Application Process

JD Admissions

First-year students are admitted for enrollment in the fall semester. The application deadline is 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 to start classes in the fall, but not for application to the program.

The Fall 2019 application will become available on September 1st, 2018. Please contact the Admissions Office at (608) 262-5914 or if you have any questions about the application process.

Early Decision Program

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 School's 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 under 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.

Application Fee & Viewbook (Law at Wisconsin)

The application fee is $60. Please view our publication Law at Wisconsin to learn more about our law school or you may contact the Admissions Office at or 608-262-5914 to request a copy.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

All applicants are required to submit a valid Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score and must subscribe to the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), sponsored by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). For Fall 2019 entrance, applicants must take the LSAT no later than April 2019. 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 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 and graduate school transcripts (if applicable), a summary of your college grades produced by CAS, your LSAT scores, your résumé, your personal statement, 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

The Admissions Committee carefully considers whatever information we receive in your application. If there is something that you would like to explain or elaborate on, feel free to add a separate addendum to the application.


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, and the application fee, as well as 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 provide a link for applicants to check their status online.  This will allow you to view the most current status of your application.  You will receive an email indicating the link as well as your User ID and password soon after we have received your application. 

The different statuses for the online status checker are as follows:

  • Processing- Your application has been received by the Admissions Office, and a preliminary check for missing items has begun.  If your file is missing any items, we will be in contact with you via email.  Please note that reviewing your file for missing items may take several weeks. 
  • File Complete- All required documents have been received, and your application is in line for review. 
  • Missing Item(s)- Your application is missing one or more items. Please check the Requirements Checklist in your online status checker to see which items are missing. Once all remaining materials are received, we will send you an email to let you know that your application is complete.
  • In Review- Your application is being reviewed by the Admissions Committee, and you will be notified of a decision within approximately ten to twelve weeks.  If you have not heard back from us within that time, we encourage you to contact us at or 608-262-5914. 
  • Decision- A decision on your application has been made. 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 24 hours of your status changing to "Decision," please contact the Admissions Office at 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.

Lock Icon