Overview of the Application and Admission Process

Whittier Law School reviews all applications holistically and considers all factors relevant to your potential ability to meet the rigorous academic standards of the Juris Doctor program.

Your undergraduate academic performance (GPA) and your Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) scores are strongly considered in evaluating your application. However, there are no “magic numbers” that guarantee admission. The Faculty Admissions Committee also considers “soft” factors such as your resume, personal statement, letters of recommendation and/or evaluations, and other addenda you may include in your application. For a list of types of addenda most commonly submitted, please see below.

Admissions Office Hours

Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Admissions Calendar 2016

  • February 1: Priority deadline for financial aid processing.
  • February 15: Priority Scholarship Deadline
  • March 15: Priority Application deadline. Although we will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis, applicants who apply on or before March 15th will receive priority in admissions decisions.
  • April 1: Commitment deposit due from all students admitted on or before March 15. If you are admitted after the March 15 priority application deadline, your commitment deposit will be due approximately two weeks following your date of admission (please check your admission email and letter for the exact date). Failure to submit the deposit will result in cancellation of acceptance, forfeiture of your seat, and revocation of any scholarship offer. Deposits are non-refundable and are credited to the student’s matriculating semester’s tuition.
  • May 1: Deadline to submit all required financial aid documents
  • Sept. 1: Admission revoked if official transcript or degree certification letter has not been received by Admissions.

LSAT Test Dates 2016

Saturday, February 6, 2016
Monday, February 8, 2016 (Saturday Sabbath Observers only)
Monday, June 6, 2016
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Saturday, December 3, 2016

More information on LSAT dates

Application Procedures

Application Requirements:

  • Online application completed through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
  • $60 application fee
  • Personal statement (also known as Statement of Purpose)
  • Valid LSAT score. LSAT scores are valid for five (5) years. In the event you have multiple valid LSAT scores, we will be able to see all scores and test dates but will use the highest score as your official LSAT score.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts of all post high school academic work (CAS subscription required through LSAC)
  • Optional Application Addenda:
    • A Character and Fitness addendum may be required depending on your answers to some questions on the application.
    • Common optional addendums include:
      • LSAT Addendum
      • GPA Addendum
      • Diversity Addendum
      • Adversity Addendum

Complete applications submitted to LSAC for transmission to Whittier Law School will be considered received on the day they are electronically submitted.

Letters of Recommendation

Whittier Law School requires that you submit two (2) letters of recommendation for your application. We prefer that these letters be written by college professors who can attest to your ability to enter a competitive graduate program. If you have been out of school for some time, employment letters of recommendation are acceptable. Although you are not restricted to two letters, your file will be considered complete once we receive at least two letters.

Whittier Law School requires that your letters be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service that serves all member schools. This service is included in your Credential Assembly Service (CAS) subscription. Your letters will be copied and sent to us along with your CAS Report, or as received with any update. Be sure to fill out and give each reference a letter of recommendation form, found on the LSAC website at

If you hold a bachelor’s degree from a foreign institution, you must register for the CAS subscription and submit all official transcripts to LSAC.

You can obtain more information about application forms for the LSAT and CAS subscription by writing to: Law School Admission Council, P.O. Box 2000, Newtown, PA 18940, or by calling (215) 968-1001, or by visiting their website online at


You must hold (by the date of intended matriculation) a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a regionally and nationally accredited institution of higher learning. The Office of Admissions requires an official transcript showing that the bachelor’s degree was conferred prior to registration and the beginning of Fall semester classes. In the event that you have finished all of your degree requirements but your degree will not post prior to the start of classes and you need an extension on your final transcript, you will need to notify the Admissions Office and submit a Degree Certification Letter from your undergraduate school.

Applying to Whittier Law School’s Specialized Centers

If you are interested in applying to the Center for Children and Families, Center for Intellectual Property Law, and/or Center for International and Comparative Law Fellowship, you must complete both the application for admission to the Juris Doctor Program and the separate application for the Centers. Only applicants who have completed both applications and have already been offered admission to Whittier Law School’s Juris Doctor program will be considered for admission to the Centers.

TOEFL Requirements

Foreign educated applicants must also take the TOEFL exam and submit the scores to LSAC. Exceptions are allowed if you are a resident of an English speaking country or were educated or employed at an institution where English is the primary language.

Minimum TOEFL scores accepted:

  • 590 on the paper-based test; or
  • 243 on the computer-based test; or
  • 96 on the Internet-based test

Outstanding applicants with slightly lower test scores may still be considered. Please visit our Admissions FAQ page for more information on our TOEFL requirements.

Admission Evaluation

The Admissions Committee evaluates your application primarily on academic merit, including your year-to-year progress in college, completed courses, demonstrated ability within the major, amount of time spent in college, and any graduate work. They will also consider factors that may impact your study habits and time, such as employment, organizational memberships, etc.

The Committee also recognizes an applicant’s maturity, capacity for self-discipline, work record, and other attributes relevant in determining potential success in law school. For these reasons, you are encouraged to submit information that would be helpful in considering your academic potential. Letters of recommendation, the personal statement, optional addenda, and prior graduate school experience, if any, will be carefully considered.

Whittier Law School is committed to providing a quality legal education to a diverse student body. Therefore, the Admissions Committee also considers ethnicity and cultural background, age, and unusual personal circumstances.

Admission Decisions

The Admissions Committee begins the evaluation process in October for the fall semester of the following calendar year. The Law School does not adhere to a formal application deadline. However, those who apply by the March 15 deadline will receive priority for both admissions and scholarship decisions. If you are offered admission, you will be notified by both mail and email.

