J.D. Application Components
The application for Fall Term 2024 enrollment will be available through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website starting on September 15, 2023.
Application Fee or Fee Waiver
The application fee is $85 (non-refundable). You may pay the fee by credit card when you submit your application (preferred) or you may mail a check or money order payable to Harvard Law School.
If payment of the application fee would pose a financial hardship, we recommend applying for the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Fee Waiver Program. HLS will waive its application fee for LSAC fee waiver recipients. To request a need-based fee waiver directly from HLS, please complete the HLS Fee Waiver Request Form. The HLS Fee Waiver Request Form for those applying for Fall Term 2024 enrollment will open on September 1, 2023, and will close on February 1, 2024. We cannot accommodate any fee waiver requests made outside of this window.
Standardized Test Score
Pursuant to ABA Standard 503, all applicants to the J.D. program must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test. Applicants must take either the LSAT or GRE no later than the application deadline (February 15).
LSAC reports all LSAT scores from the past five years. Applicants who choose to submit a GRE General Test Score (instead of, or in addition to, the LSAT) are required to report all valid test scores from the previous five-year period. To report GRE General Test scores to HLS, applicants should log into their ETS account and select Harvard Law School as a recipient of results using the school code 2135.
Applicants must have all undergraduate and graduate transcripts sent to LSAC after registering for LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
If you completed any postsecondary work outside the U.S. (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 U.S. or Canadian institution, and the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript. If this is the case, please be certain that your home transcript lists the course title, credit level, and grade awarded. Visit the LSAC website for more information on requesting transcripts.
Letters of Recommendation
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.
We require a resume as part of the application. Please limit your resume to 1 – 2 pages in length.
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.
Every applicant must submit both a Statement of Purpose and a Statement of Perspective, responding to the prompts below. Each Statement must be one to two pages in length, using double-spacing, one-inch margins, and a font size that is comfortable to read (no smaller than 11 point). We expect every applicant to use at least one full page for each Statement.
Statement of Purpose: What motivates you to pursue law? How does attending law school align with your ambitions, goals, and vision for your future?
Statement of Perspective: The Admissions Committee makes every effort to understand who you are as an individual and potential Harvard Law School student and graduate. Please share how your experiences, background, and/or interests have shaped you and will shape your engagement in the HLS community and the legal profession.
We encourage you to provide any relevant information that may be helpful to us in making an informed decision on your candidacy. If you need additional space beyond the application questions and required materials, you may include a brief addendum.
Character and Fitness
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.
During the application review process you may be invited to interview with a member of the Admissions Committee. These interviews will happen throughout the admissions cycle, starting in November. The Admissions Office will contact you directly to set up an interview.
Interviews are conducted using Zoom. We will accommodate individuals who may be unable to conduct their interview in this manner. If there is a reason that Zoom will 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.
J.D. Application Timeline
Apply for Admission
The application for Fall Term 2024 enrollment will be available through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website on September 15, 2023.
The application for Fall Term 2024 enrollment closes on February 15, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
The J.D. Admissions Office will begin releasing decisions for Fall Term 2024 applicants in January 2024. We aim to notify all applicants of their admission decision by early April.
Applications are reviewed approximately in the order in which they are completed. We appreciate your patience with the process of providing individual consideration to each application.
Visit our blog for more information on important dates for the 2023–2024 application cycle.
Information for Reapplicants
Applicants may apply for admission to Harvard Law School through the regular J.D. application no more than three times. Applications submitted via the Junior Deferral Program (JDP) and the Transfer pathways do not count towards this cap.
Please rest assured that the Admissions Committee does not view multiple applications negatively. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis for all applications. Each year, we admit a number of applicants who have applied more than once.
We compiled the application resources, information, and advice from across our website to help you put together an application that best reflects your abilities and readiness for Harvard Law School.