15, and updates to incomplete applications will no longer be accepted. You must take the LSAT no later than June 2022 in order to apply for Fall 2022 admission.
In addition to an electronic application available via LSAC, all applicants to the JD program must submit certain required materials and may submit certain optional materials. 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 the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The law school will not receive your CAS materials until they have been fully processed and released by LSAC.
You must have a reportable score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) from within the past five testing years. You may submit this 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 have at least one LSAT Writing component, administered separately, on file with LSAC before your LSAT score will be released.
If your application is complete but you wish to withhold it from review until a future LSAT score release, you may do so, but your application will only be considered complete for purposes of the priority and regular application deadlines after we have received your future LSAT score report.
You must submit via CAS your official transcripts from all undergraduate and post-undergraduate institutions where you have been enrolled. This includes institutions from which you neither have received nor will receive a degree and those 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.
If you earned your bachelor’s degree(s) by September 2021, your transcripts must show the degree(s) as conferred for your application to be considered complete. If you are still undertaking course work toward your bachelor’s degree(s), your application will be considered complete with “in progress” transcripts, but you must submit updated transcripts via CAS as new grades become available.
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. Letters of recommendation received via any means other than CAS will not be considered.
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 full 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.
Character and Fitness Disclosure
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 and 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 any of the questions in the Character and Fitness section of your application, you must provide a written explanation for each affirmative answer, including relevant dates, final dispositions and other appropriate details. The Admissions Committee may request clarification or additional information if not sufficiently addressed by your initial disclosure, and review of your application will 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 your application, you must immediately contact the Office of Admissions and provide a written explanation for each newly affirmative answer, including relevant dates, final dispositions and other appropriate details.
Diversity Statement (Optional)
To ensure 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 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.
If you so choose, you may include a brief addendum addressing any aspect(s) 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. 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.
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 full years of undergraduate coursework in a qualifying major at the University of Louisville or one of the law school’s 3+3 partner institutions: Campbellsville University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Murray State University and Union College. Typically, 3+3 students must satisfy all general education requirements and major-specific course work for the bachelor’s degree prior to matriculating at Louisville 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 so that you are eligible for the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program should be directed to your undergraduate program advisor.
Interested students must apply by the regular application deadline of April 15 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 may receive a conditional offer of admission, contingent on continued academic performance. As part of the application process, 3+3 applicants must interview with the law school’s Office of Admissions.
3+3 students 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 may apply to join the second-year class at Louisville 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, 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.
Your application to enroll as a transfer student must include your official transcript from your current law school, showing that you have completed the full first year of coursework, as well as a letter from your current law school verifying your class rank, academic standing and disciplinary standing as of the conclusion of the first year.
The transfer application for Fall 2022 entry will open in April 2022. 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.
As is required of a transfer applicant, your application to enroll as a visiting student must include your official transcript from your current law school as well as a letter from your current law school verifying your class rank, academic standing and disciplinary standing. In addition, you must arrange for your current law school to provide a letter stating that it will accept credits earned from your anticipated coursework at Louisville Law.
Visiting students can apply to study at Louisville Law in any term. To request a visiting student application, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The application deadline depends on the term in which you seek to attend:
- Spring 2022: Application must be complete by December 15, 2021
Summer 2022: Application must be complete by April 15, 2022
- Fall 2022: Application must be complete by July 15, 2022
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 either:
- 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.