APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS, DATES, & DEADLINES
J.D. Application Requirements:
- An earned bachelor’s degree at the time of law school entry.
- Submission of the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report and Valparaiso University Law School application form.
- 2 letters of recommendation, a personal statement/essay, and a current resume.
- A recent LSAT examination score (within five years from entry date; no scores prior to 9/11 will be considered). To register and prepare for the LSAT, visit the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website.
- June 2016 LSAT scores can be considered for 2016 admission if a complete application is submitted no later than July 15, 2016. Contact the Office of Admissions for details.
September 1, 2015:
Application opens to apply for the fall 2016 entering class. Valparaiso University Law School requires an electronic application submission. Access the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website and follow Valparaiso Law’s application submission directions. There is no application fee, but you need to pay LSAC’s fees for your application to be transmitted to us from LSAC, along with your CAS report, your letters of recommendation, and your uploaded personal statement, resume and other documents.
September 2015-July 2016:
The Admissions Committee begins reviewing and releasing final decisions on a regular/rolling basis. Scholarship award decisions are released (no separate application required) at the same time as admit decisions. All decisions are sent out in the mail. Notification that a decision has been made is also posted on the Valparaiso Law applicant status check web page.
April 1, 2016:
Financial aid priority date. For scholarship consideration, please submit your application prior to this date. Admitted students should submit a FAFSA as soon as their 2015 taxes are filed.
April 15, 2016:
For students admitted prior to March 10: due date for 1st tuition deposit. For those admitted after March 10, please check your admit letter for the tuition deposit due date.
June 15, 2016:
For students admitted prior to May 1: due date for full or 2nd tuition deposit.
July 15, 2016:
Final deadline for application submission for fall 2016 entry.
2016 APPLICATION CHECKLIST
- Create a free account with the Law School Admission Council
- The Law School Admission Council is a non-profit organization whose membership includes over 200 law schools in the United States, Canada, and Australia. LSAC is the administering body of the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and provides a wide variety of resources to prospective law school applicants.
- Create your free account at lsac.org.
- Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
- Register for the Test at lsac.org.
- The LSAT is offered 4 times per year: September/October, December, February, and June. You must have a score from within 5 years of your prospective entry into law school in order to apply for admission. For example, for those applying for fall 2016 admission, you must have a score from September 2011 or more recent.
- The LSAT includes sections on logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, and writing. Click here for more information.
- We recommend studying for at least 200 hours prior to taking the LSAT. There are many resources available, including some directly from the Law School Admission Council. Many reputable companies offer test preparation books as well, and these can be found in bookstores and online. Before signing up for an expensive preparation course, we encourage you to explore these do-it-yourself options.
- Register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
- The Credential Assembly Service (CAS) allows you to submit your transcripts and letters of recommendation once and have them available for every law school application you submit. The CAS summarizes your undergraduate work and combines all of your other documents with your LSAT score and writing sample to create a report that the law schools to which you apply receive.
- Fill out the Valparaiso University Law School Application
- Valpo Law’s application opens on September 1 of each year and closes on July 15.
- Complete the application online at lsac.org.
- Request Letters of Recommendation
- 2 letters are required and they cannot be more than one year old. These letters should come from your college professors, if possible; however, if you’ve been out of school for some time, it is acceptable to use professional colleagues. It is not a good idea to use friends as recommenders, and it is never acceptable to use a family member.
- Input your recommenders’ information into your Credential Assembly Service (CAS) account. You may either print the letter of recommendation cover sheet or have it emailed directly to your recommender. This sheet must accompany the letter when it is submitted to the CAS.
- The letter must be sent directly from your recommender to the CAS, but you may either waive or not waive your right to review the letter. This decision is entirely up to you, but by waiving your right to review, you are showing that you trust the writer to write a good recommendation.
- Draft your Résumé
- Your law school application résumé will be similar to one that you may already have drafted, but there are a few differences to note. First, we do not place a page limit on your résumé, so be as detailed as possible. Be sure to discuss any extra-curricular activities you have been involved in, and if you have any legal experience, discuss it thoroughly.
- Your résumé should be arranged in reverse chronological order, and you should not discuss anything in your résumé that occurred while you were in high school.
- Your résumé will be submitted as an attachment to the electronic application.
- Draft your Personal Statement
- Your personal statement is a chance for you to tell us why you want to go to law school. In 2-3 double-spaced pages, tell us about what motivating factors have led you to apply to law school, what you would like to do with a law degree, and how Valpo Law will help you achieve those goals.
- Don’t be trite—while growing up watching Law and Order or reading To Kill a Mockingbird may have peaked your interest in law, it sounds unauthentic. Some people find it helpful to make a bullet-point list of reasons why they want to go to law school and then turn those points into an essay.
- If you would like to discuss how you will add to the diversity at Valpo Law, explain a poor GPA or LSAT score, or discuss any other issues with your application, you may include this in an addendum to your application [see #8 below].
- Application Addenda
- The only required addendum to your application is for your character and fitness explanations. If you answer “Yes” to any portion of the character and fitness question on the application, you must include a written explanation.
- Including a diversity statement is optional, but if you feel that you would add to the diversity of the entering class in some way, we encourage you to discuss it. Many applicants’ diversity statements are only one or two paragraphs in length.
- An addendum explaining a low GPA or LSAT score is also optional. We typically caution against including this addendum, as it usually comes across as more of an excuse than an explanation. However, if you have legitimate reasons that your GPA or LSAT score were not as high as expected, you are welcome to include your explanation in an addendum.
- Submit Your Application
- Your application will be submitted online through lsac.org. While there is no application fee, you will have to pay the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) fee.
- By submitting your application, LSAC will automatically send us a copy of your CAS report, which includes your LSAT score report and transcripts. In order for us to receive your letters of recommendation, you will need to assign each letter to Valparaiso University Law School in your CAS account.
Reapplication Requirements. To reapply for admission to Valparaiso Law, complete all the requirements above. On your application, be sure to indicate the year(s) you previously applied to Valparaiso University Law School. You will need to request a new CAS report and resubmit all your official transcripts to LSAC. You are also expected to update your letters of recommendation, personal statement, and resume.
ICLEO Program. As one of the four ABA Accredited Indiana law schools, Valparaiso Law offers our accepted students who are from Indiana or have a special connection to the state, participation in the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity or ICLEO Grant Program, which is patterned after the national Council for Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) program.
STANDARD OF ADMISSION
Valparaiso University Law School seeks to enroll students who demonstrate a consistently high level of academic achievement. We firmly believe a consistent record of academic achievement, measured by GPA, is a critical measurement for success not just in law school, but in the legal profession. Every applicant’s full record of achievement is seriously considered and we are committed to enrolling a student body that reflects a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and points of view, thereby contributing to the diversity of the Law School community and the University. Our admission policy includes a holistic admissions process that considers race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, and socio-economic status, along with other factors.