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Application Components

Classroom

Application Status Check

You may check the status of your Harvard Law School application online. This feature will allow you to monitor the status of your file at your convenience. Your status will be updated as soon as changes are made to your application.

 

Application Components

Application Fee or Fee Waiver


$85 (non refundable). You may pay the fee by credit card when you submit your application or you may enclose a check or money order payable to Harvard Law School with your certification form. Do not send cash.

If payment of the application fee poses a severe financial hardship, please follow the instructions below:

      1. Request a fee waiver from LSAC (if you have not already done so). If LSAC has granted you an LSAC fee waiver within the last year and you apply electronically to Harvard, your Harvard application fee will be automatically waived.
      2. If your fee waiver request has been denied by LSAC, please ask for reconsideration.
      3. If LSAC denies your second request for a fee waiver, you can call our office at (617) 495-3179 or email at jdadmiss@law.harvard.edu to request a Fee Waiver Request Form.
    1. Application fees are waived on the basis of financial need as demonstrated by information on the Fee Waiver Request Form. We require tax documents supporting the information on your Fee Waiver Request Form. No application for admission will be considered before the application fee has been paid or a fee waiver request has been approved.

Application Form

It is very helpful for you to provide as much information as possible on the online form itself before referring the reader to attached materials. Give as much information as possible in the space provided, and attach additional pages or electronic attachments if you need additional space. Please answer all questions and sign the form or Certification Letter.

Résumés

We require a résumé as part of the application. 

The following links are to sample resumes from successful applicants in prior years.  You do not have to follow the formatting used in these resumes, but all three are examples of well-organized, easy-to-read drafts.

Personal Statement

The personal statement provides an opportunity for you to present yourself, your background, your ideas, and your qualifications to the Admissions Committee. Please limit your statement to two pages using a minimum of 11-point font, 1-inch margins, and double spacing.

The personal statement is intended as an opportunity to give the Admissions Committee a better sense of who you are as a person and as a potential student and graduate of Harvard Law School. In many instances, applicants have used the personal statement to provide more context on how their experiences and strengths could make them valuable contributors to the Harvard and legal communities, to illuminate their intellectual background and interests, or to clarify or elaborate on other information in their application. Because applicants and their experiences differ, you are the best person to determine the content of your statement.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and Credential Assembly Service (CAS)

All applicants to the J.D. program must take the LSAT and must register with the Credential Assembly Service. Visit the LSAC website at www.LSAC.org for information. An LSAT score taken within the past 5 years is considered valid.

You must also register for the Credential Assembly Service and have all undergraduate and graduate transcripts sent to LSAC.

Recommendation Letters

Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. Two letters of recommendation are required, but you may submit up to three. We strongly recommend that at least one letter of recommendation come from an academic source. Our experience is that two thoughtfully selected recommenders are likely to be more effective than several chosen less carefully. Your application will be treated as complete with two letters of recommendation.

Character and Fitness Questions

Your application to Harvard Law School includes a set of Character and Fitness Questions.  Applicants and Admitted Students who intend to practice law should be aware that admission to the bar in all states involves, character, fitness and other qualifications. Applicants are encouraged to determine what those requirements are in the state(s) in which they intend to practice by consulting the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners

College Certification

While not required as part of the application process, college certification(s) will be required from admitted students prior to matriculation. The College Certification will be filled out by an official from your school to confirm your degree as well as to confirm the responses you provided on your application to your character and fitness questions. If you have any questions about how your college will answer these questions, please contact your college's Registrar or Dean of Students office.

Optional Statement

The Admissions Committee makes every effort to understand your achievements in the context of your background and to build a divers student body. If applicable, you may choose to submit an optional additional statement to elaborate on how you could contribute to the diversity of the Harvard Law School community.

Additional Information

We encourage you to provide any relevant information that may be helpful to us in making an informed decision on your application. Any information that you believe to be relevant to your application is appropriate. Examples of information that may be relevant to individual cases include unusual circumstances that may have affected academic performance, a description or documentation of a physical or learning disability, an explicit history of standardized test results accompanying a strong academic performance, or a history of educational or sociological disadvantage.

If a close relative has attended HLS, you may attach this information in an addendum.

Interviews

During the application review process you may be invited to interview.  These interviews will happen throughout the admissions cycle. The Admissions Office will contact you directly to setup an interview. 

Interviews are conducted using Skype - a videoconferencing system. As always, we will accommodate individuals who may be unable to conduct their interview in this manner.  If there is a reason that Skype would not work for you, we will work with you to find an alternative.  However, our expectation is that Skype will be used for the majority of the interviews we conduct.

 

Information for Foreign-Educated Applicants

Harvard Law School requires that your foreign transcripts be submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS). If you completed any postsecondary work outside the US (including its territories) or Canada, you must use this service for the evaluation of your foreign transcripts. The one exception to this requirement is if you completed the foreign work through a study-abroad, consortium, or exchange program sponsored by a US or Canadian institution, and the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript. This service is included in the Credential Assembly Service subscription fee. An International Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into your Credential Assembly Service report. Questions about the Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at (215) 968-1001, or LSACinfo@LSAC.org.

Last modified: August 12, 2014

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