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Application Steps and Requirements

Applications will be accepted from October 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016.  Please note that we require applicants to submit applications through the LSAC electronic application service.

Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Subscription

Register for the CAS. Please note that it may take several weeks for LSAC to process your materials and send them to us.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

You must take the LSAT no later than February 8, 2016. The test is administered several times throughout the year. The oldest score we will accept is October 2010.

Application Form and $60 Fee

We require applicants to submit their applications through the LSAC electronic application service included as part of a CAS subscription. If you require a need-based application fee waiver, please contact the Admissions Office.

There are two ways to submit your application using the electronic application:

Option A: Apply and pay online

Submit your entire application online, including the $60 application fee and signature/certification, through the LSAC electronic application. Please follow the instructions carefully. This is our preferred method. Using this method allows us to process your application as quickly as possible.

Option B: Apply online, pay by mail

Use the LSAC electronic application to transmit your application and signature/certification, but submit your $60 application fee by mail. To do this, follow the instructions carefully, submit your application and signature electronically, and mail the fee to us. Please note that you must use this method if you are applying with an application fee waiver.

Essay and Personal Statement

YLS requires one 250-word essay on a subject of your choice. Faculty readers look to this essay to get a glimpse of your character, intellectual passions, analytical abilities, and writing skills. The choice of topic -- a personal anecdote or interest, an academic subject, or a current event -- can itself be illuminating.

We also require a personal statement that highlights aspects of your background that you believe will be of interest to the Admissions Committee. We are particularly interested in aspects of your background that may not be evident from other parts of your application.

  • Tips for writing your YLS Personal Statement

You may also include a short addendum if there is an aspect of your application (such as a leave of absence) that you wish to explain further.

Academic Transcripts

We require, through the LSAC service, official transcripts from each college or university that you attended (including undergraduate and graduate).   

Recommendation Letters

We require two letters of recommendation from professors or employers who have worked with you, although we strongly prefer academic letters. You may submit additional letters, and many applicants choose to submit three letters. Your file will be deemed complete when two letters have arrived. We prefer to receive all letters through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service.

  • More about recommendation letters
  • A word on recommendations from employers

Financial Aid

If you are applying for financial aid, please have your FAFSA and Need Access analysis submitted to us by March 15, 2016.

Notification and Decision Information

You will receive notification from us when we receive your application and, again, when it’s complete and ready for review.

You can expect a decision by mid- to late April. You may hear from us before April, but we aim to finalize all decisions by the end of April.


Timeline 2015-2016
Sept. 1: Fall term classes begin; we recommend a visit

Oct. 13: LSAT

Oct. 1: Yale begins accepting applications

Dec. 5:

Dec. 22-Jan. 19:
Winter break


Jan. 19: Spring term classes begin

Feb. 6: LSAT

Feb. 8: Last possible date to take the LSAT

Feb. 29: Last day applications are accepted

Mar. 15: Financial aid deadline

Mar. 12-Mar. 20: Spring break

Apr. 10-Apr. 30: Most decisions are made by mid- to late April

Apr. 25: Classes end

May 2: Deadline for deposits