Application Process

JD Admissions

 

First-year students are admitted for enrollment in the fall semester. Applications must be submitted by April 1 preceding the fall semester in which applicants wish to enroll, but applicants are strongly encouraged to file by the preceding November or December. Graduation from an approved college is a prerequisite for admission in the fall, but not for application to the program.

 

The Fall 2016 application can be found here (please use the link in the following section if you intend to apply Early Decision).  Please contact the Admissions Office at (608) 262-5914 or admissions@law.wisc.edu if you have any questions in the meantime. 

Early Decision Option

The University of Wisconsin Law School’s Early Decision Program provides a way for applicants who know that Wisconsin is their first choice for law school to receive an admission and scholarship decision much earlier than if they were to proceed through the regular application process.  Applicants to the University of Wisconsin Law Schools’ Early Decision Program may not be an Early Decision candidate at any other school during the same admissions cycle, and must commit themselves to matriculating at Wisconsin if admitted pursuant to the Early Decision Program.  Early Decision Program applicants must complete the Early Decision Agreement, and should follow the Early Decision Program checklist (provided in the Early Decision Agreement) to ensure timely filing of all application materials by the November 15 deadline.

The Early Decision application can be found here, and the deadline for Fall 2016 is November 15, 2015.  

Application Fee & Viewbook (Law at Wisconsin)

The application fee is $56. Please view our publication Law at Wisconsin to learn more about our law school or you may contact the Admissions Office at admissions@law.wisc.edu or 608-262-5914 to request a copy.  

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

All applicants are required to submit scores on a recently taken Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and must subscribe to the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), sponsored by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). Applicants must take the LSAT no later than the February prior to the fall in which they seek admission, and no earlier than the October four years prior. Applicants should have an official report of their score sent to the Law School directly by LSAC, as part of the CAS report. Contact LSAC directly at 215-968-1001 or go to http://www.lsac.org to register online for the LSAT and subscribe to the CAS.

The Applicant File

In deciding to accept an applicant for admission to the UW Law School, the Admissions Committee works with the written materials in the applicant's file. Interviews are not part of the admissions process, although we are happy to answer your questions, and we invite you to visit the Law School.

Your file will contain, at a minimum, the following items: your application form, the registrar's record of residence form, copies of your college transcripts (as reproduced by CAS), the CAS summary of college grades, the report of LSAT scores, your résumé, and two letters of recommendation -- speaking to your ability, intelligence, diligence, imagination, and similar qualities.

If you are an international applicant, you will also be required to submit a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score. Additional information regarding the TOEFL exam may be found at www.toefl.com.

The Admissions Committee carefully considers whatever information we receive in your personal statement, application form, and letters of recommendation. If there is something that we have not asked you, or something about which you would like to elaborate, feel free to add a separate addendum to the application.

Reapplicants

If you are reapplying for admission to the University of Wisconsin Law School, you must indicate this on the application.  To apply, you need to submit a new application, a new personal statement, an updated resume, the application fee and re-register with CAS.  The supporting materials from the prior year's application will also be included in your file.  However, we strongly recommend submitting two new letters of recommendation.

Online Status Checker

In order to better keep each applicant apprised of the status of his or her application, we now provide a link for applicants to check their status online.  This will allow you to view the most current status of your application, and it will also alert you to any discrepancies with your personal contact information.  You will receive an email indicating the link as well as your User ID and password soon after we have received your application. 

New application/incomplete- Your application has been received by the Admissions Office, and a preliminary check for missing items has begun.  If your application file is missing any items, we will be in contact with you via email.  Please note that the review of the application for missing items may take several weeks. 

File Complete- All required documents have been received, and your application is now in line for review. 

In Review- The application file is now being reviewed by the Admissions Committee, and you will be notified of a decision within approximately ten to twelve weeks. 

Decision- You will receive an email from the Admissions Office notifying you of the decision on your file.  If you do not receive an email within 48 hours of your status changing to "Decision," please contact the Admissions Office at admissions@law.wisc.edu or 608-262-5914.  

Qualifications for Admissions to the Bar

In 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 state of Wisconsin is unique in that it maintains a special program known as Diploma Privilege, by which graduates of the Law School may be admitted to practice (without taking a bar exam) by meeting a set of course, grade, character, and fitness requirements. For more information on Wisconsin's graduation and bar admissions requirements, click here.

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