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JD Application Process & Requirements

The Juris Doctor is a three-year professional degree required for taking the bar exam and practicing law in most of 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 1. Early Decision deposits are due by January 18.
  • Part-time - A limited enrollment, part-time day program that allows student four-to-seven 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. Our application opens September 1 for each admissions cycle and our deadline to apply is August 15. Applications are reviewed closely and in their entirety to ensure an informed and fair admission decision.

Standard JD Application Process

  • Register with the CAS and take the LSAT or register for the GRE through ETS


    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) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Both are provided through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

    The LSAT is scheduled several times a year in the United States and on a more limited basis abroad.  Applicants are urged to take the LSAT the year prior to that of anticipated enrollment. Applicants submitting LSAT test scores of the same year as anticipated enrollment will be considered only if space remains available. Willamette Law does not accept LSAT scores more than five years old from the anticipated date of entry. If an applicant presents more than one LSAT score, the highest score will be considered.

    For information about LSAC, visit LSAC's website.


    The GRE is offered year-round at over 1,000 test centers worldwide and recently, because of COVID-19, announced a move to a home-based exam monitored by an online proctor. 

    The GRE measures reading comprehension, vocabulary, algebra, geometry, and analytical writing.

    If an applicant has taken the LSAT and received a score within the last five years, Willamette University College of Law will use the LSAT score in consideration for admission purposes and will not consider the GRE score.

    All prospective students will apply through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and submit their GRE scores with their application. Learn more about the GRE.

    Willamette University College of Law GRE Code: 4811

  • 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. The CAS Report fee of $45 is collected by LSAC and is independent of an application fee for the College of Law. There is no additional application fee, because we don’t want financial considerations to prevent anyone from applying to Willamette. Applicants must submit their application electronically. Please let us know if you should need additional resources to submit your application.

  • Submit two letters of recommendation to CAS
    Submit two letters of recommendation to the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Letters of recommendation should be written by individuals who can attest to the candidate’s academic aptitude and intellectual capability for law school. Letters from former professors, business colleagues, or community leaders are acceptable.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Submit a resume
    Your resume is required and should be submitted to Willamette with the application for admission. Applicants should include work history, 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. Applicants should highlight legal experience if applicable.

Need to take the GRE?

Willamette University

College of Law

Office of Admissions
Willamette University
245 Winter Street SE
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
(503) 370-6282