How to Apply
Earning your Juris Doctor from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law starts with the application process, an opportunity for interested candidates to demonstrate their potential for the successful study of law. A supportive and collaborative community, Louisville Law actively seeks to recruit a class of talented individuals with strong credentials, diverse backgrounds and unique experiences.
Prospective applicants should be mindful of several important dates:
- October 1, 2022: First-year JD program application opens
- January 15, 2023: Priority application deadline at 5:00 PM Eastern
- April 15, 2023: Regular application deadline at 5:00 PM Eastern
- July 15, 2023: First-year JD program application closes at 5:00 PM Eastern
Your application will not be considered complete and ready for review until the law school has received all required application components. Applications must be complete, not just submitted, by the dates above in order to meet the priority and regular application deadlines. Applicants are automatically considered for all available institutional scholarship funding with no separate application required. Louisville Law does not charge an application fee.
All applicants must create an account Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) in order to apply. LSAC handles the collection and processing of all application materials. Please allow up to two weeks for LSAC to process materials submitted via CAS. The law school will not receive your CAS materials until they have been fully processed and released by LSAC.
The Admissions Committee will begin reviewing applications in November, with decisions rendered thereafter on a rolling basis. Once an application is under review, a decision is typically rendered within three weeks. If an applicant is placed on the waitlist by the Admissions Committee, their application will be reassessed in the late spring or early summer.
Applications that are complete and ready for review by January 15 at 5:00 PM Eastern are classified as priority applications. Priority applications will be given priority in allocating institutional scholarship funding. Applicants who are interested in the Human Rights Fellowship are strongly encouraged to meet the priority application deadline. You must take the LSAT no later than November 2022 in order to meet the priority application deadline.
Applications that are incomplete as of the priority application deadline but complete and ready for review by April 15 at 5:00 PM Eastern are classified as regular applications. Regular applications will be considered for institutional scholarship funding to the extent that funding remains available. You must take the LSAT no later than February 2023 in order to meet the regular application deadline.
Applications that are incomplete as of the regular application deadline are classified as late applications. Late applications are generally ineligible for institutional scholarship funding. The application will no longer be available for submission after July 15 at 5:00 PM Eastern, and updates to incomplete applications will no longer be accepted. You must take the LSAT no later than June 2023 in order to apply for Fall 2023 admission.
A complete first-year application to the JD program includes the electronic application form available on LSAC.org plus the following additional components:
LSAT Score Report
You must have a reportable score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) from within the past five testing years. You may submit your application before you have a reportable LSAT score, but your application will not be complete until LSAC releases your score report to us. You must complete at least one LSAT Writing, administered separately, before your LSAT score will be released.
If you would like to withhold your application from review until a future LSAT score release, you must submit this Review Delay Request form. In doing so, your application will not reviewed by the Admissions Committee until the future LSAT score release that you select. If the future LSAT score release that you select falls after our priority application deadline of January 15, your application will not be considered to have met the priority deadline. Likewise, if the future LSAT score release that you select falls after our regular application deadline of April 15, your application will not be considered to have met the regular deadline.
Once a final decision has been rendered for your application, the Admissions Committee is under no obligation to amend its decision in light of a new LSAT score.
You must submit via CAS your official transcripts from all institutions where you have been enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student. This includes institutions from which you have not received a degree, such as those where you earned transfer credits or those where you earned dual enrollment credits while in high school. Transcripts for completed academic programs must show all degrees conferred and dates of conferral.
You must receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited postsecondary academic institution prior to enrolling in the JD program. To check the accreditation status of your institution, please consult the US Office of Postsecondary Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
If you earned your bachelor’s degree by September 2022, your transcripts must show the degree as conferred for your application to be considered complete and ready for review. If you are still undertaking coursework toward your bachelor’s degree, your application will be considered complete and ready for review with “in progress” transcripts, but you must submit updated transcripts via CAS as new grades become available.
Letters of Recommendation
You must submit via CAS at least two letters of recommendation, and you may submit a third letter of recommendation if you so choose. The Admissions Committee expects letters to be academic or professional in nature and strongly encourages any applicant currently or recently enrolled in an academic program to submit at least one letter from a faculty member who has taught the applicant in a traditional classroom setting. Personal letters of recommendation, such as those from friends or family members, are strongly discouraged. Letters of recommendation received via any means other than CAS will not be considered.
You must include a personal statement with your application. The personal statement is an open-ended essay written on any topic of your choice. It should be two to three double-spaced pages in length, with standard typography and margins, and should demonstrate your capacity for high-quality written work. Ideally, the personal statement provides insight to the Admissions Committee on your personality, experiences or anticipated contributions to our law school community and the legal profession.
