Our Fall 2017 application is now available online.
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) 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. LSAC will produce a complete law school report which contains at least one reportable LSAT score, summarized transcripts from all undergraduate schools that you have attended, and at least two letters of recommendation. 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. Questions about the CAS report should be directed to LSAC at http://www.lsac.org/jd/help/faqs-cas.
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): You must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The February 2017 administration is the last acceptable test date for candidates seeking admission to the 2017 entering class. Applicants who took the LSAT before June 1, 2012 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, 2012 considered in admission review. If you have indicated a future test date, your application will be held for review until we receive that score. 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 on the date(s) you list, please inform the Admissions Office to prevent a delay in the review of your application.
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 pass. 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: You can submit your application any time after September 1, 2016. The final deadline is April 1, 2017. 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. Applicants who complete their applications by February 1, 2017 will receive a decision by early April 2017.
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 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/October 2016 administration is the last acceptable test date for candidates seeking admission through this program for the 2017 entering class.
Application Complete: November 14, 2016
Notification By: December 21, 2016
$1,000 Non-refundable Deposit Due: January 5, 2017
“BU-Bound” Binding Decision Program: Applicants admitted through the “BU-Bound” Binding Decision program may be eligible for need-based scholarships, but will not be considered for merit scholarships.
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 December 2016 administration is the last acceptable test date for candidates seeking admission through this program for the 2017 entering class.
Application Complete: January 10, 2017
Notification By: January 31, 2017
$1,000 Non-refundable Deposit Due: February, 2017
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 may be submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service or directly to Boston University School of Law.
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.
Checking Your Application Status
Application Status Checker: You may check your application status online at this website. You will receive your login information in an email acknowledging receipt of your application.
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, 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 Personal Statement section of the application. (It is not mandatory that this information be provided; any information that is provided will be kept confidential.) The Law School Admission Council provides accommodated testing for the LSAT. Interested candidates should contact the LSAC 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 another JD program, you must provide BU Law with a letter of good standing from that institution. The letter of good standing should be sent by the institution directly to Boston University School of Law. You should also attach an addendum explaining why you are not continuing with the prior program.
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.
Is the waitlist ranked?
No, the waitlist is not ranked.
How many applicants are on the waitlist?
The number of waitlisted applicants fluctuates throughout the spring and summer. As the summer progresses, some applicants drop off the list as they pursue other options. We also release applicants from the waitlist if we determine that they will not likely be offered admission.
What can I do to increase my chances of admission from the waitlist?
If Boston University School of Law is your first choice law school, such that you are ready to commit to BU Law if admitted, please let us know. Also, you can submit additional information for your file. Spring semester grades showing an upward GPA trend should be submitted to LSAC so that an updated CAS report can be generated. You may also send an updated resume or an additional letter of reference directly to our office. While emailing us every day is excessive, keeping us apprised of your continued interest, especially as the summer progresses, can be helpful as we look to admit applicants who will be able to make a decision quickly. With that in mind, please be certain that your contact information is up-to-date. Email updates to email@example.com.
If I am on the waitlist, can I retake the LSAT in June?
Yes, you may take the June LSAT and the score will automatically flow to us from the LSAC.
Can I come in for an interview?
Any and all applicants are invited to visit BU Law and may schedule either an in-person or telephone appointment with an admissions counselor. These are non-evaluative meetings for you to gather information and ask all of your questions in an informal setting. To schedule a visit, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When can I expect a final decision if I am on the waitlist?
Generally by the end of April we will be able to communicate to the active waitlist candidates whether or not we will be making additional offers of admission. Waitlist decisions tend to be made in a slow trickle over the course of the summer, so it is possible to receive an offer at any time, up until the beginning of classes. If at any point your plans change and you would no longer like to remain on the waitlist, please email us at email@example.com.
How many are accepted off the waitlist each year?
The number of students admitted from the waitlist varies from year to year. Over the last several years, waitlist acceptances have ranged from none to over 100.
If admitted off the waitlist, are scholarships available?
Applicants who are accepted from the waitlist will be reviewed for merit scholarship upon acceptance. If you have not done so already, it is highly recommended that you complete the FAFSA and Alumni Scholarship (Need-Based) Application so that the Financial Aid office can review your financial aid application as soon as you have been accepted. For more information, see the Financial Aid Forms website.
If admitted off the waitlist, can I still defer?
Possibly; these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
What if my questions aren’t answered here?
Please feel free to contact our office at 617-353-3100, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.