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JDP Application Components

  • Online JDP Application

    The Junior Deferral Program application for summer 2022 is closed. The application for summer 2023 will open in April.

  • Resume

    We require a resume as part of the application. Please limit your resume to 1 – 2 pages in length.

    The following links showcase 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.

  • Personal Statement

    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.

  • LSAT or GRE Score

    All applicants to the J.D. program must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). LSAT and GRE results from the past five years must be submitted.

  • Undergraduate Transcript(s)

    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, but you may submit up to three. We strongly encourage you to submit your two required letters 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. Letters should be requested and submitted via the online application.

  • Optional Statement

    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 statement to elaborate on how you could contribute to 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.

  • Deferral Plans

    While your plans for the deferral period need not be finalized at the time of admission, it is helpful to understand the types of post-undergraduate experiences that interest you.

    Our JDP Application will ask you to explain the types of opportunities you hope to explore during your deferral period.

  • Additional Information

    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.

    It is very helpful for you to provide as much information as possible on the online form itself before referring the reader to additional materials.

  • Interview

    Evaluative interviews are available by invitation only. All interviews are conducted via an online platform.

    If you are selected to interview, you will be notified by email with more detailed information. Interviews are typically administered in mid-July of each year.

Application Toolkit

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.

Application Toolkit