Step by Step to SLS
If you are applying for admission to Stanford Law’s JD program for Fall 2023, mark these three important dates on your calendar:
September 8, 2022 — When the application becomes available.
December 6, 2022 — The date your application must be received and deemed complete (last eligible LSAT test administration is November 2022) by SLS if you are applying for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program. We strongly suggest that applicants take the LSAT prior to the November test administration so that all application deadline requirements are met. If you opt to submit a GRE score in lieu of the LSAT, plan accordingly so that we receive your score from ETS by the stated deadline.
February 15, 2023, 11:59 PM PST — The deadline for submitting your application.
Explore these key steps in the application process — then get started.
Application Process at a Glance
The first step to admission to Stanford Law is a thoroughly completed application. It is your responsibility to make certain that all items arrive at the Office of Admissions. We will consider your application complete and proceed with an admissions review as soon as we receive all required documents. Unless stated otherwise, any updates to your application must be submitted via e-mail to the Office of Admissions at email@example.com.
- Application for Admission. You must complete the entire application form and submit it electronically through LSAC.
- Application Fee. Your nonrefundable application fee of $85 must be submitted by credit card through LSAC. If you are unable to pay the fee, please review the SLS Fee Waiver Application Instructions, complete the SLS Application Fee Waiver Form, and submit it to the Office of Admissions as soon as possible so that we may process your fee waiver request. You must submit your fee waiver request prior to submitting your SLS electronic application. Allow 5-7 business days for a decision and factor in this timing to ensure you adhere to the application deadline. Please note that our fee waiver criteria and process are distinct from that of LSAC.
- Resume. Stanford requires a one-to-two page resume describing your academic, extracurricular and professional activities. The resume must be submitted electronically with your electronic application.
- Personal Statement. Enclose a statement of about two pages sharing important or unusual information about yourself that is not otherwise apparent in your application. This statement must be submitted electronically with your electronic application.
- Optional Diversity Essay. Although admission to Stanford Law is based primarily upon superior academic achievement and potential to contribute to the legal profession, the Admissions Committee also considers the diversity (broadly defined) of an entering class important to the school’s educational mission. If you would like the committee to consider how your background, life and work experiences, advanced studies, extracurricular or community activities, culture, socio-economic status, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or other factors would contribute to the diversity of the entering class (and hence to your classmates’ law school educational experience), you may describe these factors and their relevance in a separate diversity essay.
- Optional Short Essays. From a list of four essay questions, you may provide up to two responses of 100 to 250 words each.
- Two Letters of Recommendation. Stanford requires that at least two and no more than four letters of recommendation be sent directly through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. Letters sent directly to the Office of Admissions will not be accepted. Recommenders should be instructors who have personal knowledge of your academic work, preferably those who have known you in a seminar, small class, tutorial program or the like. If you have been out of school for a significant period you may substitute one letter from an employer or business associate. Sometimes these applicants find it difficult to obtain even one academic recommendation; in that case, you may submit two nonacademic letters. Please advise recommenders that should you choose to apply for a joint degree and/or other programs at Stanford University, the letters of recommendation may be forwarded to that program for review.
- Right of Access to Recommendations. Federal law provides a student, after enrollment, with a right of access to, among other things, letters of recommendation in the student’s file (if maintained). This right may be waived, but such a waiver may not be required as a condition for admission to, receipt of financial aid from, or receipt of any other services or benefits from Stanford Law School. Please indicate your choice by checking the appropriate box on the LSAC Letter of Recommendation form before giving them to your recommenders.
- Standardized Tests. All applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. If you have one or more valid LSAT scores, they must be reported as part of your application. If you also take the GRE, you may submit all valid GRE scores, but you may also choose to submit only LSAT scores. The only circumstance where you may apply without providing us with an LSAT score is if you have only taken the GRE. If you are admitted to the Law School with a GRE and, after admission, take the LSAT, the Admissions Committee will consider this new LSAT score and will re-evaluate our offer of admission.
LSAT. If you choose to apply with the LSAT, you must take the LSAT no later than January 2023. This deadline is based on the time needed by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) to get your scores to us by our application deadline of February 15, 2023. LSAC will report scores directly to us. If you do not indicate the January 2023 test date on the application but plan to take that test at a later date, you should notify the Office of Admissions in order for the score to be considered. Scores received on tests taken prior to June 2017 will not be considered valid. Note that all applicants using the LSAT are required to submit at least one writing sample. This sample can either be taken at the time of the LSAT examination or at a later date. If taken at a later date, note that it may take several weeks for LSAC to process and report your writing sample so plan accordingly keeping our February deadline in mind.
GRE. If you choose to apply with the GRE, you should take the exam no later than February 1, 2023. This deadline is based on the time needed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to get scores to us by our application deadline of February 15, 2023. You must arrange with ETS to have all valid GRE scores sent directly to us. Log into your ETS account and select Stanford Law School as a recipient of GRE results using the school code 4993. Scores received on tests taken prior to June 2017 will not be considered valid.
