To apply for admission, you must:
- Have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, or be enrolled in a course of study that will result in the award of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university before you commence study at BU Law
- Have taken the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five years
- Register with the Law School Admission Council Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
Please note that BU Law only accepts applications that have been submitted online via the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). LSAC will then send the electronic version to us.
By electronically transmitting your application, you certify that the information provided is complete and accurate, and that you will notify the Admissions Committee of additional information or changes arising at any time prior to your matriculation at the School of Law (whether or not the Committee has already acted on your application). Any false, misleading, or incomplete statements may result in denial of admission, rescinding of the offer of admission, disciplinary action by the School of Law (including dismissal), or revocation of any School of Law degrees.
Please let us know if you have any updates to your application, such as a change of address or phone number. It is critical to keep all of your contact information up-to-date throughout the admissions process. If you have questions that are not answered in the drop downs below, contact the admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.353.3100.
Application Fee: An $85 non-refundable application fee is required of applicants. You may pay by credit card when applying electronically, or if you prefer, you may send a check or money order to the BU Law Admissions Office, payable to Boston University. Click here for information about fee waivers.
LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS): All applicants must register with the Credential Assembly Service during the current processing year by using the online registration service at www.LSAC.org. A transcript from each undergraduate college or university attended must be sent directly to LSAC, not BU Law. If you have a graduate degree or are pursuing a graduate degree you will also need to submit these transcripts through LSAC to complete your application. Your CAS report will contain summarized transcripts, at least two letters of recommendation, and your LSAT score(s) unless you specify the GRE as your standardized test in the application. Questions about the CAS report should be directed to LSAC.
If you have a bachelor’s degree from a US institution and the total amount of coursework completed at all international institutions, either through a study abroad or exchange program through your home institution, is equal to or less than one year of undergraduate study, you do not need to provide a copy of your international transcripts.
Accepted applicants who deposit without a final degree showing on the CAS Law School Report will be asked to submit their official final transcripts showing the award of a baccalaureate degree and each graduate degree earned. Final transcripts, when requested, should be sent directly to the BU Law Admissions Office.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE): All applicants for admission are required to take the LSAT or the GRE. If you have already taken the LSAT, while the holistic review of your file will include all information submitted, your highest LSAT score will be the standardized test used in review of your candidacy. When completing the application, you will indicate which standardized test you plan to provide and any future test dates. Please be aware that your application will not be reviewed until all test scores you listed have been received. If you decide not to take the LSAT or GRE on the date(s) you list, please inform the Admissions Office to prevent a delay in the review of your application.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT): The January 2020 administration is the latest recommended LSAT date for candidates seeking admission to the 2020 entering class. Applicants who took the LSAT before June 1, 2015 must retake the exam. If an applicant has taken the test more than once, the Admissions Committee will view all test dates and scores, with the highest score earned after June 1, 2015 considered in admission review. If you have indicated a future test date, your application will be held for review until we receive that score. For more information and to register for the LSAT, please go to LSAC.org.
LSAC has partnered with Khan Academy to offer free official LSAT prep. For additional information please go to LSAC.org or the link below.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE): You may take the GRE in lieu of or in addition to the LSAT. Applicants who took the GRE before June 1, 2015 must retake the exam. If you have indicated a future test date, your application will be held for review until we receive that score. You must instruct the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send BU Law all GRE test scores from the mandated five year period. The BU Law ETS (DI) code is 4180. For more information and to register for the GRE, please go to ETS.org.
Two Letters of Recommendation: You must submit at least two letters of recommendation through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. BU Law accepts up to four letters of recommendation sent through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service that is part of the CAS registration. Ideally, each letter should come from someone who has taught you in a substantive college or postgraduate course. Given that two-thirds of the incoming class takes time between their undergraduate career and law school, the Admissions Committee acknowledges that it may be difficult to request a letter from an undergraduate professor as years past. In these instances, it is acceptable to submit letters from employers. The Admissions Committee values letters from people who are able to provide a thoughtful, thorough, and candid assessment of your academic ability and potential for success in law study.
