Skip to main content area Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Standards for Admission

The admissions process at Penn Law is highly selective. Last year, we received over 5,500 applications for the approximately 240 places in the first year class. Students who apply to Penn Law come from every state in the nation, from many countries around the world, from more than 200 undergraduate institutions, and from a broad range of academic, ethnic, cultural, professional, and economic backgrounds.

There is no pre-law educational requirement or even a specific recommended course of study for admission to Penn Law. Strength of character, breadth of knowledge, and intellectual maturity constitute the base upon which our legal education builds. As such, Penn Law seeks to enroll individuals who have demonstrated outstanding academic success, who are intellectually curious, and who possess superior writing, oral communication, and analytical skills. Importantly, we also seek individuals who will positively contribute to the Penn Law community, and ultimately, to the legal profession, based on their diverse backgrounds, their personal and professional experiences, and any challenges or obstacles that they may have overcome.

The Admissions Committee considers numerous factors in the admissions process, including the student’s academic record, course selection and grade trends, the LSAT score, letters of recommendation, leadership, community service, extracurricular activities, professional and life experiences, and the applicant’s examples of written expression (LSAT writing sample, personal statement, and optional essays). Importantly, the Admissions Committee bases its decision on all material submitted on behalf of each candidate. Though an applicant’s academic record and LSAT score are significant factors in the review process, they are not the sole factors. We do not have numerical “cut-offs” in the application process nor do we employ the use of an admissions index.

 

Apply to Penn Law


Please carefully review the information below, as well as the Application Instructions and FAQs, as you navigate the JD application process. For a copy of our Penn Law Viewbook, click here. You can also download the Penn Law Viewbook to your iPad in the Penn Law app.

Still looking for an answer? Contact us.

Application Status Checker

How: Submitting an Application

We require you to submit your application using the following method:

  • Online Application through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC):
    • To learn more about the use of the LSAC Electronic Application, please visit www.lsac.org
    • To directly access the LSAC Penn Law electronic application, please click here.

Application Fee Waiver Note: LSAT/Credential Assembly Service Fee Waiver recipients and AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Teach For America, and Teach For China members and alumni receive automatic fee waivers. United States Military members and veterans receive an automatic waiver of our application fee. Please see the FAQs or Application Instructions for further information.

To access the Application Status Checker, please click here

When: Important Deadlines

EARLY DECISION (BINDING)

Round 1

September 1 Earliest date to submit an application.
By November 15 Application must be received by the Office of Admissions.
By December 1 Application file must be complete with all required documents.
By December 31 Decisions will be sent.
Round 2   
By January 7 Application must be received by the Office of Admissions.
By January 15 Application file must be complete with all required documents.
By January 31 Decisions will be sent.

 

REGULAR NOTIFICATION

September 1 Earliest date to submit an application.
By March 1* Application must be received by the Office of Admissions.

*Application file must be completed with all required documents by March 15 for consideration by the admissions committee.
By Mid-May All decisions on completed files will be sent, though you may receive a decision much earlier since decisions are sent on a rolling basis beginning in December.
JD/MBA (3-Year Program)
  Application Deadline Decision Release Date
Round 1 September 27, 2016 December 15, 2016
Round 2 January 5, 2017 March 30, 2017
Learn more about the JD/MBA (3-Year Program).
TRANSFER STUDENTS
May 1 Earliest date to submit an application.
By June 15 Application must be received by the Office of Admissions.
By July 1 Application file must be complete with all required documents. All decisions on files completed earlier will be sent, though you may receive a decision much earlier.
Please view our transfer requirements for complete instructions and requirements for transfer applications.
NON-MATRICULATING OR VISITING STUDENTS
For the Spring Semester
October 1 Earliest date to submit an application.
By November 15 Application must be received by the Office of Admissions.
By December 1 Decisions will be sent.
 
For the Fall Semester
May 1 Earliest date to submit an application.
By June 15 Application must be received by the Office of Admissions.
By July 1 Application file must be complete with all required documents. All decisions on files completed earlier will be sent, though you may receive a decision much earlier.

Please click here for complete instructions and requirements for visiting applications. Please click here for the application form.

What: First-Year JD Application Checklist

Your application will be considered complete and will be put in the queue for the Admissions Committee for review when the following items are received by the dates specified in the Application Instructions:

  • Completed application form with electronic signature
  • Application fee in the amount of $80.00 or an approved Penn Law or LSAC fee waiver
  • Undergraduate transcripts from all schools attended
  • Graduate transcripts from all schools attended
  • Credential Assembly Service Law School report
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (must be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service)
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal statement

 

Qualifications for Admission to the Bar 

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

 

University of Pennsylvania Non-Discrimination Policy and Safety Statement

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or (215) 898-6993 or (215) 898-7803.

The University’s annual security and fire safety report is available at http://www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/. The University of Pennsylvania must reserve the right to make changes affecting policies, fees, curricula, or any other matters announced in this publication or on its website.