Frequently Asked Questions
- How will I know that you have received my application?
- Do I qualify for an application fee waiver?
- What factors are weighted most heavily in the admissions process?
- How long should my personal statement be?
- What is your letter of recommendation policy?
- Do you have an Early Decision Option?
- Is your Early Decision Option binding?
- If I answer YES to Character & Fitness questions on the application, how will it affect the committee's decision?
- Can I apply to both the full-time and part-time programs?
- For multiple LSAT scores do you average LSAT scores or take the highest score?
- When will you request my LSDAS report from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC)?
- Can I update or amend my application at a later date?
- Can I check the status of my application?
- When is my admissions file complete and ready for review?
- When will I receive a decision?
- What can I do to improve my chances for admission?
- How do I contact an admissions counselor?
How will I know that you have received my application?
We e-mail a confirmation to applicants that we have received your application. The email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org. Depending on your mail server it may be directed to your junk mail box. If we have requested your Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Law School Report, then we have received your application. If we do not request your CAS report within three weeks of submitting your application, please contact our office.
Do I qualify for an application fee waiver?
APPLICATION FEE WAIVER extended until February 1, 2016. All application submitted by this date will automatically have the $70.00 application fee waived. Only the application form needs to be submitted by this date-- the CAS report with transcript, letters of recommendation and LSAT score can follow later.
What factors are weighted most heavily in the admissions process?
Your undergraduate academic record (grades,course selection, credits per semester) and the LSAT are important factors in reviewing your admissions file. Since many applicants have similar grades and LSAT scores, personal background, work experience, and letters of recommendation distinguish an applicant.
How long should my personal statement be?
The average length is 2-3 pages. Reviewers appreciate it if you could keep the font size legible (at least 11 point) and double spaced.
What is your letter of recommendation/evaluation policy?
Applicants must submit any letters of recommedation through LSAC's Letter of Recommendation (LOR) and Evaluation Service. One letter of recommendation is required and the maximum is two. For people who are still in school or have recently graduated, a letter from an academic recommender is strongly suggested. Once we have received at least one letter of recommendation and if the rest of your file is complete, your file will be sent to the Committee on Admissions for review. If you request that we hold your file until two letters are received, it will delay the review process and therefore your decision. We will only accept one evaluation through LSAC's LOR and Evaluation Service but these are not required. Evaluations are not in lieu of at least one required letter of recommendation.
Do you have an Early Decision Option?
Yes, we offer two binding Early Decision Options (December and January) For more information about our Early Decision Option please click here.
Is your Early Decision Option binding?
Yes, if admitted to American University Washington College of Law under Early Decision Option you must enroll at the Washington College of Law, withdraw all applications at other law schools regardless of your status and not initiate any new applications. A non-refundable deposit of $900 will be due by January 31, 2016.
If I answer YES to any of the Character and Fitness questions on the application how will it affect the committee's decision?
Generally, the severity of the action and any pattern of violations will have the greatest affect on the committee's decision. The American Bar Association Standard 504 requires the law school to advise each applicant to secure information regarding the character and other qualifications for admission to the bar in the state in which the applicant intends to practice.
Can I apply to both the full-time and part-time programs?
In the initial review process you must apply for either the full-time or part-time program unless you are applying Early Decision. If you are placed on the waiting list, you will then have the option to be considered for both programs. If you apply for the full-time program but our committee feels you would be a better fit in our part-time program, they may offer you a place on our waiting list. Therefore we do not reconsider people who were denied full-time who then ask for consideration for the part-time program.
For multiple LSAT scores do you average LSAT scores or take the highest score?
WCL receives all LSAT test scores from the Law School Admission Council that fall within the 5 year LSAT reporting window. Although all tests within the reporting window are evaluated, generally we consider the highest score for admission purposes.
When will you request my Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC)?
Once applications are entered into our database, we request CAS reports from LSAC. Reports are requested in the order that applications are received. Due to the amount of mail we receive, it can take up to two weeks from the time your application is received until we can order your report. If it has been more than a month from the time your application was received and you notice that your CAS report has not yet been requested, please contact your admissions counselor.
Can I update or amend my application at a later date?
Once you submit documents to our office, they become our property. Please be sure to proof any information before you submit it. Due to the sizes of our applicant pool, our counselors will be unable to add corrected personal statements or resumes to your file. Only send an addendum to your counselor if it contains completely new information. You may e-mail your admissions counselor this new information. Be sure it includes your full name and LSAC number on all documents. Once your file has been forwarded to the admissions committee for review, we will not add any information.
Can I check the status of my application?
Please utilize the Online Status option linked from the JD Admissions home page. You should have received an Application Received email with your username and password. If you do not have this information please email your assigned admissions counselor (scroll down for staff contact list). Include your full name and LSAC ID in your email request.
When is my admissions file complete and ready for review?
Your file is complete when we have received your application fee or LSAC fee waiver; your completed application with all questions answered; personal statement; CAS report (for International students - a credential evaluation report and LSAT report); and at least one letter of recommendation.
When will I receive a decision?
Decisions are made on a weekly basis late October –-May. Not all applicants who applied early in the process will receive the first decisions. If your academic record places you towards the middle of our applicant pool, our admissions committee may hold your file to compare it with more of our applicants.
What can I do to improve my chances for admission?
If you feel there is something important that our committee should know about you, it should be detailed in your own words in your admission file. It is up to you to articulate your interests and background in your file. Apply and complete your file early in the process so your file will be reviewed when we have more admission offers available. Due to the size of our applicant pool we do not grant evaluative interviews.
How do I contact an admissions counselor?
We encourage you to visit our school and attend an information session. We offer both Admissions Information Sessions and Ask a Current Student Sessions. The Admissions Information sessions are led by an admissions staff person and a current student. If you have questions that you do not feel comfortable asking in a small group, a counselor can speak with you individually. If you have an important concern that requires assistance from an admissions counselor, you also may call our office 202-274-4101.Please limit your calls to issues that require immediate assistance.
Office of Admissions Contact List
Admissions Counselor Sarah Teitlebaum
Assists JD applicants with last names A-K with general admissions questions and their admission file.
Admissions Counselor Briana Wright
Assists JD applicants with last names L-Z with general admissions questions and their admissions file.
Assistant Director Meghan Walter
Assists transfer/visitor applicants with the admissions process. Also assists first-year entering students with questions regarding the Public Interest/Public Service Scholarship, deferral policy, and international visa issues.
Associate Director of Admissions Brooke Sandoval
Assists applicants with questions about visiting campus, course offerings, dual degree programs, and student organizations.
Senior Admissions Assistant Vanessa Anthony
Handles processing of deposit payments and general business tasks for the office.
Resources Coordinator Samantha Howell
Assists applicants with on-line application questions, liason with the Law School Admission Council, and coordinates recruitment event registration.
Admissions Reception Desk, Suite 507
Hours: Monday–Thursday, 9am–6pm and Friday 9am-5pm
Upper-level law students staff the reception desk and main phone line of the Office of Admissions. They are a great resource for prospective students and can answer questions about student life, class offerings, extra-curricular opportunities, and studying law in Washington, DC.