Apply to Harvard Law School

HLS student taking exam

Standards for Admission

  • Admissions decisions are based on the totality of available information about each applicant, and a careful evaluation of the candidate’s past accomplishments and future promise.  We have no mechanical shortcuts or substitutes for careful consideration of each applicant.  
  • As a general guideline, most admitted applicants demonstrate potential for success in law school through an exceptional undergraduate academic record, LSAT scores in the top percentiles and substantial accomplishments in work or extracurricular activities; however, no one of these aspects of an applicant’s file is dispositive in the admissions decision.
  • Our assessment includes many factors such as work experience and demonstrated leadership, and also intangible qualities such as energy, ambition, sound judgment, ability to overcome adversity, high ideals, and concern for the welfare of others. Our admissions committee seeks not only to identify and recognize characteristics that are important to academic success in law school, but also qualities that will contribute diversity of perspective and experience, general excellence, and vitality to the student body.  
  • We actively encourage applications from underrepresented minority groups, women, and others who might not seek admission for financial, geographic or other reasons.   
  • Although the number of well-qualified candidates is expected to greatly exceed the number of offers of admission available, the Law School invites all who would like to study law at Harvard to apply for admission.


  • 1L Application:  Deadline - February 1
    This is the application for students who wish to enroll at HLS for the three year Juris Doctorate program. The majority of students will apply to HLS through this application.  
  • Transfer Application:  Deadline - June 15
    Students who have completed on year of full-time study in a JD program at a US ABA accredited law School, may apply for transfer admission through this application.
  • Harvard College Junior Deferral Program:  Deadline - February 1
    This pilot program is for students currently enrolled as juniors at Harvard College.  This admissions program requires students to defer their enrollment for two years after graduation.
Last modified: August 07, 2014

© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.