Applying

We encourage you to apply to law school early, even though you will see rolling admission with deadlines in the spring.

Apply in the fall. October 1st is not too early to send in your applications. Early applicants also have an advantage for being considered for scholarship or grant monies.

Law School Admissions Council (LSAC)

LSAC is the umbrella organization that will be featured in your law school application process. It is used to register for two fee-based programs: the LSAT and the Credential Assembly Service (CAS).

Visit lsac.org

Haverford Average

161

LSAT Score


88%

Law School Acceptance

National Average

152

LSAT Score


71%

Law School Acceptance

  • Personal Statement/Essay

    The law school application personal statement/essay provides schools with the opportunity to evaluate your writing and your ability to communicate an idea or theme in a clear and concise manner. It is also a great way for them to get to know you.

    Get Organized. It is most important that your ideas be well organized and focused. Your theme choice is not limited to "Why do you want to attend law school?" but should be a topic that reflects personal values, decision making processes, significant contributions, accomplishments and/or special experiences that are not fully revealed elsewhere in your law school application.

    Be Affirmative. Think of the personal statement as your opportunity to share your strengths in a positive, non-defensive way. This should not be viewed as an opportunity to explain, apologize for, or defend a negative issue or experience, such as a poor academic record or LSAT score.

    Make It 'All About You'. Given that law schools do not usually provide interviews, the essay serves as an opportunity for admissions officers to get to know you. What would make an indelible impression and make clear who you are? In choosing a topic, take time to first analyze your personal history, evaluate experiences most relished, and determine the personal significance of learning or events in your life.

    Law Is Process; This Essay Should Be, Too. Discuss the "hows" and "whys" of your experiences. Why did you make a particular decision? How did you benefit from the choice you made? What did you value or gain from your experience? Discuss the personal significance of an event.

    Make Every Word Count. Two pages, double spaced, is sufficient for most schools, although some school requirements may vary. Generally, applicants can attach the same essay to each application, perhaps varying the last couple of paragraphs to address the particular issues a particular school would like you to cover. Use active language. Perfecting your grammar and spelling is a given. Vary your sentence structure and write engagingly.

    Be Persistent. You will probably craft several drafts with many revisions and refinements. The pre-law advisor can critique your typed drafts. (Please allow 3-5 days for a thorough critique.

    Berkley's Career Center: Resource on Essays

  • Dean's Letter

    Some law schools require a statement, called a Dean's Letter, from each of your undergraduate institutions where you are/were a student in good standing. Read the law school admission materials carefully to determine if this is necessary for the school you are applying to. A note about misconduct: It is STRONGLY suggested that you FULLY disclose any disciplinary issues on your law school applications. Law schools expect it and it will be necessary as you apply for the bar as well.

    A Dean's Letter is written by the Dean who serves or served that student or alumna/us. It is a completely original letter of recommendation approximately one page in length. It is not a compilation of other letters of recommendation.

    • To request a Dean's Letter, a Haverford student or alumna/us must make an appointment to meet (or talk by phone) with his/her Dean.
    • Before or during that meeting, the student/alumna/us must provide his/her Dean with a resume, a transcript, a statement of purpose no longer than one page in length, and the process and deadline for submitting the letter to the specific school(s).
    • If this process includes the submission of a Deans Form, follow the instructions below.
    • A Dean's Form is required by a limited number of law schools. The Dean's Form, specific to each school, requires documenting a candidate's successful completion of requirements at Haverford, The Dean's Form must be completed by the Dean of the College.

    If a school requires a Dean's Form with a letter attached:

    1. The Dean's letter is written first.
    2. Instruct your Dean to provide the Dean of the College with the written letter, the Dean's Form (provided and signed by you), deadline and mailing instructions (provided by you).

    Make sure that the Dean's office has instructions for submitting the information to the law school(s). Questions/comments/issues? All communication regarding the Dean's letter/form should be made directly with the Dean who serves(ed) you or the Dean of the College.

    NAPLA: Law Schools Requiring Dean's Letter/Form

  • Fees

    The application process can be quite costly in time, energy and money. Fee waivers may be available. Learn more about LSAT fees and waivers at lsac.org.

    Average Costs
    • LSAT Registration $165*
    • Credential Assembly Service (CAS) $160
    • Application fees $65-85 per school
    • Other costs: Prep course materials, school visits, tuition deposits, moving expenses, etc.

    * there may be additional fees depending on when/where you register

    Haverford students and alumni apply to an average of 10-12 schools.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Letters of Recommendation must be submitted through LSAC via the CAS ("Credential Assembly Service,") which is often called LOR (Letter of Recommendation Service). Most applicants should prepare:

    • two letters (preferably from PhD faculty)
    • on professional letterhead
    • sent directly to LSAC. Enter the data online and print off the form, then bring that form to your letter writers with the supplemental materials listed below.

    When asking for letters, make sure you are considerate and professional, making your appointment to meet with letter writers well in advance of the application deadline. Ask them, "Do you feel you know my work well enough to write a positive letter on behalf of my application to law school?" Provide information about your background to assist him/her in writing a detailed letter by including a 'reminder' cover sheet describing your academic relationship, including courses you have taken, research you have conducted, your experience as a TA, etc. including a list of dates when recommendations are due.

    Whenever possible, include:

    • a copy of your transcript
    • a draft of your personal statement (if available)
    • a resume
    • copies of exams or papers written in his/her class
    • recommendation forms from CAS or the law schools
    • stamped envelopes addressed to the LSAC or to the schools

    Waive your right of access since you may find writers unwilling to write letters if applicants have access to them, and some admissions committee members may discount disclosed letters. If you have not been notified that your application is complete by about one month before a deadline, speak with those writers who have not sent letters yet to remind them politely of the approaching deadline. After you have received decisions, send thank-you letters to your recommenders, and let them know where you have been accepted and where you intend to enroll. Recommenders send letters directly to the CAS, which then forwards up to four letters to law schools to which you are applying. You can specify that targeted letters be sent to specific schools; otherwise, general letters will be sent to every school to which you apply.

    Letters will be maintained for five years from the time you register for CAS or from the time you take the LSAT, whichever comes last.

    To read more on letters please visit LSAC: Letters of Recommendation.

  • Resume & Transcript
    Resume

    You should submit a professional resume as part of your law school application. If you are in school or just a few years out, it is recommended that you keep to a one page resume.

    CCPA: Resumes & Leters

    Transcript

    Transcripts from any institution past high school that you have attended are almost always required.

    • If you studied abroad for a full year, you must have your transcript sent and it will count towards your GPA.
    • If you spent a semester or less abroad, it does not count toward your GPA. However, if you feel the grades are important to your application you can scan a copy of the transcript and submit it as an addendum on LSAC.
    • If you transferred from another institution, have a transcript from that school sent to LSAC.

    Office of the Registrar: Transcripts LSAC: Requesting Transcripts