HOW TO APPLY
Lawyers in today's global society face complex challenges, regardless of their practice area or chosen field.
To meet the needs of today’s world, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law employs a holistic review philosophy to build a class of highly qualified candidates with a range of accomplishments, experiences and goals. Each year, the Law School seeks to assemble a class of students who can develop core competencies, excel academically, and contribute to, while drawing from, the strengths, perspectives and interests of people who are diverse in traditional and nontraditional ways. We also place a strong emphasis on creativity, teamwork and service.
The Law School recognizes the importance of quantitative measures such as the LSAT and undergraduate grade point average, while acknowledging that a person’s potential to excel in school and in practice does not rest on test scores alone. Villanova looks for dedication, maturity, integrity, discipline, high moral character and commitment to the common good in all applicants.
A Villanova lawyer is a critical thinker and a passionate advocate. The Law School is committed to identifying the professional, dedicated leaders who will enhance the Villanova Law community and the world.
Dates and Deadlines:
- September 1 - Application is available
- July 1 - Application must be received
Admission is for the fall of each year, and only a full-time program is offered. The JD application will become available on September 1 and will not be accepted after July 1. Decisions are made on a rolling basis. The Admissions Committee evaluates applications and informs candidates of decisions on a continuous basis, usually beginning in late fall and extending to mid-summer.
To be considered for admission to the JD program, an applicant must have successfully completed a baccalaureate program, or its equivalent from a foreign institution, prior to matriculation at Villanova Law and taken the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). The Admissions Office requires you apply online. Furthermore, you must participate in the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and be registered with CAS during the application year.
For an application to be considered complete, it must include: a personal statement written on any topic that does not exceed three typed, double-spaced pages; a resume detailing all employment, extracurricular, and community service involvement; LSAT score(s); at least one letter of recommendation; and a complete CAS report with official transcripts from any colleges, universities, junior or community colleges, and graduate or professional schools you have attended. The $75 application fee has been waived for all fall 2022 first-time applicants.
- September 1 - Earliest date to apply
- December 15 - Application must be complete
- March 15 - Application must be complete
Villanova Law advises all applicants to apply as early as possible in the cycle. If Villanova Law is your first choice of law school, you may apply as an Early Decision applicant. Round 1 Early Decision applicants will receive a decision by December 23. Round 2 Early Decision applicants will receive a decision by April 1. The Early Decision option is binding: An applicant commits to attending Villanova Law if admitted.
Early Decision applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee's decision by December 23 in round 1 and by April 1 in round 2. There are three decisions that may be rendered on an Early Decision Application:
- Accepted - if admitted, Early Decision applicants are immediately bound to enroll at Villanova Law and must withdraw all other law school applications. Because offers of admission under the Early Decision process are binding, applicants may not apply to other Early Decision programs.
- Deferred - deferred applications will be considered in the regular admissions cycle. If admitted in the Regular Decision process, the agreement is no longer binding.
JD Application Checklist
A complete application must include:
- $75 application fee (fee has been waived for all Fall 2022 first-time applicants)
- Personal Statement (any topic, and not exceeding 3 pages double-spaced)
- LSAC Credential Assembly Service report (with official transcripts from any colleges, universities, junior or community colleges, and graduate or professional schools that you have attended)
- LSAT score(s)
- Explanations for any affirmative answer to character and fitness disclosure
- One Letter of Recommendation (must be submitted via LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service)
- Additional Letters of Recommendation (must be submitted via LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service)
- Optional Essays
Dates and Deadlines:
- July 1 - Transfer application must be received
- July 15 - Transfer application must be complete
The transfer application will become available in early May. Transfer applications will be considered only when the student has successfully completed all the courses required in the full-time 1L year of the home school. Villanova Law will only accept credit or credits for a course in which the student receives a grade of C, its equivalent, or better. The number of credits transferred will equal the number of credits successfully completed in that program; if there are differences in the 1L curriculum between the home school and Villanova Law, transfer students will be required to complete any required Villanova Law 1L coursework as part of their upper-level coursework. The law school from which the applicant seeks to transfer must be able to certify that the applicant has completed all requirements and credits for that school's full-time first year program. Transcripts reflecting grades for all courses taken must be submitted to the Admissions Office by July 15.
Transfer applicants must be in good standing at a law school that is both a member of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) and approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Applicants will not be reviewed until we have received transcripts for both fall and spring semesters of the first year of law school. Decisions are made on a rolling basis. You must apply online.
Transfer applicants are required to provide the same documents that are required for first year applicants (i.e. completed application form, application fee, personal statement(s)); Credential Assembly Service Law School report; academic transcripts from all institutions attended; and one letter of recommendation - preferably from a law professor). Additionally, transfer applicants must provide a letter from the appropriate dean or administrator at the home law school indicating they are in good academic standing and eligible to continue their studies.
