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 Fee or Fee Waiver
$85 (nonrefundable). 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 you are applying to HLS with an LSAT score and if payment of the application fee would pose a financial hardship, we recommend (but do not require) that you first apply for a fee waiver through the Law School Admissions Council. Fee waivers from LSAC cover multiple application fees and some LSAC services, and an LSAC fee waiver may be the best way for you to reduce application related expenses. If LSAC has granted you a LSAT/LSAC Credential Assembly Service Fee waiver and you apply to HLS, your application fee will be waived. Please visit the LSAC site for more information on the LSAC fee waiver process.
If you are applying to HLS with a GRE score or are interested in requesting an application fee waiver directly from HLS, you may complete the HLS Fee Waiver Request Form. The HLS Fee Waiver Request Form typically opens in early September, and closes on January 15 of each admissions cycle. We cannot accommodate any fee waiver requests made prior to or after those dates.
HLS application fees are waived by HLS on the basis of financial need as demonstrated by information on the HLS form. No application for admission will be considered before the application fee has been paid or a fee waiver has been granted.
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.
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.
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.
STANDARDIZED TESTS and LSAC’S Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
All applicants to the J.D. program must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). LSAT or GRE scores taken within the past 5 years are considered valid.
All applicants – whether applying with the LSAT or GRE – must also register for LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service and have all undergraduate and graduate transcripts sent to LSAC. While applicants need only take either the LSAT or the GRE, HLS does require all of those test results from the past 5 years.
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. 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.
While it may not be required as part of the application process, College Certification(s) will be required from admitted students prior to matriculation. The College Certification must be filled out by an official from each undergraduate and/or graduate institution that you have attended (regardless of whether you received a degree from that institution). This is, if necessary, to confirm your degree conferral as well as to confirm the responses you provided on your application to your character and fitness questions. Responsible University officers should return the signed form via email or postal mail to our office. If sent by postal mail, the form must be submitted in a countersigned official University envelope. If you receive the envelope, do not break the countersigned seal. Submit the countersigned, sealed envelope to the HLS Admissions Office by June 15, 2020. Otherwise, the College Certification may be emailed directly from the school official’s email account to the Law School by June 15, 2020.
The Admissions Committee makes every effort to understand your achievements in the context of your background and to build a diverse 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.
We ask that you limit your optional statement to one page, double spaced, using a font size that is comfortable to read (not less than 11 point). If an optional statement runs over one page, it will be read. However, we ask that you use your best judgment to determine whether or not your optional statement should exceed the one-page allotment.
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.
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 set up an interview.
Interviews are conducted using 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 videoconferencing would not work for you, we will work with you to find an alternative. However, our expectation is that video 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.