- Credential Assembly Service Report. Transcripts from each college or university you have attended should be forwarded to LSAC, which will prepare and transmit a Law School Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report to Stanford Law School. To register for the CAS service, please visit LSAC. The report furnished to the school will include copies of all transcripts sent to LSAC. If you have received academic credit for coursework taken abroad while enrolled as a full-time student, and if grades for that period of study are not clearly indicated on your home transcript, you must send that foreign study transcript directly to LSAC or to Stanford Law School. All non-US/Canadian transcripts listed during registration for the Credential Assembly Service are forwarded to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), where they will be authenticated and evaluated, except in cases where it is clearly marked on the home campus transcript. This service is included in the CAS registration fee. The data is assembled into a credential evaluation document that contains AACRAO’s summary, copies of the transcripts and translations (where applicable), and will be sent to the Office of Admissions. Any updated transcripts must be sent directly to LSAC. Please note that should you choose to apply for a joint degree and/or other programs at Stanford University, the CAS report may be forwarded to that program for review.
When the documents described above have all been received, your application is considered complete. However, until the application has been finally acted upon (and until the first day of attendance, if you are accepted and enroll), you are obligated to advise the school of any changes in the information previously furnished. In particular, you should promptly report to the school any additional grades received and any other facts that would have required a different answer to the questions asked in the application. Such changes may be reported informally by e-mail to the Office of Admissions; if official verification is required, you will be so advised. You must have received, or expect to receive by the Summer of 2023, a bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent) from an approved college. All offers of admission are conditional upon graduation.
If you wish to reapply for admission you must submit the following:
- New application
- Application fee
- Updated resume
- Updated personal statement
- New letter of recommendation to LSAC utilizing the Letter of Recommendation and Evaluation Service
- Updated transcripts showing conferral of degree
- New LSAT scores through LSAC if available
Please note that recommendations already on file need not be duplicated. Applications for the Fall of 2020, 2021, and 2022 have been retained.
Application Status Check
To keep you apprised of your application status, we provide an online status page. To view the status of your application, please click on the link below to access our password-protected online status page. Please note that bookmarking may make it difficult to access the page.
The Admissions Committee does not grant interviews as part of the admissions process. However, we encourage you to visit the school and arrange to meet with a member of the admissions staff.
Notification of Acceptance
Stanford Law uses a rolling admissions process, acting upon applications throughout the admissions season as they are completed. However, some applications are held until the committee has reviewed the entire applicant pool. This second review generally occurs in April, at which time the class will be filled. (A small number of applications will be held for possible use in filling vacancies that may occur during the summer.)
The Office of Admissions will make every effort to send applicants a first response (accept, deny or wait list) by April 30.
To secure a place in the entering class, applicants accepted for admission must pay a deposit.
If you are offered admission, Stanford reserves the right to withdraw that offer of admission (even after enrolled attendance) if: 1) you show a significant drop in academic performance or fail to graduate from your current program; 2) there has been a misrepresentation in or a violation of any of the terms of the Stanford Law School (SLS) application process; 3) we learn that you have engaged in behavior prior to the first day of enrolled SLS attendance that indicates a serious lack of judgment or integrity; or 4) you reserve a place in our entering class and make an enrollment commitment or place a deposit at another law school. Stanford further reserves the right to require you to provide additional information and/or authorization for the release of information about any such matter.
Acceptance Deferral Policy
Stanford Law School grants a limited number of requests for one-year deferrals. Any admitted applicant granted and accepting deferred admission is required (1) to submit a nonrefundable deposit that will be applied to tuition; and (2) to sign a statement that deferred status is not also held at another law school, that all prior applications to other law schools have been withdrawn, and that new applications will not be made to other law schools. Persons admitted from the wait list are ineligible for deferment.
International Student Visas
In order to register as students, Stanford University requires all those who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. registered permanent residents to obtain and maintain an appropriate visa status for their stay in the United States. For more information, please visit the Bechtel International Center website.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Undocumented Applicants
Inclusion and nondiscrimination are core values held by the University and this extends to all members of our community regardless of citizenship or nationality. Therefore, SLS remains firmly committed to the principle that citizenship is not a condition for admission to any of our programs. Individuals who have been granted DACA status at the time of application are eligible to apply and matriculate at SLS. In addition, individuals who have met all other admission requirements and are otherwise undocumented are permitted to apply and matriculate at SLS.
Stanford has actively supported the DREAM Act legislation since its introduction in 2001, which would enable undocumented students to continue their education and apply for U.S. citizenship. Stanford also supports DACA, which has allowed some undocumented individuals who entered the United States as children to remain in the country without fear of deportation. Stanford is among the more than 600 colleges and universities that have signed a letter in support of DACA.
Stanford University admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, or marital status to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the University. Consistent with its obligations under the law, in the administration of the University’s programs and activities, Stanford prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, marital status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law; Stanford also prohibits unlawful harassment including sexual harassment and sexual violence. This policy applies to Stanford programs and activities both on and off-campus, including overseas programs.
The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding this nondiscrimination policy: Vice Provost, Institutional Equity, Access and Community, Patrick Dunkley, Kingscote Gardens, 419 Lagunita Drive, Suite 130, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-8550; (650) 725-0326 (voice), firstname.lastname@example.org (email). Stanford’s Title IX Coordinator, Stephen Chen, has been designated to handle inquiries regarding sexual harassment and sexual violence: Kingscote Gardens (2nd floor), 419 Lagunita Drive Stanford, CA 94305, (650) 497-4955 (voice), email@example.com (email). Individuals may also file complaints directly with the Office of Civil Rights, within the United States Department of Education, by following the information on this website: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html.
Last revised September 6, 2022. For the most recent policy, please visit the Diversity and Access Office.
Stanford University complies with the Jeanne Clery Act and publishes crime statistics for the most recent three-year period. View the full report.