Transfer students are required to pay all applicable fees and tuition, and are eligible for graduation honors and participation in journal and moot court competitions.
Academic Rule 16 requires that "A student admitted with advanced standing (transfer students) will not be given a class rank based on cumulative weighted average and will not be eligible for prizes or awards based thereon. Transfer students will be eligible for summa, magna and cum laude honors at graduation, applying a formula that compares the lower of either the student’s three year GPA (original school plus Villanova Law) or the student’s two year GPA (only the Villanova GPA) to the cut off GPA of cumulative ranked students awarded honors."
For more information, please view our application instructions.
Dates and Deadlines:
- June 1 - Visiting application becomes available
- July 15 - Fall or Full-Year Visiting application must be received
- September 15 - Spring Visiting application available
- November 15 - Spring Visiting application must be received
Villanova Law accepts non-matriculated students for a year or a semester depending on an applicant's situation. Applicants applying to visit for the academic year typically begin their studies in the fall. However, in certain circumstances, applicants may be allowed to begin their studies in the spring semester. As a non-matriculated student, credits taken at Villanova will be applied to the degree requirements of your current law school, and the degree will be awarded by that school.
To apply as a visiting student, you must be currently attending an ABA-accredited law school. You must apply online.
For a Visiting application to be considered complete, it must include: a $75, non-refundable application fee; a personal statement outlining the specific circumstances involved in your wishing to visit at Villanova Law; a copy of your resume; an official transcript from your current law school (this transcript must include all law school grades to date); and a letter from the appropriate dean at your law school indicating you are currently in good academic standing and eligible to continue your studies. This letter should state you have permission to attend Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law as a visiting non-matriculated student, that you will be awarded credit for taking classes at Villanova Law, and what academic conditions, if any, will apply to you while attending Villanova Law. This letter should also indicate that there are no disciplinary actions either pending or expected to be brought against you.
Any supplemental materials, i.e. letters of recommendation, should be sent as PDF attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Transcripts and Dean's certification letters may be mailed to the Admissions Office.
Non-matriculated students are required to pay all applicable Villanova University School of Law fees and tuition. Financial Aid will be handled through your law school.
To visit in the fall or the full academic year, applications can be submitted beginning April 1, but prior to July 1. If you wish to visit for the spring semester only, an application must be submitted no later than November 15. Applicants will be informed in late July/early August of the decision on their application.
For more information, please view our application instructions.
Villanova Law offers several dual degree programs, including the JD/LLM in Taxation and JD/LLM in International Studies.
JD/LLM in Taxation
Students in this program earn both the JD and LLM in Taxation in less time and at a reduced cost than would be required to earn both degrees separately. Following the award of the JD degree, students in this program can complete the LLM in one additional semester.
For information, please visit our JD/LLM in Taxation page.
JD/LLM in International Studies
Joint programs offered with Universities in London, Edinburgh, Leiden, the Netherlands, Singapore and Hong Kong allows students to earn both a JD and an international LLM in three years. After two years at Villanova Law, the third year is spent abroad.
For information, please visit our JD/LLM in International Studies page.
To be admitted to the joint degree program, you must first apply and be admitted to Villanova Law.
You must submit a separate application to the Villanova University MBA Program by the spring semester of your 1L year. The MBA Program requires that you take the GMAT; however, in certain cases, the GMAT may be waived if you achieve a qualifying score on the LSAT. It is recommended that students who are interested in the joint program take the GMAT before entering law school. Given the rigors of the first year, it is not advisable to spend time studying for the GMAT.
For more information please see the Reza Taleghani JD/MBA program.
Applicants must apply and be accepted into both programs. The LSAT is required for JD admission and the GRE is required for MPA admission; however, the GRE will be waived and the LSAT be used to satisfy admission to the program.
Applicants may apply to both programs before they begin their studies in either program. Students cannot take MPA classes during their first year in Law School, so they need to work with Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to take a leave or postpone their MPA studies for one academic year if they are accepted into the JD/MPA program. Alternatively, JD students may apply to the MPA program in the second semester of their enrollment in the JD program. While it is possible to start the JD program before taking MPA courses, it is not possible to start the MPA program before taking JD classes. MPA applications should be submitted by May 1st.
For more information please visit the JD/MPA program.
Villanova Law’s JD/LLB program allows selected international students who have graduated within three years before applying or with three or four years of legal education to transfer to Villanova Law, and in two years earn a JD degree. For those who have not yet graduated with one year or less of study left will, in partnership with the student’s home institution, be able to count these two years toward completing the student’s LLB. After successfully completing the Villanova Law curriculum, these graduates will be eligible to sit for a bar examination in the United States.
Applicants must rank in the top 20% of their class at their home institutions, have a minimum Internet-based TOEFL score of 90 or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, and have a Zoom or telephone interview with a Villanova representative.
- $75 Application Fee
- Personal Statement (2-3 pages, double-spaced)
- LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
- 1 Letter of Recommendation