Your Full Guide to Harvard Law School Application


Getting into Harvard Law School is a big dream for many aspiring law students. Known as a top law school worldwide, Harvard draws a huge number of incredibly talented applicants every year. Meeting the stringent Harvard Law School application requirements is essential just to be considered. This article will provide an overview of the requirements for Harvard Law School admission and take you through the application timeline, components, and tips to submit the best application possible.

Front view of the Harvard Law School building

Harvard Law School Overview

Harvard Law School provides students with a wide array of academic and practical possibilities to pursue their legal education, which are unmatched. Students get the opportunity to extensively explore a wide array of legal subjects through more than 500 courses and seminars. They will receive rigorous instruction in legal theory and analysis. 

The school also offers 47 clinical programs for real-world legal experience as well as 88 student organizations that allow students to get involved in legal advocacy causes about which they feel passionate. This leads to a vibrant and collaborative environment where students learn foundational legal skills while also exploring endless possibilities within the field. 

Supported by unmatched faculty and such extensive offerings, students at Harvard Law can receive top-notch legal training academically, practically, and socially, truly maximizing their growth as future lawyers. 

Programs Offered

Harvard Law School offers extensive law school degrees tailored to different legal interests and career goals:

J.D. Program

The foundational 3-year Juris Doctor program provides a comprehensive introduction to core areas of legal theory, principles, and skills. The first year focuses intensely on building strong bases across essentials like civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, and more through required courses. This enables students to later specialize based on interests.

LL.M. Program

For foreign lawyers seeking further legal studies focused on American law, there is a one-year Master of Laws degree available. The program prepares students for occupations requiring advanced U.S. legal experience or for academic legal study, with a focus on critical thinking, legal scholarship, and self-inquiry.

S.J.D. Program

The Doctor of Juridical Science is Harvard’s highest law degree mainly intended for those pursuing legal academia and scholarly research. It involves producing a dissertation that meaningfully contributes to legal scholarship, guided under the mentorship of faculty advisors.

Joint Degree Programs

Harvard Law offers over 25 joint degree programs combined with other Harvard graduate schools in areas like business, government, and medicine. These facilitate multidisciplinary approaches to the law, allowing customized advancement of specific interests and career goals across legal policy, business law, public health law, and more.

The Harvard Law School Application Statistics

Understanding Harvard Law School application requirements can help you effectively manage the competitive admissions process. Knowing the target test scores, acceptance rates, and other key details enables prospective students to gauge their positioning and shape their strategy.

Is It Hard to Get into Harvard Law?

Even for highly qualified applicants, admission is exceedingly hard given that the Harvard Law School acceptance rate of only 9.58%. Being aware of the essential data and specifications might make you stand out.

What LSAT Score Do You Need for Harvard?

Harvard accepts high-caliber students as reflected in its median LSAT scores:

  • 75th Percentile: 176
  • 50th Percentile: 174
  • 25th Percentile: 171

It is recommended that applicants aim for Harvard’s 50th percentile median LSAT score of 174 or higher to increase their chances of admission. Scoring below the median reduces the probability of acceptance.

Does Harvard require the LSAT? Note that all J.D. program applicants must take either the LSAT or GRE.

What GRE Score Do You Need for Harvard?

Percentile Verbal Reasoning Quantitative Reasoning Analytical Writing
75th 169 168 5.5
50th 167 165 5.5
25th 165 162 5.0

Harvard does not only accept the LSAT but also the GRE as an alternative standardized test. The Harvard Law School GRE can help you figure out how competitive you are in the group of applicants. Greater performance is shown by higher percentiles, and these percentile ratings show the amount of performance needed to be one of the best applicants.

What GPA Do You Need to Get into Harvard Law School?

  • 75th Percentile: 3.99
  • 50th Percentile: 3.93
  • 25th Percentile: 3.84

The rigorous undergraduate GPAs reflect academic excellence in applicants. Aim to position yourself around the median 3.93 GPA or higher to be in contention, since scoring below average significantly reduces admission probability.

What are the Requirements for Harvard Law School?

Gaining admission to Harvard Law requires submitting a complete application proving one’s candidacy potential. The Harvard Law School enrollment process entails meeting several core prerequisites. 

Online Application

First, applicants must submit an online application through the Law School Admission Council website, available starting September 15th the year before desired enrollment. This requires paying an $85 non-refundable application fee, with need-based waivers available. 

Standardized Test Score

All applicants must report valid LSAT or GRE scores, taken no later than the February 15th application deadline. While LSAC automatically accounts for LSAT exams taken in the last 5 years, GRE scores must be reported directly to Harvard. 


Undergraduate and graduate transcripts must be sent to LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service. A separate service must evaluate foreign transcripts, except coursework completed overseas through study abroad programs supported by US or Canadian universities and noted on the home campus transcript. 

Letters of Recommendation

Harvard requires 2-3 law school letters of recommendation from someone who can speak firsthand about your abilities, accomplishments, potential, and work ethic based on personal experience with you. At least one letter should come from a professor, teacher, advisor, or other academic source who supervised you previously in coursework, research, or other academic pursuits. Consider reaching out to references at least a month in advance to give them time to craft a compelling, personalized letter.


You need to prepare a 1-2 page law school resume that showcases your academic journey, relevant work experiences, leadership roles, research projects, extracurriculars, volunteer work, or other endeavors that provide backing for your candidacy. Organize your most impressive, relevant accomplishments first with context around your positions and contributions. 

