The Application File

A well-prepared admissions file will help distinguish you from other candidates. The applicant’s admission file will not be considered complete until the following materials are received:

  • Application for admission
  • Letters of Recommendation (up to three)
  • Personal Statement
  • Official CAS Report
  • Application Fee

In addition to those requirements, applicants may also choose to submit an Essay and Diversity Statement.

Applicants who have previously attended law school must also provide a letter of standing and official transcript from previously attended law school.

Application for Admission

The official Application for Admission to Southwestern may be completed in electronic form through LSAC. Any additional documentation not submitted electronically with the application may be sent to the Admissions Office via email, fax, or U.S. mail. Although online applications are preferred, applicants who wish to fill out a paper application may request a copy by contacting the Admissions Office.

Applicants to the Day, Evening, PLEAS and SCALE programs complete the same application and indicate their program of choice on the form. Applicants to the concurrent-degree program with The Drucker School (traditional or SCALE) fill out an application specific to that program and indicate their program of choice.

Letters of Recommendation

At least one, but no more than three letters of recommendation should be submitted on behalf of the applicant, preferably from college professors who can provide a candid assessment of the applicant's potential for successfully completing a competitive professional degree program. For applicants who have been out of school for some time, letters from employers may be able to address their strengths and abilities as they would relate to potential success in a law school environment.

The CAS Registration subscription includes a Letter of Recommendation Service. Applicants who wish to use this service should follow the directions for submitting letters outlined in the LSAT/CAS Registration and Information Book which includes forms that are to be completed and given to each writer submitting a letter of recommendation for the applicant. Copies of the letters will be sent to Southwestern along with the applicant's CAS Report.

Applicants who choose to submit letters of recommendation directly to Southwestern may enclose them with the application or have them sent under separate cover to the Admissions Office by the recommender. All correspondence concerning an applicant's file should include the applicant's full name and LSAC account number. Applicants may also utilize LSAC's online evaluation form in addition to Letters of Recommendation.

Applicants holding undergraduate degrees from foreign institutions should refer to the Foreign Applicants section.

LSAT/CAS registration packets may be obtained by contacting the Law School Admission Council (see sidebar for contact information).

For purposes of registration for various admissions services, Southwestern's code number is 4703.

Personal Statement

The applicant's personal statement may address issues such as special interests, motivation, personal qualities, academic experience and social background which may distinguish the applicant from others. It can also expound on items not fully explained on the official application form.

Because the law school does not require individual interviews as part of the application process (with the exception of the SCALE and concurrent-degree programs), applicants are encouraged to use the personal statement as an opportunity to share more details with the Admissions Committee, including the kind of information that might be conveyed during an in-person interview.

Applicants to the PLEAS program who have child- or elder-care responsibilities may wish to share why this program would be particularly beneficial to their needs.

The applicant's personal statement should be two to three pages in length, typed and double-spaced. When applying electronically, applicants may submit the personal statement as an electronic attachment.

Essay (Optional)

In addition to the personal statement, applicants may choose to write one optional essay. The essay should be no more than two pages in length, typed and double-spaced, and address one of the following issues:

  • Discuss an ethical dilemma you have encountered, either personally or professionally, and how you resolved the situation.
  • Discuss a risk that has led to significant change, either positive or negative, in any aspect of your life.
  • Discuss the life experiences or relationships that contributed to your development as an individual, and provide specific examples of how this relates to your goal of becoming an attorney.

Diversity Statement (Optional)

Southwestern values the uniqueness of each applicant. Therefore, a statement may be submitted that includes specific issues related to the diverse background and personal experiences not mentioned in the required personal statement. Please refer to Attachments in the LSAC application system for instructions on how to include this statement in the electronic application.

Previous Law School Attendance

Applicants who have previously attended law school must fulfill additional requirements. Regardless of the desire to receive advanced standing, all applicants who have previously attended any law school must provide a letter of standing and official transcript from that law school.