Frequently Asked Questions

Note: This page pertains to first-year applicants.

Question Categories

Preparing to Apply

How do I apply?
You can 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. 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 application page. The LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report with transcript, LSAT score, and letter(s) of recommendation can be submitted after that date.

Early Decision Option

Can I apply early decision?
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 31. 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 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:

  • 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 dual degree program as an entering first-year full-time student 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. The decisions are independent 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.

After Applying

How will I know that you have received my application?
You should receive an "Application Received" confirmation email from wclresponse@wcl.american.edu 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, and CAS report (at least one LSAT score, all undergraduate transcripts, and at least one letter of recommendation).

Can I check the status of my application?
Use the Check Your Status button on the JD Admissions homepage. 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 in the document. Once your file is under committee review, we cannot 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 submission deadline.

Personal Statement

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.

Letters of Recommendation

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.

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.

Resume

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.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

When should I take the LSAT?
We accept scores through the February 2018 test for the fall 2018 admissions cycle. We will consider the June 2018 test on a case-by-case basis. Due to the change in LSAT administration frequency and dates, we will accept scores through the January 2019 test for the fall 2019 admissions cycle and will consider the March 2019 and June 2019 tests on a case-by-case basis.

How long are LSAT scores valid?
LSAT scores are valid for five years.

Can I submit my application before I take the LSAT or before I receive my scores?
You can submit your application prior to taking the LSAT. We will not review your file until we have received the score for the latest LSAT test date that you list on your application (past or future).

How do you consider multiple LSAT scores?
AUWCL receives all LSAT test scores from the Law School Admission Council that fall within the five-year LSAT reporting window. Although all tests within the reporting window are evaluated, we consider the highest score for admission and merit scholarship purposes.

CAS Report, GPA, & Transcripts

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 Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Law School Report. If you have not yet taken the LSAT, we may not receive your CAS report until after LSAC releases your score. If you have already received your LSAT score and your status check page indicates that we are missing your CAS report, 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.

What factors are weighted most heavily in the admissions process?
Your undergraduate academic record and the LSAT are important factors in reviewing your admissions file. Beyond your LSAT 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 scores, personal background, work experience, and letters of recommendation distinguish an applicant.

What if my LSAT/GPA is lower than AUWCL’s median LSAT/GPA?
AUWCL ascribes to a holistic review process, so while LSAT and GPA are important indicators of academic ability, they are not the only aspects considered. In addition to cumulative undergraduate GPA, 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 score or vice versa. Additionally, if outside factors contributed to your LSAT 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 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 visit campus or set up a 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 wclresponse@wcl.american.edu. 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 the Check Your Status button on the JD Admissions homepage.

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 late March to early May as part of our spring campus visit schedule for candidates hoping to gain more insight into the 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 at http://www.american.edu/ocl/isss/Immigration-and-Visa-Incoming-Students.cfm.

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 wclresponse@wcl.american.edu.

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 and have their academic credentials evaluated by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). You may register for this credential evaluation service via the LSAC website. Applicants must have earned at least the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree.

What is the cost of attendance?
Please find the full-time cost of attendance here and part-time cost of attendance 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 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 50% of the incoming class received merit scholarships and the awards last year 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 400-450 students, made up of around 350 full-time and 70 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 40 programs abroad in 23 countries on six 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 10 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.
 

Tenley Campus

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 Tenley Campus, which opened in 2016, here.

Can I visit campus?
We would love to have you visit our beautiful Tenley Campus for an information session, class visit, and/or student-guided tour. Please find our current Campus Visit Schedule here. The Office of Admissions posts a new visit schedule at the beginning of each academic term. If your visit does not coincide with our offerings, you may also pick up a self-guided tour booklet at the Warren Information Desk during building hours. Please note that outside of these hours, a valid AUID is required to access Tenley Campus buildings.

Can I meet with an Admissions Counselor?
We encourage you to visit our campus for an Admissions Information Session led by an admissions staff member and a current student. If you have questions that you do not feel comfortable asking in a small group, you may contact your Admissions Counselor to set up an individual meeting. If you have an important concern that requires immediate assistance, you may also call our front desk at 202-274-4101.

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.

 

For further questions, please contact us at wcladmit@wcl.american.edu or (202) 274-4101. You can also find contact information for your Admissions Counselor and other admissions staff here.