You must include a current résumé with your application. The résumé should be clearly organized and appropriately formatted, outlining your education and work history as well as other notable achievements and experiences. Most applicants’ résumés can fit on a single page if formatted thoughtfully, though a second page may be reasonable for applicants with significant work histories.
Character and Fitness
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every US 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.
Many jurisdictions, including Kentucky, require a copy of your law school application to accompany your petition for admission to the bar. The Character and Fitness section of the application requires the disclosure of information pertinent to your character and fitness to study and practice the law. Failure to answer these questions truthfully and completely could affect your eligibility for admission to the bar.
If you answer “Yes” to any of the questions in the Character and Fitness section of your application, you must provide a written explanation for each affirmative answer, including relevant dates, details and outcomes. The Admissions Committee may request clarification or additional information if not sufficiently addressed by your initial disclosure, and review of your application may be suspended until you have provided a sufficient response.
All applicants to the law school have a continuing obligation to disclose pertinent character and fitness information. If your answer to any of the Character and Fitness questions changes from “No” to “Yes” after you have submitted your application, you must immediately contact the Office of Admissions and provide a written explanation for each newly affirmative answer, including relevant dates, details and outcomes.
Diversity Statement (Optional)
To ensure that access to both legal education and the legal profession is visibly open to all qualified members of our heterogeneous society, the Admissions Committee gives serious consideration, as one factor in its analysis, to the ways in which applicants might contribute to a diverse educational environment and broaden the ranks of the legal profession to include those who have been historically underrepresented.
To that end, you may include a diversity statement with your application. The diversity statement should be one to two double-spaced pages (250 to 500 words) in length. Potential topics of focus include but are not limited to: racial and ethnic identity, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability status, socioeconomic status, unusual hardships or other unique experiences.
If you so choose, you may include a brief addendum addressing any aspect of your application that you feel is necessary to explain for the Admissions Committee. The addendum should be no longer than one double-spaced page (250 words) unless exceptional circumstances warrant a longer explanation.
For students who are unable to attend law school on a full-time basis, Louisville Law offers the option to enroll part-time. The part-time schedule features a reduced course load, with part-time status defined as enrollment in 9 credit hours or fewer per semester. As a result, part-time students typically complete the JD program in four or five years.
Part-time students must have flexible availability, especially those who plan to pursue employment simultaneously. All first-year classes are taught on weekdays during the day, and when necessary, course faculty may hold make-up sessions at different times than classes would normally meet. In addition, many programs designed for students’ academic and career success — some of which are mandatory — take place outside of scheduled class time, including academic success skills groups, professional development workshops and student life events.
Tuition for part-time students is charged per credit hour. The part-time tuition rate for the 2022-2023 academic year is $1,228 per credit hour for Kentucky residents and $1,478 per credit hour for nonresidents.
Part-time students take three full-year course sequences in the first year, earning 9 credit hours per semester and a total of 18 credit hours for the year:
- Contracts I (Fall) » Contracts II (Spring)
- Torts I (Fall) » Torts II (Spring)
- Lawyering Skills I (Fall) » Lawyering Skills II (Spring)
Because first-year courses are sequenced, a student must maintain their enrollment status, whether full-time or part-time, for the duration of the full first year of study. In subsequent years of study, a student’s enrollment status may vary based on the number of credit hours in which the student enrolls in a given semester.
The 3+3 Program allows certain undergraduate students at the University of Louisville to begin the JD program at Louisville Law one year early, receiving their bachelor’s degree after successfully completing the first year of JD coursework. To be eligible, students must complete three full academic years (90 credit hours) of postsecondary undergraduate coursework, including at least two full academic years (60 credit hours) of in-person instruction at the University of Louisville, in a qualifying major:
- Business Economics (BS)
- Communication (BA)
- Criminal Justice (BS)
- Economics (BA)
- History (BA)
- Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies (BA)
3+3 students must satisfy all general education requirements and major-specific coursework for their bachelor’s degree prior to enrolling at Louisville Law, unless they have received approval from their undergraduate program that first-year JD courses will satisfy outstanding major-specific requirements.
Questions about how to structure your undergraduate studies to participate in the 3+3 Program should be directed to your undergraduate program advisor.
Interested students apply to the law school during their third year of undergraduate study, and their application must be complete by the regular deadline of April 15 in order to be considered for admission under the 3+3 Program. 3+3 applicants are subject to the same entrance standards as traditional first-year applicants, and any offer of admission is contingent upon continued undergraduate academic performance.
