Preparing to Apply
How do I apply?
You must apply online via the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) electronic application service. If you have trouble or require technical assistance with the online service, please contact the LSAC Help Desk at 215-968-1393. Read more about the application process here.
When is the application deadline?
The general rolling admissions priority deadline is March 1. Applicants who apply after March 1 may not hear a decision until after April 1. Please find EDO and other deadlines here.
Do I qualify for an application fee waiver?
The $70.00 application fee is automatically waived for applications submitted by the fee waiver deadline listed on our Admissions Timeline & Requirements. Your LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report, transcript, letter(s) of recommendation, and LSAT or GRE score can be submitted after that date.
Our law school does not waive/pay the fee for an applicant's LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report. Applicants will need to pay LSAC to send us a CAS report unless they have received a fee waiver directly from Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
If you select to apply under our General Rolling Admissions Process, you may submit your application starting September 1. The priority deadline is March 1. Those who apply by the priority deadline typically receive an admissions decision by April 1. Applications are sent to the Committee on Admissions in the order in which they are received and completed. Therefore, it is advantageous to complete your application early in the process so your file will be reviewed when there is more space available in the incoming class. Applications submitted after March 1 typically receive a decision after April 1.
Early Decision Option
Currently we offer two binding Early Decision Options with application deadlines in December and January. If admitted to AUWCL as an Early Decision Option candidate, you must enroll at AUWCL, withdraw all applications at other law schools regardless of your status and not initiate any new applications. A non-refundable deposit of $900 is due by January 11 (Round 1) or February 26 (Round 2). Please find more information about our Early Decision Option here.
Full-Time & Part-Time Divisions
Do you have a part-time program?
AUWCL offers a robust and nationally recognized part-time evening program. Click here for details.
Does applying to the full-time or part-time program influence my chance of being admitted?
Your chances of being admitted are not affected by whether you apply to the full-time or part-time program. Apply for the program that best fits your needs.
Can I apply to both the full-time and part-time programs?
General rolling admission applicants must choose to apply for either the full-time or the part-time program. Early Decision applicants who wish to be considered for both programs should indicate this on their EDO Certification Form and select their first choice program on the application.
Applicants placed on the waiting list have the option to be considered for both programs. If you apply for the full-time program but our Committee on Admissions feels you would be a better fit in our part-time program, they may offer you a place on our waiting list. Therefore, applicants who were denied admission to the full-time program cannot be reconsidered for the part-time program.
If I start in the part-time program, can I later transfer to the full-time program?
Part-time students can transfer into the full-time program after completion of their first year if they are in academic good standing (C average or better). These students can complete law school in three years by attending two summer sessions. Required second-year course work is completed in the evening when a transfer of divisions is granted.
Dual Degree Programs
What dual degree programs does AUWCL offer?
We offer five domestic dual degree programs with our university's graduate schools:
- JD/MA in International Affairs with the School of International Service
- JD/MBA (Master of Business Administration) with the Kogod School of Business
- JD/MS in Justice, Law and Criminology with the School of Public Affairs
- JD/MPA (Master of Public Administration) with the School of Public Affairs
- JD/MPP (Master of Public Policy) with the School of Public Affairs
We also offer a number of international JD dual degree programs. Please find more information about all of our dual degree programs here.
How do I apply for a dual degree program?
You can apply to a domestic dual degree program as a first-year full-time applicant or during your first year of law school. To apply as a first-year applicant, under division on the Program Selection section of your application, select "Full-Time (Dual Degree Option)", then select the dual degree for which you are applying. Admissions decisions are made independently by each degree program and you could be admitted to one program and not the other. International JD Dual Degree programs are open to AUWCL students only and you must have completed at least one semester of law school at AUWCL before applying.
How will I know that you have received my application?
You should receive an "Application Received" confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org within 1-5 business days of submitting your application. If you cannot find your confirmation email, please check your spam and junk folders before emailing your Admissions Counselor with your full name and LSAC ID.
When is my admissions file complete and ready for review?
Your file is complete when we have received your completed application with all required questions answered, personal statement, resume, at least one LSAT or GRE score, and CAS report (including all undergraduate transcripts and at least one letter of recommendation).
