JD Application Process

Step by Step to SLS

If you are applying for admission to Stanford Law’s JD program for Fall 2018, mark these three important dates on your calendar:

August 21, 2017 — the date the application becomes available

November 15, 2017 — the date your application must be received by SLS and deemed complete if you are applying for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

February 1, 2018, 11:59 p.m. 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. Any updates to your application must be submitted via e-mail to the Office of Admissions at admissions@law.stanford.edu.

  1. Application for Admission. You must complete the entire application form and submit it electronically through LSAC.
  2. Application Fee. Your nonrefundable application fee of $100 must be submitted by credit card through LSAC. The fee may be waived in cases of extreme personal hardship. 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.  Please note that you must submit your fee waiver request prior to submitting your SLS application. Please allow 5-7 business days for a decision and factor in this timing to ensure you adhere to the application deadline.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 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 experience), you may describe these factors and their relevance in a separate diversity essay.
  6. Optional Short Essays.  From a list of four essay questions, you may provide up to two responses of 100 to 250 words each.
  7. 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. Please be aware of the high value Stanford places on school-specific letters of recommendation. If you choose to provide us with a targeted letter, please be sure to assign the appropriate targeted letter to Stanford Law School. 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.
  8. 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 that are submitted to the law school on the student’s behalf. 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.
  9. Law School Admission Test. All applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test and to have their test scores reported to the law school. To register for the LSAT, please visit LSAC. Stanford applicants for Fall 2018 admission must take the test no later than the December 2017 administration. Scores received on tests taken prior to June 2012 will not be considered valid. Although it is not to an applicant’s advantage to sit for the February 2018 LSAT administration, we understand that extenuating circumstances may prevent an applicant from taking the LSAT by the December 2017 administration. Applicants who are unable to take the test until the February 2018 administration must submit a formal written request for an exception to our policy prior to transmitting an application. Such requests must be sent via email to the Office of Admissions and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please allow at least 5-10 business days from receipt of the request for a decision to be rendered. Should the Admissions Committee grant the request to accept the February 2018 LSAT, applicants must nonetheless transmit the application by the stated deadline of February 1, 2018. Please note that an applicant who submits a February LSAT score will be at a disadvantage in the review process given that the score will not be reported until March 2018, when fewer seats remain available in the class.
  10. 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 any coursework undertaken abroad 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 2018, a bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent) from an approved college. All offers of admission are conditional upon graduation.

Reapplication Procedure

If you wish to reapply for admission you must submit the following:

  1. New application and application fee
  2. Updated resume and personal statement
  3. New letter of recommendation to LSAC utilizing the Letter of Recommendation and Evaluation Service
  4. Updated transcripts showing conferral of degree and/or new LSAT scores through LSAC

Please note that recommendations already on file need not be duplicated. Applications for the Fall of 2015, 2016, and 2017 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 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; 2) there has been a misrepresentation in or breach of any of the terms of the Stanford Law School 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 when he or she registers; 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 waiting list are ineligible for deferment.

Additional Matters

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.

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 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (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.


Nondiscrimination Policy

Stanford University admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, 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, 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 in the administration of the University’s programs and activities; Stanford also prohibits unlawful harassment including sexual harassment and sexual violence.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding this nondiscrimination policy: Director of the Diversity and Access Office, Kingscote Gardens (Suite 130), 419 Lagunita Drive, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-8550; (650) 723-0755 (voice), (650) 723-1791 (fax), equal.opportunity@stanford.edu (email). Stanford’s Title IX Coordinator, Cathy Glaze, 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), (650) 497-9257 (fax), titleix@stanford.edu (email).

Last revised November 28, 2017. For the most recent policy, please visit the Diversity and Access Office.

Campus Security

Stanford University complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. Stanford’s policies and statistics under this act are posted on the Department of Public Safety website at http://www.stanford.edu/group/SUDPS/safety-report.shtml. A paper copy can be obtained by calling the Stanford Department of Public Safety at (650) 723-9633.