JD Application Process & Requirements

The Juris Doctor is a three-year professional degree required for taking the bar exam and practicing law in the United States.

Applicants to the JD program must hold a bachelor's degree, or, for international applicants, a degree that is equivalent to the American undergraduate bachelor's degree.

Within the standard JD Program, the College of Law offers several options:

  • Early Decision - A guaranteed scholarship program for applicants to the full-time JD program who consider Willamette their top choice for law school and submit a completed application by December 15.
  • Part-time - A limited enrollment, part-time day program that allows student four-to-six years to complete their JD
  • Transfer/Visiting - An opportunity for JD students from other ABA-accredited law schools to attend Willamette Law as a visitor or transfer student.
  • International - An opportunity for students who earned an undergraduate degree from an institution outside the United States to attend Willamette College of Law.

Each option has unique requirements in addition to following the standard JD application process (below). Please review the additional requirements for the option you're interested in before submitting your JD application.

When to Apply

First-year JD applicants are urged to apply as early as possible, preferably the fall prior to the year of intended enrollment. Applications are reviewed closely and in their entirety to ensure an informed and fair admission decision.

Standard JD Application Process

  1. Register with the CAS and take the LSAT
  2. Apply online through the Law School Admission Council
  3. Submit two letters of recommendation to CAS
  4. Provide academic transcripts to CAS
  5. Provide a personal statement
  6. Submit a resume

1. Register with the CAS and take the LSAT

All law school applicants (domestic and international) are required to register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Both are provided through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) in Newtown, PA.

The LSAT is scheduled four times a year in the United States (June, October, December and February) and on a more limited basis abroad.  Applicants are urged to take the LSAT in June, October or December of the year prior to that of anticipated enrollment. Applicants submitting test scores from February or June of the same year as anticipated enrollment will be considered only if space remains available. The Admission Committee will not accept LSAT scores more than five years old. If an applicant presents more than one LSAT score, the highest score will be considered.

For information about LSAC, contact lsacinfo@lsac.org or call 215-968-1001.


2. Apply online through the Law School Admission Council

The Law School Admission Council maintains an approved electronic-format application to Willamette's College of Law. The following link will take you directly to LSAC Willamette University College of Law Application. There is no application fee because we don’t want financial considerations to prevent anyone from applying to Willamette.

Applicants can download the pdf JD Admission Application, and submit it via postal mail.


3. Submit two letters of recommendation to CAS

Submit two letters of recommendation to the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Do NOT send letters of recommendation directly to Willamette. Letters of recommendation should be written by individuals who can attest to the candidate’s academic aptitude and intellectual capability for law school. References from employers or business colleagues are acceptable if a candidate has been out of school for a long period of time.


4. Provide academic transcripts to CAS

Submit an official academic transcript from EVERY graduate and undergraduate (community college and four-year institution) attended. Academic transcripts should be submitted to CAS and NOT to Willamette.


5. Provide a personal statement

A written personal statement is required and should be submitted with the application for admission. Guidelines about the content and length of the personal statement are provided in the application for admission.


6. Submit a resume

Your resume is required and should be submitted to Willamette with the application for admission. Include the following: full- and part-time work experience in chronological order with most recent position first; professional honors, awards or other recognition (community, employment and military) received; a description of activities important to the candidate’s professional development and leadership abilities.