Can I check the status of my application?
Use this Check Your Status link. Your username and password are included in your "Application Received" confirmation email.
Can I update or amend my application after I submit it?
Please be sure to proofread each component of your application before you submit it. Once you submit documents to our office, they become our property. We can only add an addendum to your application if it contains completely new information. Please email your Admissions Counselor your addendum in PDF format and include your full name and LSAC ID number in the document. Once your file is under committee review, we will not add further information.
Can I switch my application from full-time to part-time, or vice versa?
If your application has not yet been reviewed, you may switch your application from one program to the other by emailing your Admissions Counselor. If you have already been admitted, you should email your program change request to your Admissions Counselor, who will forward the request to the Committee on Admissions. Please note that if your request is granted, it may result in a change of your merit scholarship award.
If I applied EDO, can I switch to regular admission or vice versa?
If your application has not yet been reviewed, you may switch your application from Early Decision to regular admission or vice versa by emailing your Admissions Counselor. If switching your application to EDO, please be sure to complete the EDO Certification form and submit all of your materials by the completion deadline.
How long should my personal statement be?
The recommended length is 2-3 pages. Reviewers appreciate it if you keep the font size legible (at least 11 point) and double-spaced.
What should I include in my personal statement?
Our personal statement prompt is open-ended in order to give you the chance to discuss what you feel is important for the Committee on Admissions to know about you. Your personal statement should focus on who you are and why you want to attend law school, either in general or at AUWCL specifically.
How do I submit my letter(s) of recommendation?
Applicants must submit letters of recommendation through LSAC's Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Service, which is included in Credential Assembly Service (CAS) registration.
How many letters of recommendation do you require?
We require one letter of recommendation and allow a maximum of two. Once we receive at least one letter of recommendation and the rest of your file is complete, your file is sent to the Committee on Admissions for review. If you request that we hold your file until two letters are received, this delays the review process and therefore your decision. If you have more than two letters on file with LSAC's LOR Service, you should indicate with two should be uploaded to our law school, otherwise LSAC will send the first two received for your account.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
If you are still in school or have recently graduated, we strongly suggest an academic recommendation. If you have been out of school for a significant time or an academic recommendation is not feasible, you may submit professional recommendations instead. Recommenders should focus on your academic abilities and/or related skills that will help you succeed in law school.
How long should my resume be?
The recommended length is 1-2 pages.
What should I include on my resume?
Your resume should give further context to your application and give an overview of your experiences and accomplishments. You can include academic achievements, scholarships, study abroad, volunteer experiences, and/or relevant hobbies in addition to professional experience.
Do you accept the GRE?
Yes, in an effort to expand access to legal education and create a more academically, educationally, and otherwise diverse pool of qualified applicants, we began accepting GRE or LSAT scores starting for fall 2019 applicants.
When should I take the LSAT or GRE?
We recommend that fall 2021 applicants take the LSAT no later than February. However, we will accept scores through the March 2021 test. We will consider April and summer tests on a case-by-case basis.
Applicants taking the GRE are encouraged to take the test by February 15 so we receive the scores by the March 1 priority deadline. We will accept GRE scores from test dates through March 30, 2021. GRE scores from later tests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
How long are LSAT or GRE scores valid?
We will accept LSAT or GRE scores from the past five years.
Can I submit my application before I take the LSAT or GRE or before I receive my scores?
You can submit your application prior to taking the LSAT or GRE. We will not review your file until we have received the official score for the latest test date that you list on your application (past or future).
How do you consider multiple test scores?
AUWCL receives all LSAT test scores from the Law School Admission Council that fall within the five-year LSAT reporting window. To be consistent with LSAT reporting, applicants who have taken only the GRE must submit all scores from the last five years. Applicants who have taken both the LSAT and GRE may choose whether to report their GRE score(s). If an applicant reports scores from both the LSAT and GRE, we are required to report the highest LSAT score to the American Bar Association (ABA). All tests within the reporting window are evaluated.
How do I submit my GRE score(s)?
We will only accept official GRE score reports from ETS. Please indicate American University Washington College of Law as a score report recipient using our designated institution code of 4203. For more information about reporting GRE scores, see the ETS website here.