LSAC will copy your letters and send them to us with your law school report. To use this service, follow the online directions for submitting letters. You MUST use the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service for your recommendations. BU Law will not receive a law school report until LSAC has processed at least two letters of recommendation. You may submit up to four letters of recommendation.
Federal legislation gives you right of access to letters of recommendation. You may waive this right (as provided on the form). Your waiver is not required as a condition for admission or for financial aid.
Personal Statement: Your personal statement should discuss the significant personal, social, or academic experiences that have contributed to your decision to study law. Most personal statements are approximately two pages long. Please double-space your personal statement and any optional essays.
Optional Essay: In addition to your personal statement, you may wish to provide an additional essay. This essay is your opportunity to discuss any aspect of your background or life experience that you believe will enhance your ability to contribute to the diverse BU classroom experience and community. BU Law values and recognizes the importance of diversity. An ethnically, socio-economically, and otherwise diverse class is essential to the education of each student. As a producer of leaders in legal practice, government or other public service, academia, and business, BU Law continues its long-standing tradition of providing opportunities for persons of all backgrounds and providing the excellent training to which a diverse classroom is indispensable.
Résumé: A current résumé is required of all applicants. The résumé should reflect all full-time and part-time employment, both paid and unpaid, and all extracurricular activities and honors. Please format your résumé in reverse chronological order, with the most recent employment at the top and indicate for each position whether it was full-time, part-time, paid, or unpaid. Please do not include high school activities or awards in your résumé. There is no required length for the résumé. Occasionally, the Admissions Committee will request further clarification of an applicant’s activities.
Regular Admission Timeline
Regular Decision: The application for fall 2020 opens on September 1, 2019. We have a rolling admissions process, which means that we begin to review applications and make admissions decisions beginning in late fall and continuing throughout the spring. We review each application in its entirety and do not use numbers to form any sort of composite rating. So while we try to provide decisions as soon as we can, the time required for each application varies.
Binding Decision Programs
Boston University Binding Decision Programs: Applicants who are confident that Boston University (BU Law) is their first choice can receive priority review and express their commitment to attend BU Law by applying through one of two programs. Keep in mind that these programs are binding—if admitted you will be expected to withdraw all other law school applications and commit to attending BU Law. To learn more about the binding decision programs, visit this page.
Distinguished Scholar Binding Early Decision Program: Applicants who are granted admission to the Distinguished Scholar Program will be granted a three-year, full tuition scholarship.
Deadlines: In order to be considered for the Distinguished Scholar Binding Early Decision Program you must have a reportable Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score. The September 2019 administration is the last acceptable test date for candidates seeking admission through this program for the 2020 entering class.
Application Complete: November 15, 2019
Notification By: December 20, 2019
$1,000 Non-refundable Deposit Due: January 3, 2020
“BU-Bound” Binding Decision Program: Applicants admitted through the BU-Bound Binding Decision Program will not be considered for merit scholarships. Applicants for whom financial aid is necessary for enrolling should not apply through the BU-Bound Binding Decision Program but rather through the regular decision program. BU-Bound applicants may qualify for need-based scholarship but those decisions will not be made until after the deposit deadline for the BU-Bound program.
Deadlines: In order to be considered for the “BU-Bound” Binding Decision Program you must have a reportable Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score. The November 2019 administration is the last acceptable test date for candidates seeking admission through this program for the 2020 entering class.
Application Complete: January 10, 2020
Notification By: January 31, 2020
$1,000 Non-refundable Deposit Due: February 14, 2020
Character and Fitness: Qualifications for Admission to the Bar
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.
If you answer yes to any of the Character and Fitness questions on the BU Law application, you must provide a detailed explanation, including a summary of the allegations and any sentence or punishment imposed. The Admissions Committee may require copies of court documents in addition to your explanation. NOTE: Bar examiners may require other information that we are not permitted to seek under Massachusetts statutes. You should be aware that some state bar examiners may request a copy of your law school application as a part of their licensing procedures.
