Detailed applicant information may be found below and through the links to the right.
Pre-Legal Education | Application File | Application for Admission | Application Fee | CAS | LSAT | Final Transcripts | Letters of Recommendation | Personal Statement | Optional Essay | Diversity Statement | Interviews | Previous Law School Attendance | Application Deadline | On-Campus Student Housing Interest Form | Bar Requirements | Campus Visits
Southwestern does not require a particular prelaw major or curriculum and selects prospective law students from every field of undergraduate education. However, since it is especially important that law students learn to communicate orally and in writing, courses that develop these skills are highly recommended.
In reviewing academic work, the Southwestern Admissions Committee looks at trends in an applicant's UGPA, the school(s) attended, the applicant's major area of concentration, and formal study undertaken beyond the undergraduate level. In attempting to determine motivation and potential for success, the Admissions Committee also considers civic and professional activities, evidence of leadership, employment, and law-related work or volunteer experience.
Note: Although graduate work is considered a positive additional factor in an applicant's file, the graduate GPA is not used as a substitute for the UGPA in the overall evaluation, nor can it be combined with the UGPA.
The Application File
Applications for the first-year entering class are accepted for the Fall Semester only. Transfer or visiting students who have completed their first year at another ABA-approved law school may apply for admission for the Fall or Spring Semester (visiting students use a different application process for Summer Session; click here for Summer Session details).
The admissions file of a prospective student applying for the first-year entering class will be considered complete and ready for review by the Admissions Committee once Southwestern has received the following materials:
- Application for Admission
- Application Fee ($60)
- Official CAS Report
- Personal Statement
- Letters of Recommendation (up to three)
Application for Admission
The official Application for Admission to Southwestern may be completed in electronic form through LSAC. 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. Click here for links to both applications.
All first-year applicants must also take the LSAT and register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), in addition to the other requirements detailed below. Additional documentation not submitted electronically with the application may be sent to the Admissions Office via email, fax or U.S. mail. All materials (including letters of recommendation) must be clearly identified with the applicant's full name and LSAC account number.
Note: Although online applications are preferred, applicants who wish to fill out a paper application may request a copy by contacting the Admissions Office.
- *Students interested in applying to the two-year SCALE J.D. program should follow the same application procedures as the other J.D. programs and indicate interest in SCALE on the application form.
- Students interested in applying to the three-year SCALE J.D./M.B.A. program should complete the concurrent-degree program application and indicate their interest on the form.
- SCALE classes begin in June, whereas traditional day and evening classes begin in August. Applicants to either SCALE Program must fulfill additional requirements.
- Students applying for the concurrent-degree program must also fulfill additional requirements.
A nonrefundable $60 check or money order made payable to Southwestern Law School must be submitted with the application or with your Certification Letter if applying online. The canceled check will serve as a receipt. The application fee may also be paid via the E-app electronic payment option. Southwestern honors the fee waivers assigned by LSAC.
Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
Every applicant must register with the CAS which provides the law school with the applicant's LSAT score(s) and a summary of all undergraduate academic work. LSAT/CAS registration materials may be obtained from:
Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
662 Penn Street
Newtown, PA 18940
For purposes of registration for various admissions services, Southwestern's code number is 4703.
Note: Academic records from foreign institutions must be submitted to the LSAC credentials evaluation service. Click here for more information.
The LSAT is a standardized test administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) that is designed to measure certain abilities important in the study of law and is used by law schools in assessing the academic promise of their applicants. LSAT scores earned within the past five-year period are considered. Applicants should register for the LSAT no later than 30 days before the test date.
The 2014-15 LSAT test dates that will allow applicants to complete their files by Southwestern's deadlines for the Fall 2015 entering class are:
- June 9, 2014
- September 27, 2014
- September 29, 2014
- December 6, 2014
- December 8, 2014
- February 7, 2015
- February 9, 2015
Note: For the 2015 entering class, only scores earned on or after September 2009 will be considered. Visit www.lsac.org for alternative dates for Sabbath observers.
Final transcripts showing undergraduate degree conferment must be submitted to LSAC no later than October 1, 2015.
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 at the following address:
For purposes of registration for various admissions services, Southwestern's code number is 4703.
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, and 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/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.
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.
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. Inclusion of this statement is referenced in the Diversity section of the electronic application.
While an interview is only required for candidates to the SCALE and concurrent-degree programs, some applicants to the Day, Evening or PLEAS programs may be selected to participate in interviews with faculty members, alumni or admissions officers. If contacted for the interview, it is important to respond promptly. Failure to respond within a timely manner could adversely affect the application review process. Those applicants who wish to further enhance their admissions files with additional information not originally submitted with the application are advised to do so in writing.
