JDP Application Components
Online JDP Application
The 2024 Junior Deferral Program (JDP) application will open in Spring 2024.
Please note that the HLS JDP application is not hosted on the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website.
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.
LSAT or GRE 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 who elect to take the LSAT must report all LSAT scores from the past five years. Similarly, 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.
Applicants who apply with an active LSAT test score may elect to submit valid GRE General Test scores as well, but are not required to do so.
Applicants who are admitted to Harvard Law School through the Junior Deferral Program will be required to verify all test scores by submitting official documentation to the J.D. Admissions Office. A failure to comply with this policy may result in a withdrawal of an offer of admission.
We require an unofficial transcript from all undergraduate institutions you have attended. If grades from a study abroad program are not listed on your undergraduate transcript, please submit them separately. View the JDP FAQs for more information on transcript requirements.
Please note that you will be required to submit an updated transcript with complete junior year grades by July 1.
Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation are required. We strongly recommend that your two required letters come from academic sources. If you feel a third letter, perhaps from a professional experience, might contribute additional perspective or dimension to your candidacy, you may arrange for the supplemental, optional recommendation to be included with your application.
When filling out the JDP application, you will be prompted to list the individuals who will provide your letters of recommendation. Providing their information will immediately generate an automated email to each recommender. Recommenders must submit their letters directly through our portal rather than through email or through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website.
Your application will be treated as complete upon our receipt of two letters of recommendation. You will have the ability to monitor the receipt of these letters through your status checker.
While your plans for the deferral period do not need to be finalized at the time of admission, it is helpful to understand the types of post-undergraduate experiences you are interested in pursuing. The JDP application will ask you to explain the types of opportunities you hope to explore during your deferral period.
Please limit your response to 200 words.
To see a sampling of opportunities pursued by students admitted to the Junior Deferral Program, visit the JDP Cohort webpage.
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.
During the application review process, you may be invited to interview with a member of the Admissions Committee. These interviews are typically administered in mid-July of each year. 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.
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.