Students admitted under the 3+3 Program pay the law school tuition rate for the duration of their enrollment at Louisville Law. 3+3 students may be able to maintain certain undergraduate scholarship funding toward tuition for the first year of the JD program. For specific questions on which of your undergraduate scholarships would or would not qualify, please contact the Student Financial Aid Office.
Louisville Law welcomes both transfer and visiting students to apply to join our community. Transfer students are those who have completed their first year of JD study at another law school but wish to complete their education at Louisville Law. Visiting students are those who have completed at least their first year of JD study at another law school and wish to remain enrolled there but have reason to attend classes at Louisville Law for no more than one academic year.
A student who has completed the first year of JD study at another law school accredited by the American Bar Association may apply to join the second-year class at Louisville Law. Transfer applicants are subject to the same entrance standards as first-year applicants, plus consideration of their first-year law school performance. An applicant who has been dismissed from another law school for academic insufficiency or for misconduct may not be eligible for transfer consideration.
Pursuant to ABA accreditation standards, Louisville Law may award a transfer student up to, but no more than, thirty (30) credits for first-year coursework. Transfer credits are awarded only for courses in which the student earned a grade of C or better, and a student who receives transfer credit for a course cannot earn credit for a duplicative course at Louisville Law. No credit will be awarded for coursework completed prior to matriculating at an ABA-accredited law school. An applicant must be admitted as a transfer student before a determination on the number of qualifying transfer credits will be made.
Your application to enroll as a transfer student must include everything required of a first-year application plus the following additional components:
- a transfer statement, no more than one double-spaced page (250 words) in length, addressing why you are seeking to transfer from your current law school to Louisville Law;
- your official transcript from your current law school, which must include your grades for the full first year of coursework; and
- a letter of good standing from your current law school verifying the following information as of the conclusion of your first year in the JD program: (a) your cumulative law school GPA, (b) your class rank or closest approximation and (c) that you are in good academic and disciplinary standing.
In addition, we strongly encourage all transfer applicants to arrange for at least one of their letters of recommendation to be provided by one of their first-year law school professors.
The transfer application for Fall 2023 entry will be available on LSAC.org from May 1 to July 15, 2023. Louisville Law does not offer Spring or Summer entry.
A student who has completed the first year of JD study at another ABA-accredited law school may apply to attend classes at Louisville Law for no more than one academic year. In addition to the online visiting student application, you must arrange for your current law school to provide both your official JD transcript and a letter stating that you are in good academic and disciplinary standing and that the school has granted you permission to attend Louisville Law as a visiting student.
Visiting students can apply to study at Louisville Law in any term. The application deadline depends on the term in which you seek to attend classes:
- Spring 2023: December 15, 2022
- Summer 2023: May 15, 2023
- Fall 2023: July 15, 2023
Louisville Law welcomes the interest of international students and those who have been educated abroad. To study in the United States requires substantial preparation and careful planning, so it is recommended that international students apply early. Please note that Louisville Law offers only a traditional 90-credit JD degree. Louisville Law offers neither a Masters in Law (LLM) degree nor an accelerated program for foreign-trained lawyers.
International students are billed at the nonresident tuition rate and are eligible for the same institutional scholarship funding as domestic students. However, federal student financial aid is available only for eligible United States citizens, nationals and permanent residents.
In addition to the standard application materials, all applicants for whom English is a second language and who were educated at an institution where the primary language of instruction was not English must submit a valid score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT).
You must provide your foreign education records via the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) if either:
- you received your undergraduate degree from a foreign institution, or
- you were directly enrolled at one or more foreign institutions and the total combined amount of work you completed at all such institutions is the equivalent of more than one year of undergraduate study in the United States or Canada.
As with domestic education records, all appropriate documents (e.g., transcripts, degree certifications or mark sheets) should be sent directly to LSAC from any institutions you have attended. Canadian education records are treated as domestic, as opposed to foreign, and therefore must be submitted in their entirety.
International students must also demonstrate that they have adequate financial resources to support their educational and living expenses for the duration of their studies in the United States. The University of Louisville reserves the right to require an advance deposit equal to a full year of tuition and fees as proof of sufficient financial resources.
Once you have met all International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) requirements, the University will issue you a Certificate of Eligibility: I-20 for students or IAP-66 for exchange visitors. You will need to provide your Certificate of Eligibility to the United States Consulate or Embassy in your home country, along with your valid passport and proof of sufficient financial support for your studies, in order to obtain the necessary visa for study in the United States. Please do not arrange to travel to the United States until you have received a written offer of admission and a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or IAP-66) from the University of Louisville.