Previous Law School Attendance
Applicants who have previously attended law school must fulfill additional requirements. Regardless of desire to receive advanced standing, all applicants who have previously attended any law school must provide a letter of standing and official transcript from the law school.
Applications for the J.D. Program are reviewed as they are completed. Students are therefore strongly advised to apply as early as possible. Files submitted after the application deadline will be considered on an individual basis. Applicants should be aware, however, that waiting lists are often established as early as March, and eligibility for certain forms of financial aid most preferred by students (e.g., scholarship programs) may be reduced substantially after April 1.
The application deadline for Fall 2015 is May 1st
Note: Applicants to the concurrent-degree programs should see details below regarding the priority deadline.
Additional Requirements for SCALE Applicants
(Applicants to the SCALE J.D./M.B.A. Program should see below for different requirements)
An interview is also required for candidates to the two-year SCALE J.D. program. This meeting helps to identify those candidates who would most likely be successful in the program and provides each applicant with an opportunity to learn more precisely what is expected of SCALE participants. If the applicant resides outside of the Southern California area, arrangements can be made for a telephone interview.
Note: SCALE interview appointments for J.D. applicants are initiated by the law school.
Additional Requirements for Concurrent-Degree Program Applicants (includes SCALE J.D./M.B.A.)
To apply for admission to the concurrent-degree programs offered in conjunction with The Drucker Graduate School of Management, applicants who are not currently enrolled at either Southwestern or Drucker should fill out an application specific to the concurrent-degree program and submit the required materials for Southwestern's J.D. Program (see above).
Applicants must also schedule an interview with the Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Programs at Southwestern and submit the following:
- Official GMAT Test Score(s):
- The GMAT is not required for applicants who score 155 and above on the LSAT or for E.M.B.A. applicants. GMAT scores are valid up to five years from the test date. For more information, visit www.mba.com.
- Letter(s) of Recommendation:
- Include at least one letter of recommendation explicitly addressing the candidate's business experience and suitability for the J.D./M.B.A. program
- Personal Statement:
- The applicant's personal statement should address why the applicant is seeking a concurrent-degree
- Two Essay Questions
- Question 1: Written Essay (750 words max.)
At The Drucker School, creativity and innovation are at the core of what we teach. We pride ourselves on giving our students the tools and knowledge they need to find creative solutions to management problems. With this in mind, discuss a time when you used creativity and innovation in your personal or professional life to solve a problem, create change, or make an impact within an organization, group or team.
- Question 2: Visual Essay
Develop a road map that gives a visual representation of who you are personally and professionally, and why a Drucker MBA is important to you. The road map should depict your career aspirations and demonstrate how a Drucker MBA will help you achieve your career goals.
Guidelines for Question 2: Visual Essay
- Email your Question 2 presentation to email@example.com with "Drucker Admission Essay" in the subject line.
- You must submit your presentation in one of the following formats: PowerPoint, Word Doc, PDF or an image file.
- The content and format you provide for Question 2 is your choice; there is no preferred or recommended approach to this question.
- If you choose to provide a PowerPoint presentation, there is a 5 slide limit.
- All presentations will be printed and notes will be reviewed.
- The presentation will be evaluated on the quality of content and your ability to convey your ideas, not on technical expertise or design elements.
Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about the concurrent-degree program.
Note: Offers of admission from The Drucker School of Business are contingent upon successful completion (3.0 or higher GPA) during their first year at Southwestern. Those concurrent-degree students who fall below 3.0 after the first year may be subject to additional application requirements or revocation of their admissions offer from The Drucker School.
Priority Deadline for the Concurrent-degree Program
The priority deadline for the concurrent-degree program is February 15. Students who submit their applications by this date will receive priority consideration for financial aid.
On-Campus Student Housing Interest Form
Southwestern is pleased to offer brand new, fully furnished, state-of-the-art apartments to our students. Please complete this online form to indicate your potential interest in on-campus housing and assist us in planning for future occupancy. Completing this form does not guarantee housing and this interest form is not an official application for housing.
Bar InformationIn 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.
The spirit and welcoming atmosphere of Southwestern are best experienced by visiting the school and talking with students, faculty and admissions staff. Southwestern encourages applicants to make an appointment to tour the facilities and to sit in on classes. Special informational open house receptions and application workshops for prospective students are held throughout the fall and spring. Click here to arrange a personalized visit to the campus. Click here for a calendar of admissions events for prospective students. For further information regarding admissions, contact the Admissions Office