It is not advisable for applicants to wait for LSAT results before applying, as this will delay the admission decision. If you are seeking admission within two months of the scheduled registration date, the entering class may already be enrolled to capacity. In this case, you will compete with others for the occasional vacancy created by the withdrawal of an applicant previously admitted.

Commitment Deposits

If your application was completed by the March 15 priority application deadline and you are admitted to the fall class, you are required to pay a $400 non-refundable commitment deposit to Whittier Law School by April 1. Applicants admitted after March 15 must pay the $400 deposit within two weeks of acceptance. Failure to submit the deposit will result in cancellation of acceptance, forfeiture of the seat, and revocation of any scholarship offer. Deposits are credited to the matriculating semester’s tuition.

Wait Listed Applicants

Wait listed applications are continually reviewed throughout the application cycle. The wait list remains unranked and so we will be unable to give you specific information regarding your status. However, you will be notified immediately if you are admitted. If you remain interested in attending Whittier Law School, we encourage you to submit a statement of continued interest to the Admissions Office, for review by the Admissions Committee.

Qualifications for Admission to the Bar

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admissions by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

For more information, see the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements, the Character and Fitness page of the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and the Bar Admissions webpage of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees must be paid in full at the beginning of each semester. Tuition is set annually by the Whittier College Board of Trustees.

The following tuition and fee payments apply to the 2015-16 academic year:

  • Full-Time (annual), 12-15 units flat rate: $43,970*
  • Part-Time (annual), 8-10 units flat rate: $29,314*
  • General Administrative Fee (annual): $400
  • Application Fee (non-refundable): $60

*Tuition subject to change.

Tuition Refund Policy

Tuition refunds are available only upon written notice of discontinuance. Application for a refund must be submitted to the Assistant Dean of Student and Alumni Affairs. The amount of the refund is determined by the date of receipt of the written notice and is not dependent upon the student’s attendance in class.

No refunds will be made after the end of the fourth week of the fall or spring semesters. If a student withdraws during the first two weeks of summer session, half of the tuition will be refunded.

Deferral Policy

Whittier Law School does not generally grant deferrals. Exceptions have been made in cases such as military activation or life-threatening medical emergencies. Deferral decisions are made on an individual basis at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Administration.

Special Admissions

Each year the Admissions Committee considers applications for admission from individuals with atypical circumstances and backgrounds. Special admission applies to the following:

Applicants Who Do Not Have a Bachelor’s Degree

This category is reserved for exceptional cases. To qualify for this process, you must be at least 35 years old, score in the 70th percentile or higher on the LSAT, and have completed 60 college units from a regionally and nationally accredited undergraduate institution. Admission under this category is strictly limited to a few applicants each academic year.

If you do not have the required college work (60 college units), you may also meet the pre-legal education requirement by taking and passing a series of examinations as directed by the Committee of Bar Examiners. Applicants are required to take and achieve minimum scores on examinations administered by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

The minimum score for the English Composition or English Composition with Essay examination administered by CLEP is 50. You must also have a score of at least 60 on each of two of the following tests administered by CLEP: Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and History. When you register with CLEP to take the examinations, make sure to request that the score reports be sent to both Whittier Law School, and the Office of Admissions of The State Bar of California (Code Number 7165). You must have taken and passed all required examinations before applying through the special admission process.

CLEP informational brochures and registration forms are available at local colleges and universities, or by contacting:

College Level Examination Program
Gateway Place, Suite 480
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 452-1400

Applicants Who Belong to an Ethnic or Cultural Minority, and Whose Life Circumstances Have Led to Diminished Opportunity

If you feel you are an applicant in this category, you can either indicate in your personal statement the circumstances that warrant admission, or submit an optional Diversity and/or Adversity addendum(s) to target this topic.

Transfer Applicants

Applicants who have previously attended another ABA law school are eligible to apply for admission to Whittier Law School. If you have completed your first year of study at an ABA accredited law school, are in good academic standing and unconditionally eligible for readmission at your original law school, then you may apply as a transfer student. If the original law school is not an ABA accredited law school, or you are not in good academic standing, then you must apply as a first year law student where you will receive no advanced standing or credit.

If you apply as a transfer student, you must submit:

  • Letter of Standing from your original law school
  • Law school transcripts

Applicants with a Prior Law School Disqualification

Applicants who have been previously disqualified from any ABA law school are eligible to apply for admission to Whittier Law School as a first year student. All offers of admission to applicants with a prior disqualification will be conditional upon successful completion of a rigorous summer performance program. While the dates of the program are not confirmed, we expect the program will take place Monday through Thursday, starting on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, and ending on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Details of the program will be sent out over the summer from Professors William MacDonald and Maysa Nichter. Attendance and successful completion of the summer program is mandatory for any student who wishes to gain admission. Therefore, applicants with a prior disqualification must apply by June 30, 2016 to be considered for conditional admission.

If you apply as a conditional admit, you must submit:

  • Letter of Standing from your original law school
  • Law school transcripts
  • Academic Addendum addressing the prior disqualification.

Yellow Ribbon Program for Veterans

Whittier Law School welcomes veterans into our community of students. Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill program, you can receive payment to attend Whittier Law School. Tuition and fees are sent directly to the law school; the amount depends on your eligibility percentage. You may also have a monthly housing allowance and book stipend covered through the program, and sent directly to you. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) or visit for information and eligibility.