The Admissions Decision

Admission to the School of Law is highly competitive, and we consider many factors in the selection process. Your undergraduate record and LSAT score are especially important because they provide a reasonable prediction of your academic ability.


The personal statement, LSAT writing sample, and various items in the undergraduate record permit the Admissions Committee to assess writing ability. The higher the combined objective credentials, the more likely the student will succeed in law school.


Because the faculty believes that a diverse student body enriches the quality of legal education for all, the Admissions Committee also considers a wide range of subjective factors as part of its admission decisions. These factors include cultural, economic, educational, and geographic background; non-academic experiences; and other qualities that deserve special consideration in the admission process. We encourage you to make certain that your application file contains information that sheds light on any of these qualities.


The Admissions Committee also makes a conscientious effort to examine the other more personal variables that affect the quality of life and the quality of education in this institution: energy, motivation, self-discipline, and character. A careful examination of your undergraduate record, résumé, personal statement, and other contents of the file allows insight into these variables.

Washington University School of Law has a holistic approach to admission decisions, considering many qualities candidates offer as members of our community, in addition to the traditional credentials, such as LSAT and GPA. In conjunction with the Center for Empirical Research in the Law, analysis of historical information is allowing us to take a data-driven approach to support admission decisions on factors not traditionally considered or given much weight by the legal education system. Due to this innovative approach, some applicants may be asked to provide additional information or documentation to support their admission based on an expanded set of criteria we will consider in the admission process. The interview process is a critical part of the holistic approach to the admissions process. 


All applicants must submit a personal statement, approximately 2-3 pages in length. Successful applicants have written about significant experiences and sources of personal motivation.


We suggest that applicants submit two letters of recommendation. The most helpful letters include commentary on specific examples of your academic ability, energy, motivation, discipline, character, and other qualitative variables.


We also require a current résumé.


We encourage you to visit the School. To arrange a visit, please call or e-mail the Admissions Office at (314) 935-4525, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (Central Time), Monday through Friday or