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School of Law

Degree Programs

Established in 1889, the School of Law is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is on the American Bar Association's list of approved law schools. Graduates of the School are prepared to practice law anywhere in the United States. Additional information about the School is contained in the current School of Law catalog.

Juris Doctor Program


The Juris Doctor (JD) degree is conferred upon a student who has met the residence requirements, consisting of eight quarters of at least 12 credits each, and has earned at least 135 credits satisfactory to the School of Law.

As with most law schools in the United States, the first-year courses are required and are designed to introduce students to basic legal skills, foundational subject matter, and the variety of public and private processes with which the profession is concerned. Those courses deal with contracts, torts, property, civil procedure, criminal law, constitutional law, transnational law, perspectives on the law, and legal analysis, research and writing.

To graduate, a student must complete the following requirements during their second and third years of law school:

  1. 87 more credit hours (assuming the completion of 48 credits during the first year), for a total of 135 credit hours
  2. At least 5 more residence quarters of at least 12 credits per quarter, for a total of 8 or more residence quarters (including the first year)
  3. Professional Responsibility (4 credits)
  4. Administrative Law (4 credits) beginning with the 1L class entering in Autumn 2018
  5. Business Organizations (4 credits) beginning with the 1L class entering in Autumn 2018
  6. Evidence (4 credits) beginning with the 1L class entering in Autumn 2018
  7. Public Service requirement
  8. Experiential Coursework requirement
  9. Advanced writing requirement


New students may enter the School of Law only in autumn quarter. To be considered for admission, applicants must follow the application instructions listed on the School of Law website, register with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and Credential Assembly Service (CAS), take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and demonstrate that they have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian university or the foreign equivalent whose program has been deemed comparable to that of a four-year baccalaureate degree prior to commencing the law program. Applications are due by March 15.

For those students who have carefully researched their law school options, the Early Decision Program provides an expeditious evaluation and decision by the Admissions Committee. The program is designed for those applicants that are confident that the University of Washington School of Law is their clear first choice. Admission through the Early Decision Program is competitive, as applicants are evaluated under the same criteria as those who apply during the regular admissions cycle. In choosing this option, applicants are expected to commit to the University of Washington School of Law, if admitted, and may not apply Early Decision to any other law school in the same admissions cycle. Applications must be submitted by November 15 to be considered.

Transfer Applicants

A JD student who has completed their first-year JD curriculum at a member school of the Association of American Law Schools may apply for admission with advanced standing as a JD degree candidate.

An LLM student who is currently enrolled in an LLM program at an ABA-accredited law school may apply to transfer as a JD candidate with advanced standing provided the applicant has met all of the following criteria: (1) the applicant is a graduate of a law school in a country outside the United States; (2) the applicant successfully completed JD degree coursework while enrolled in the LLM program; and (3) the law school that the applicant enrolled at for their LLM degree has a grading system for LLM students in JD courses that is comparable to the grading system for JD degree students in the course.

Transfer students are accepted on a space-available basis only. Selection of applicants is based on evidence that: (1) the candidate can produce above-average work at the University of Washington School of Law and (2) the candidate will contribute to the diversity of the student body. Transfer applications are accepted beginning May 1 through July 15.

Financial Aid

UW Law is dedicated to helping our students meet educational expenses through a variety of options, including scholarships, grants and federal loans. Each year, the law school and the University's Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) develop comprehensive financial aid packages to help students achieve their education goals while minimizing student educational debt.

Eligible students may submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal aid. The University's priority deadline is January 15. Additional information is available at www.law.uw.edu/admissions/financing.

Additional Information

For additional information, visit the School of Law website at www.law.uw.edu. To learn more about the services offered by the Law School Admission Council, visit www.lsac.org.

Graduate Programs

For graduate program information, refer to the UW degree program catalog.