Acceptance into BU Law’s JD program does not guarantee you will be permitted to sit for a state’s bar examination, or be admitted to practice in any particular state post-graduation.
Undergraduate Degrees Earned Outside of the United States or Canada: Applicants who received their undergraduate degrees outside of the United States or Canada are required to submit their foreign transcripts to the LSAC Credential Assembly Service for authentication and evaluation. For information about this process please consult the LSAC website.
Applicants who received their undergraduate educations outside of the United States or Canada, or whose undergraduate educations in the United States or Canada were conducted in a language other than English, are also required to submit a score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) taken within two years of the date of application. Successful applicants usually score at least 250 on the computer-based test, or 100 on the internet-based test. If you have taken the internet-based test, your scores on the individual sections should at a minimum be 25 (reading), 25 (listening), 25 (writing), and 25 (speaking). TOEFL scores must be submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service.
The TOEFL is not required if your undergraduate degree was conducted primarily in English in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, or New Zealand. Undergraduate educations conducted in English in any other country do not qualify applicants for an exemption to the TOEFL requirement. A graduate degree conducted primarily in English does not automatically qualify an applicant for a TOEFL waiver.
Exceptions from these requirements are considered on a case-by-case basis. We encourage foreign applicants to complete their applications before January 1. Requests for TOEFL waivers should be made as early as possible in the application process, so that applicants who are not granted waivers will still have time to take the TOEFL.
Information about taking the TOEFL can be found on the ETS website.
Diversity: BU Law values and recognizes the importance of diversity. An ethnically, socio-economically, and otherwise diverse class is essential to the education of each student. As a producer of leaders in legal practice, government or other public service, academia, and business, BU Law continues its long standing tradition of providing opportunities for persons of all backgrounds and providing the excellent training to which a diverse classroom is indispensable.
Students with Disabilities
Students with Disabilities: BU Law welcomes students with disabilities. If you believe that a disability significantly influenced your GPA, LSAT, GRE or other credentials, you are invited to include information regarding your disability in an addendum to your application.
Applicants who believe their performance demonstrates excellence in light of a disability are also invited to discuss this in the optional statement section or an additional addendum. It is not mandatory that this information be provided. The Law School Admission Council provides accommodated testing for the LSAT. Interested candidates should contact the LSAC directly. ETS provides accommodated testing for the GRE. Interested candidates should contact ETS directly.
Reapplying to BU Law
If you have previously applied to Boston University School of Law but are interested in reapplying as a 1L student, you must complete a new application online via the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). You must pay the $85 application fee, submit a new law school report, a new personal statement, and an updated résumé. The Admissions Office keeps the previous three years of applications on file and will supplement your current file with archived documents if reapplication occurs within this time frame.
Prior Law School Attendance
If you have ever been enrolled in a JD program you must indicate this on the application. If you did not leave your prior program in good standing you will be asked to explain the circumstances on the application.
Advanced Standing Credit for Foreign-Trained Lawyers
Subject to American Bar Association regulations, BU Law may admit graduates of foreign law schools and allow credit for studies at foreign law schools. Foreign law graduates apply for admission following the same procedures as other foreign-educated applicants. Foreign law graduates who have been admitted to BU Law may petition the Academic Standards Committee to determine whether, based on the courses taken at a foreign law school, they might be exempt from certain first-year courses. Petitions must be submitted before the beginning of first-year classes. After their first year at BU Law, foreign law graduates may petition the Academic Standards Committee for credit toward their upperclass credit requirements for courses taken at a foreign law school. The maximum credits that may be granted for first-year and/or upperclass courses may not exceed one-third of the total required for the BU Law JD degree.
Admitted students may be granted a one-year deferral of admission, but the number of deferrals granted is limited. Applicants must detail in writing their reasons for requesting a deferral. Deferral requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Applicants whose petitions for deferral are denied must repeat the application process in order to be considered for admission the following year.