We maintain a waitlist to fill spaces for the entering J.D. class should any become available after May 1.
- To respond to your waitlist offer, please complete the Waitlist Response Form, found on the status checker, by May 1.
- If you have any new, relevant information not included in your application or if you would like to add a letter of continued interest to your file, we invite you to upload this information via your status checker.
- If you are offered a place in the incoming class, you will have 24 hours to respond to the offer of admission. This has been our policy for many years. You will have to respond to the offer of admission before you receive a financial aid package at HLS. Please keep in mind our financial aid packages are need-based and therefore are not affected by the admissions timeline—packages for waitlist admits are determined in exactly the same way as those admitted earlier in the cycle. Please visit the Student Financial Services website for information about financial aid at HLS.
- If after joining the waitlist you choose to remove yourself from consideration, please visit the status checker and complete the Waitlist Withdrawal Form.
Letter of Continued Interest
We strongly suggest that you provide a letter of continued interest that outlines the motivation for your interest in Harvard Law School. If HLS is your first choice for the fall, it is helpful for us to know that. You can upload a letter of continued interest directly through your status checker, and it will automatically appear in your file. We are unlikely to move forward with your waitlist candidacy if you do not submit a letter of continued interest.
For detailed instructions on submitting a letter of continued interest, please review the guide found below.
Navigating Law School Admissions with Miriam & Kristi
Miriam Ingber (Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Yale Law School) and Kristi Jobson (Assistant Dean for Admissions at Harvard Law School) provide candid, accurate, and straightforward advice about law school admissions — direct from the source. They will be joined by guest stars from other law schools to discuss application timing, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and more.
If offered a space on the waitlist, what should I do?
If you are offered a spot, please consider carefully whether to accept and keep your name on our waitlist.
You should stay on the waitlist if you are confident that you would accept an offer of admission to HLS. If you remain under consideration, but reach a point later in the summer when it is no longer possible for you to accept an offer of admission, please let us know as soon as possible by completing the Waitlist Withdrawal Form on your status checker.
We ask that you withdraw from the waitlist if you doubt that you would accept an offer of admission to HLS. Please do not remain on the waitlist if you know that you will not accept an offer of admission.
What can I do to strengthen my application?
If you believe additional information would strengthen your application, you are welcome to upload additional materials to your file through your status checker. Most commonly, waitlisted applicants submit updated resumes and/or spring term grades. We generally advise against submitting additional letters of recommendation.
We strongly suggest that you provide a letter of continued interest that outlines the motivation for your interest in Harvard Law School. If HLS is your first choice for the fall, it is helpful for us to know that. You can upload a letter of continued interest directly through your status checker, and it will automatically appear in your file. We are unlikely to move forward with your waitlist candidacy if you do not submit a letter of continued interest. For complete instructions on submitting a letter of continued interest, please review our
May I visit campus?
Yes, but please note that access to HLS buildings is limited to Harvard University ID holders. If you choose to visit campus in the coming months, you will be able to walk around the campus exterior, but the buildings will be closed to visitors. You might find our HLS Self-Guided Tour useful.
How can I learn more about HLS?
There are many ways to learn more about HLS, and we encourage applicants to explore our website to familiarize yourself with our community. In particular, check out this tour of the HLS campus and the Harvard Law School Library. The HLS YouTube channel offers a wide range of videos highlighting our clinical, faculty, and student communities. Finally, you can read about current events at HLS on the Harvard Law Today website.
What are the chances I’ll be admitted?
We are unable to estimate your chance of admission off the waitlist. The number of candidates admitted from the waitlist varies from year to year.
In most years, we have admitted some applicants from the waitlist – sometimes quite a few – but we have never been able to admit all applicants on the waitlist.
Is the waitlist ranked?
We do not rank the waitlist. We review all applicants remaining on the waitlist if a seat opens up.
How big is the waitlist?
We do not share the number of applicants on the waitlist at any time.
We will release candidates from the waitlist over the course of the summer as we develop a better sense of the number of available spots in the incoming class.
When am I likely to hear?
We won’t begin releasing any decisions to candidates who have accepted a spot on the waitlist decisions until after May 1. We aim to fill available seats in the class as soon as we can, but in past years we have made offers of admission through the month of August.
Each Monday beginning in early May, we will send an update to all waitlisted candidates summarizing our expectations for waitlist movement in the coming week. We will cover the following topics: interviews, offers of admission, waitlist release decisions, and any miscellaneous information of note. We hope that these weekly emails will help you plan for the coming academic year.
Are interviews offered to waitlist applicants?
Yes. To be admitted to HLS, students must complete an interview. The interview remains by invitation only. We will continue to interview students throughout the summer as we finalize the class.
If I am admitted, may I defer enrollment?
Incoming joint degree students may defer matriculation at HLS to begin their joint degree program at another Harvard school.
Otherwise, offers of admission from the waitlist are to fill spaces in this year’s entering class only.
Applicants who know that they will not accept an offer of admission to enroll this fall should withdraw from the waitlist through the Waitlist Withdrawal Form on their status checker.
If I am admitted, will I get financial aid or housing?
Financial aid at Harvard Law School is based on demonstrated financial need. If admitted from the waitlist and applying for financial aid, students receive the same financial aid award that they would have received had they been admitted earlier in the cycle. Please note that students will be required to respond to their offer of admission before receiving their financial aid package.
Although we cannot guarantee housing in HLS On-Campus Dorm Housing for those admitted from the waitlist, it is typically possible for those students to obtain HLS housing. Students admitted off the waitlist usually find housing on or off campus without significant difficulty.