For more information on the LSAT, please see the LSAC website here.
For more information on the GRE, please see the ETS website here.
When do you request my Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC)?
Once we receive your application, we request your CAS Report, which is required whether you take the LSAT or GRE. If you have an upcoming LSAT test and have not taken the LSAT before, we may not receive your CAS report until after LSAC releases your score. If your status check page indicates that we are missing your CAS report and you believe this to be in error, please contact your Admissions Counselor.
How is GPA calculated?
AUWCL considers the cumulative undergraduate GPA reported on your CAS report for admission and merit scholarship purposes. LSAC standardizes undergraduate GPA across applicants by combining transcripts for all undergraduate institutions attended and converting to a standard 4.0 system. Therefore, the GPA on your CAS report may not match your degree-granting school GPA. Graduate school grades are not included in the LSAC reported GPA. Read more about LSAC's Transcript Summarization Policies here.
Do I need to send a final transcript directly to AUWCL?
All matriculating students must have an official undergraduate transcript indicating degree conferral on file. If the transcript included with your LSAC CAS report does not meet this requirement, the Office of Admissions will contact you prior to Orientation.
Foreign-educated applicants must submit their final transcripts to LSAC. These transcripts are evaluated by a third party and then sent to the Office of Admissions, so you do not need to submit an additional final transcript directly to AUWCL.
Character & Fitness Questions
What do I need to disclose?
All applicants must answer character and fitness questions on the application. Please read these questions carefully as they may vary from law school to law school. Read more about Character & Fitness requirements on this page.
If I answer YES to Character & Fitness questions on the application, how does it affect the committee's decision?
Generally, the severity of the action and any pattern of violations have the greatest effect 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.
How do I submit a change in my response to the Character & Fitness Questions?
If you need to change your response to one or more Character & Fitness questions or add additional information after submitting your application, please email your Admissions Counselor. You should submit a separate addendum for each question.
When submitting the electronic application, there is an optional Diversity Statement where you can attach a separate statement explaining how your personal circumstances are of special relevance to your application. Suggested length is one page and should cover topics not already addressed in your personal statement.
If there is information the Committee on Admissions should know about you or your educational background that would be better addressed separately from the personal statement or optional diversity statement, you may attach an addendum to your application. Please make this addendum concise and one page or less.
What factors are weighted most heavily in the admissions process?
Your undergraduate academic record and the LSAT or GRE are important factors in reviewing your admissions file. Beyond your LSAT or GRE score and undergraduate cumulative grade point average, the Committee on Admissions evaluates your transcript and consider factors such as a marked improvement in grades, degree of difficulty of your major, employment during college, activities that indicate proven leadership ability or community service, graduate education, work experience, and other measures of professional achievement and personal and intellectual maturity. Since many applicants have similar grades and LSAT or GRE scores, personal background, work experience, and letters of recommendation distinguish an applicant.
What if my LSAT, GRE, or GPA is lower than AUWCL’s median?
AUWCL ascribes to a holistic review process, so while LSAT or GRE and GPA are important indicators of academic ability, they are not the only aspects considered. The Committee on Admissions reviews each applicant's transcripts, taking into consideration semester-by-semester trends and types of courses taken. Applicants can sometimes balance out a lower GPA with a higher LSAT or GRE score or vice versa. Additionally, if outside factors contributed to your LSAT, GRE, and/or GPA being lower than expected, you may consider including an academic addendum with your application to explain these circumstances to the Committee on Admissions. You may also consider retaking the LSAT or GRE if you believe further preparation may help to raise your score.
Can you consider my graduate degree GPA rather than my undergraduate GPA if it is higher?
In order to be fair to all applicants, a graduate degree GPA can never replace your undergraduate GPA for review or merit scholarship purposes. However, the Committee on Admissions considers all transcripts, including graduate work, while reviewing files. Graduate transcripts are a good way to highlight academic ability at a higher level, especially if a significant amount of time has passed since you completed your undergraduate degree.
Does the Committee on Admissions conduct admissions interviews?
We do not grant evaluative interviews, but you are welcome to set up a virtual one-on-one meeting with an Admissions Counselor to address any questions you may have.
What can I do to improve my chances for admission?