Written Statements

Instead of submitting a law school personal statement, Harvard requires two short essay statements from applicants:

  • Statement of Purpose: Describe why you are interested in law and how a legal degree can help you achieve your long-term personal and professional goals. Explain how this path is consistent with your long-term goals.

  • Statement of Perspective: Share how your diverse experiences, background, and interests have shaped you up until now and how they will shape your future engagement at Harvard and as a lawyer. 

These statements should be 1-2 double-spaced pages each, using a readable 11-point font minimum. They want to get a window into the passions, perspectives, and potential you’ll bring to Harvard Law if accepted.

Addendum (Optional)

For details that didn’t seamlessly fit your narrative flow, the law school addendum also lets you selectively share an extra quality or experience that strengthens your overall case for admission. Highlights unique hardships overcome, a relevant award or project omitted from the activity list, an upward grade trend explaining early struggles to make sure it doesn’t get overlooked if it weighs favorably in their holistic review.

Character and Fitness

Applicants are expected to provide full transparency around anything in their past or present related to professionalism or conduct requirements for eventually becoming licensed, practicing attorneys. Disclose details around previous charges, academic discipline, or anything that could impact state Bar Association determinations of your “moral character” fitness to practice law.


Applicants will be invited to interview with an Admissions Committee member, either in person or virtually. Come prepared to directly showcase your motivations around legal study. The interview tests the authentic passion behind pursuing law at one of the world’s premier programs.

Aspiring law school students listening to a Admission Consultant

Harvard Law School Admission Deadline

September 15, 2023 Opening of applications
November 2023 Start of interviews
January 8, 2024 Notification of first-round acceptances
February 12, 2024 Notification of second-round acceptances
February 15, 2024 Closing date for applications
March 18, 2024 Notification of final round acceptances
May 1, 2024 Final date to accept the admission offer

Be sure to note the Harvard Law application deadline in your calendar so you can get everything submitted on schedule by the designated date. Meeting the deadline avoids an anxious last-minute scramble! 

The Harvard Law School Cost and Financial Assistance

The projected cost of attending the JD Harvard Law School program in 2023 is $111,000 per year. This encompasses the Harvard Law School tuition of $73,600, as well as the projected expenses for housing, food, books, transportation, and personal needs. 

Clearly, over $100k annually is an intense investment. However, the school has set a standard student budget that tells each student how much financial help they can get each year from all sources, including grants and loans. 

This approach underscores the importance of the Harvard Law School application process as a gateway to accessing a wide range of financial assistance options. Prospective students are urged to delve into these resources, ensuring they are fully informed about both the costs involved and the support mechanisms in place to make this esteemed education accessible.

Get Into Harvard Law School with a High LSAT Score

Aside from keeping grades up and submitting flawless Harvard Law School applications, LSAT scores carry major weight. Harvard Law expects exceptionally high scores – 171+ and ideally closer to 176. Hitting this score range demonstrates the verbal reasoning, analytical thinking, and reading comprehension abilities that Harvard wants to see in their future lawyers.

The pressure is on with the LSAT! Tackling this exam beast alone can seem daunting. The good news is quality LSAT prep courses or working with a top-scoring tutor can make all the difference in one’s score and admission chances.

Odyssey Test Prep comes highly recommended for students aiming for Harvard Law. Our LSAT prep services are unparalleled when it comes to helping master every section and question type. Here are a few reasons Odyssey rises above the rest:

LSAT Prep Courses

Elevate your LSAT scores with our comprehensive prep course, strategically designed to position you for success in gaining admission to top law schools, including prestigious institutions like Harvard. Our courses combine expert instructors with thousands of real LSAT practice questions. Attendees leave each interactive class equipped with the strategies and techniques targeted for 170+ scores.

LSAT Tutoring

Excel in the LSAT with personalized tutoring from our experts, tailored to your strengths and weaknesses, guiding you towards achieving your best score and opening doors to premier law schools. One-on-one tutors scored 170+ in the actual LSAT so they know what it takes to ace the exam. Sessions can be customized to focus on personal weak areas until LSAT mastery is achieved.

Law School Admissions

Secure your spot at the law school of your dreams with our expert admissions consulting services, strategically crafted to maximize your application’s impact, including personalized guidance for aspiring Harvard Law School students. Our advisors guide applicants through every phase – from school selection and essay editing to application strategy and interview preparation. This support system helps showcase candidates’ strengths to Harvard.

Final Thoughts

Applying to Harvard Law School is no small feat. With an acceptance rate of 9.58%, gaining admission requires thorough preparation and meeting expectations across all areas -GPA, LSAT, experiences, and recommendations. Doing research on Harvard Law School application requirements and statistics allows you to better understand the academic and test score profiles of accepted students. While Harvard sets a high bar, those who invest the time and effort can clear it with flying colors.

To help you better assess preparation needs, we offer a 3-week LSAT Free Class. In this no-obligation course, you will experience our exceptional curriculum. Topics covered include an exam overview, strategies for each section type, opportunities to work through real LSAT questions, and advice on reaching top-tier score goals.

Enrolling in this free glimpse behind the Odyssey LSAT prep curtain is strongly encouraged for all aspiring Harvard Law applicants!

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