Frequently Asked Questions

Our History

We e-mail a confirmation to applicants that we have received your application. The email will come from wclapply@wcl.american.edu. 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.

The $70.00 application fee will be automatically waived for any applications submitted by December 31, 2017. Only the application needs to be submitted by that date to have the fee waived. The LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report with transcript, LSAT score, and letter(s) of recommendation can follow later.

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.

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.

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.

Yes, we offer two binding Early Decision Options (December and January) For more information about our Early Decision Option please click here.

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, 2018.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Washington College of Law encourages qualified persons with disabilities to apply for admission. Information about our admission policy and procedures for applicants with disabilities and our policy and procedures regarding the provision of reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities is contained in the Handbook for Applicants and Students with Disabilities. If you wish the admissions committee to consider a disability as a factor in reviewing your application for admission, we urge you to become familiar with the handbook before submitting your application for admission.

  • For questions about the process for receiving accommodations to facilitate your studies, please contact Assistant Director of Student Affairs Sarah Stanley at (202) 274-4031, sstanley@wcl.american.edu

Your file is complete when we receive your complete application, personal statement, CAS report, and at least one letter of recommendation. Files are reviewed as they are completed, beginning in October and continuing into May.

Beyond the LSAT and undergraduate cumulative grade point average, the admissions committee will evaluate 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.

We shall notify you in writing of a final decision on your application as soon as it is made.

Upon acceptance for admission, you will need to submit a tuition deposit of $900.00 by April 15th or by your deposit deadline . If you receive a merit scholarship, your deposit is due by the designated deadline in your scholarship award letter . Your seat deposit must be made within the specified time, or you will forfeit your place in the entering class. The deposit is credited against fall semester tuition charges. We will enclose complete instructions with your admission letter.


You will also need to submit an official transcript from the college or university where you earned an undergraduate degree. This transcript must be sent directly to us from the issuing schools and must show the date the degree was awarded. During the summer, we will send preregistration materials to those of you who have provisionally reserved a place in the entering class by payment of the tuition deposits. Return of these materials by the due date is a precondition of registration in the entering class. We will assume that you have withdrawn if we do not receive your preregistration materials by the due date.

Our seat deposit is $900.00. Admitted students will be notified of their deposit deadline and instructions on how to submit the payment.

Yes, you will need to submit an official transcript from the college or university where you earned an undergraduate degree. This transcript must either be submitted to LSAC or sent directly to us from the issuing schools and must show the date the degree was awarded.

If you are accepted for admission to the law school and cannot matriculate in the entering class, you may request a deferment of your admission to the following year. Each request is reviewed on its individual merits and deferments are not automatically granted.  Read more about our Deferment Policy.

Unfortunately, due to the size of our application pool and limited class size we are unable to offer admission to all applicants who impress the Committee on Admissions. Although each year is different, historically the Washington College of Law admits a number of candidates from the waiting list during the late spring and throughout the summer. The waiting list is not ranked and selected candidates are contacted via email and/or telephone. If an applicant is offered a place on the waiting list and wishes to remain in consideration, he/she must submit the Waiting List Reply Form.

After careful consideration of an applicant's file, the Committee on Admissions will sometimes accept into the part-time program applicants who have applied to enter as full-time students. This decision is reached after a thorough review of the academic transcripts, LSAT score(s), and other material included for consideration. Another factor that plays a significant role is a view of our applicant pool as a whole. The part-time program allows applicants to begin law school carrying a lighter course load for the first year. Transferring into the full-time program after completion of the first year in academic good standing (C average or better) is accomplished with a request to the dean of students. Law school can be completed in three years by attending two summer sessions. Required second-year course work will be completed in the evening when a transfer of divisions is granted.

For information regarding the admissions profile for the entering class; tuition and fees; enrollment data; bar passage rate; employment outcomes; and more, please view this Consumer Information web page.