If you feel there is something important that the Committee on Admissions should know about you, you should explain it your own words somewhere in your admission file. It is up to you to articulate your interests and background in your file. We recommend that you apply and complete your file early in the process so it is reviewed when we have more admission offers available.
When can I expect to receive a decision?
General rolling admissions applicants may receive a decision any time between late September and late March. Early Decision applicants should refer to the notification dates listed here. Decisions are made on a regular basis, but not all applicants who applied early in the process receive the first decisions. Our Committee on Admissions may hold your file until we have a sense of that year's applicant pool. Applicants who apply late in the admissions cycle (April - July) typically receive a decision within 2-4 weeks of the date their application is completed.
How will I be notified of an application decision?
Decision notifications are sent via e-mail from email@example.com. Admitted students receive their official admissions offer via U.S. mail. You may also check the status of your application at any time by clicking this Check Your Status link.
How much is your seat deposit and when is it due?
In order to accept your place in the entering class, you must submit a $900 seat deposit by your seat deposit deadline. The deposit is credited toward tuition charges for the fall semester. We will enclose complete instructions with your admission letter.
If I am admitted, can I defer my admission to a later year?
Applicants should apply for admission to the year in which they intend to enroll. Admitted students who cannot matriculate in the entering class due to unforeseen circumstances may request a one-year deferment. Each request is reviewed on its individual merits and deferments are not automatically granted. Read more about our Deferment Policy.
What happens if I am offered a place on the waiting list? When can I expect to receive a final decision?
Unfortunately, due to the size of our applicant pool and limited class size we are unable to admit all applicants who impress the Committee on Admissions. If we offer you a place on our waiting list and you wish to remain in consideration, you must submit the Waiting List Reply Form. The waiting list is not ranked and we contact selected candidates via email and/or phone. Although each year is different, historically AUWCL admits a number of candidates from the waiting list during the late spring and throughout the summer. Applicants who remain on the waiting list receive a final notice in mid to late August to let them know our class has been filled. We typically offer Waiting List Information Sessions from mid March to early May as part of our spring campus visit schedule for candidates hoping to gain more insight into the waiting list process. Click here for further details on our waiting list process.
How many international students enroll at AUWCL and from where?
Typically around 10-15 first-year international students enroll at AUWCL each year from a diverse array of countries. Please find specific numbers and a list of countries for last year's entering class on our Admissions Profile.
How do I apply for an F-1 Visa?
Applicants who are applying for a student (F-1) visa must attend full time (at least 12 credit hours per semester). I-20 forms are not available to admitted students until you have submitted a seat deposit. You must show evidence of sufficient private or government funding to cover the cost of attendance for at least one year in order to be issued the appropriate immigration document. For more information on student visas, please review the International Student & Scholar Services website.
Do you require the TOEFL?
If your native language is not English AND your undergraduate coursework was not conducted in English, you must take the TOEFL exam and submit your score through the LSAC credential service. We recommend a minimum TOEFL score of 100 iBT (internet-based test, or 600 paper-based test). The Committee on Admissions will consider waiving the TOEFL on a case-by-case basis. To request a TOEFL requirement waiver, after you have applied, please email your full name, LSAC ID, and explanation to the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are my credentials evaluated if I was educated outside of the U.S.?
Applicants who earned their undergraduate degree outside the United States or Canada MUST take the LSAT or GRE and have their academic credentials evaluated by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) using the authentication and evaluation (A&E) feature included in LSAC's Credentail Assembly Service (CAS). Applicants must have earned at least the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree. You may find more information and register for CAS on LSAC's website here.
Do you offer merit scholarships?
The AUWCL Office of Admissions considers all admitted applicants for merit scholarships; a separate application is not required. Merit scholarships are primarily determined by applicant academic indicators (LSAT or GRE and undergraduate GPA). Merit scholarships are renewed for each year in law school per the policies outlined in the Required Reading. The Office of Admissions generally begins awarding merit scholarship in late January and continues throughout the admissions cycle. In recent years, more than 60% of the incoming class received merit scholarships and the awards ranged from $10,000 up to full tuition.
How can I apply for the Public Interest/Public Service (PIPS) scholarship?
