Frequently Asked Admissions Questions
Admissions in General
Applicants for admission to Washburn Law must have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
Washburn Law does not favor particular undergraduate majors or institutions. Instead, applicants are urged
- to pursue a rigorous educational experience in a diverse, balanced curriculum,
- to read extensively, and
- to develop strong analytical and writing skills.
Admission is based on the applicant's
- prior academic achievement,
- aptitude for the study of law as indicated by the score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT),
- personal statement, and
* Note: Washburn Law does not offer part-time, evening programs of study or online courses.
Washburn Law seeks students who, by virtue of their background and experience, bring diverse interests and perspectives to the student body.
While we initially consider your undergraduate grade point average and LSAT score, several other factors influence our evaluation of your application. These include, but are not limited to:
- The college attended and the academic rigor of your program of study.
- The pattern of your academic performance. For example, a poor start in college may be offset by substantially improved academic performance.
- We may place less consideration on your LSAT score if you have achieved exceptional academic success as an undergraduate despite a history of low standardized test scores.
- Other positive factors include employment experience and professional achievements; original research undertakings; graduate education; or evidence of academic and professional success despite social, economic or cultural disadvantage.
- We believe that a diverse student body adds depth and breadth to the law school educational experience. Therefore, we are committed to selecting a class that is widely representative on the basis of age, gender, academic background, race, geography, interests, social and economic backgrounds and other factors.
If any of the factors described above are relevant to your application, particularly as they may have affected your educational record, you should discuss these in your application for admission and send supporting documentation when appropriate. In making the selections, the Admissions Committee considers the individual strengths and characteristics of each applicant and the entire file submitted by each applicant in the context of the applicant pool for each year.
How Many Times Can I Take the LSAT?
You may not take the LSAT more than three times in any two-year period. This policy applies even if you cancel your score or if your score is not otherwise reported. LSAC reserves the right to cancel your registration, rescind your admission ticket, or take any other steps necessary to enforce this policy.
For significant extenuating circumstance, exception to this policy may be made by LSAC. To request an exception, submit a signed, detailed explanation addressing the circumstances that you feel make you eligible to retake the LSAT and specify the date that you wish to test. E-mail your request as an attachment to LSACinfo@LSAC.org or send it by fax to (215) 968-1277.
When to Apply
Fall Start: The priority application date is April 1, although we will continue to accept applications after that date.
Spring Start: The priority application date for the class starting law school in January is November 15 We will continue to accept applications after that date.
Acceptance to Washburn Law is valid only for the entering class for which application was made. However, applicants who, for good cause, discover they cannot enroll with their entering class may request a deferment of their admission until the next incoming class. Deferment requests should be submitted to the Admissions Office in writing and are granted on a case-by-case basis.
Character and Fitness
Indicating "yes" to question five on the application for admission related to past or current violations of the law does not prohibit acceptance to our law program. However, we want to make sure you understand that admission to law school and completion of a law degree does not guarantee you admission to the bar. Because of the ethical standards to which lawyers are held, failure to disclose information required by question five will often lead to more serious consequences than would flow from a full disclosure of the required information. If you indicate "yes" to question five on the application it will be necessary to attach a statement fully describing the events giving rise to the charge, the date of the charge, conviction or diversion, the name and location of the courts, and the disposition for each offense. Also, please keep in mind that, if, before or after a decision is made, any new developments cause your answer to question five to no longer be correct or complete, you are obligated to immediately inform the Admissions Office. See also the "Washburn Law Admission Application Character and Fitness Questions" and "Qualifications for Admission to the Bar" on the Character and Fitness: Continuing Duty of Disclosure page.
The personal statement requested as part of the application is an opportunity for applicants to introduce themselves to members of the Admissions Committee. The statement is a significant part of the application, as the Committee evaluates applicants in many areas beyond test scores and grade point averages. Applicants should feel free to discuss any of the following areas:
- community involvement
- strengths and weaknesses in certain courses or activities
- personal and professional goals
- significant achievements
- any other information that may be relevant to the admission decision, including information demonstrating the unique contribution an applicant can make to Washburn University School of Law.
A resume is strongly encouraged, but is not required with the application. The resume should detail your educational background, honors and activities (including extracurricular involvement, volunteer experience, leadership positions, etc.), and work experience (including summer and permanent employment). References are not required as part of the resume.
Letters of Recommendation
At least one letter of recommendation should provide the Admissions Committee with an appraisal of an applicant's character, maturity, motivation, and scholarly ability. Only one letter is required. The most useful recommendations are from those individuals who can offer sound judgments about your qualifications for the study of law. These letters are of particular value when they come from a former or current instructor.
Applicants who have been away from their graduate or undergraduate institutions for some time may substitute recommendations from employers if obtaining a faculty recommendation is not feasible. Applicants often believe that their prospects for admission are greater if they solicit letters of recommendation from judges or public figures. Many of these recommenders, however, have only a passing knowledge of the applicant and submit recommendations of little value. No particular form is necessary, but an original, signed letter, preferably on letterhead, is required. Letters are accepted only if sent directly to Washburn Law from the person writing the letter, or through CAS (previously LSDAS) letter of recommendation service.
The Admissions Office does not interview applicants for the J.D. program. We do encourage applicants to visit Washburn Law to learn more about the school and the admission process.
A candidate may submit an optional grade or LSAT addendum if there were extenuating circumstances beyond the applicant's control that resulted in less than stellar academic performance.