The PIPS scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship awarded to incoming (1L) full-time JD students only. The scholarship is awarded to those with a demonstrated commitment to public service, strong academic credentials, and a desire to pursue a public interest or public service career upon graduation. A separate scholarship application is required. For more information on the PIPS Scholarship, including the link for the scholarship application, please click here.
What other financial aid is available to me?
To learn more about different types of financial aid available to AUWCL students, please visit the Financial Aid webpage.
Facts & Statistics
What is the admissions profile?
Our Admissions Profile includes statistics and interesting facts about our most recent incoming class.
How large is the typical entering class?
Our typical first-year entering class is about 400 students, made up of around 330 full-time and 65 part-time students. Please find specific data on last year's entering class on our Admissions Profile.
What is the average class size?
Full-time first-year students are split into four sections of about 80-90 students each. Part-time students form a fifth section. You will take all of your first-year courses with your section, except Legal Rhetoric, which has 12-24 students per class. Upper-level courses vary in size, ranging from small seminars around 12 students to larger survey courses around 50-70 students.
In what areas of law do AUWCL alumni typically work?
Our alumni work in a variety of sectors, including law firms, government, judicial clerkships, business and industry, and public interest. The Office of Career and Professional Development publishes further employment statistics here.
Where can I find the ABA required disclosures (509) data?
Please find the ABA Required Disclosures (ABA Standard 509) here. This page includes extensive information regarding the admissions profile for the entering class, tuition and fees, enrollment data, bar passage rate, employment outcomes, and more.
Academic Programs and Resources
Where can I learn more about AUWCL's curriculum?
Read more about our curriculum requirements here, browse the course catalog, or check out the academic pathways site to view courses and experiential opportunities by program area.
What resources are available for students/applicants with disabilities?
The Office of Student Affairs works with American University's Academic Support & Access Center to provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Please find more information on our policies and procedures on the Student Affairs Accommodations page and in the Handbook for Applicants and Students with Disabilities. For questions about the process for receiving accommodations to facilitate your studies, please contact the Office of Student Affairs.
Can I study abroad during law school?
Absolutely! AUWCL’s study abroad programs offer an exciting and diverse variety of cultural experiences, legal settings, and academic focus areas. In fact, about half of our students earn academic credit from a legal experience outside of the United States. Students earn credits in one of our more than 22 programs abroad in 17 countries on five continents. Please find more information here.
What student publications does AUWCL offer?
AUWCL has a variety of student publications, including law reviews, journals, and briefs. Learn more about our student publications here.
What experiential education opportunities do AUWCL students have?
AUWCL has long been a leader in experiential legal education. We offer 11 in-house clinics, a robust externship program, a nationally ranked trial advocacy program, and a number of domestic and international experiential education projects. Learn more about these opportunities and more here.
Where is AUWCL located?
AUWCL is located in Northwest DC, just one block from the Tenleytown-AU Metro station on the red line. Our 8.5-acre campus is situated just off Tenley Circle, between Nebraska Avenue and Yuma Street. It consists of three buildings - Warren, Yuma, and Capital. Students needing to get back and forth from American University's main campus about one mile away may take the AU Shuttle, which picks up at both the Tenleytown-AU Metro station and the law school. Please find further directions to the Tenley Campus and to the Office of Admissions on our campus visit page. Read more about our Law Campus, which opened in 2016, here.
Can I visit campus?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only current community members are allowed on campus. However, the WCL Admissions team has created a virtual tour video (audio description version) to give you a sense of our beautiful campus.
Can I meet with an Admissions Counselor?
We encourage you to connect with us virtually for an Admissions Information Session led by an admissions representative and one to two current students. If you have questions that you do not feel comfortable asking in a small group, you may contact one of our admissions representatives to set up an individual meeting through Calendly.
Is there on-campus housing for AUWCL students?
There is no on-campus housing for law students at AUWCL. However, we do provide admitted students with a Housing Guide, which includes a list of local properties and other resources for finding housing. We also host a Housing Conference, typically the last week in June, to assist our incoming students with their housing search. This conference includes a bus tour of area neighborhoods, a housing fair with local leasing companies, an open housing resource area with computer access, and several social events to get to know your classmates and find potential roommates.