Why apply to Iowa Law?

Iowa Law is an ideal place to study law: small enough that your professors will know you well, yet large enough to be nationally renowned and a launchpad for opportunity. We have a reputation for producing lawyers who are highly skilled and successful—and who display an exemplary level of professionalism.  With an Iowa Law degree, you’ll be more than an advocate or attorney: you’ll be a trusted counselor at law for your clients, your colleagues, and your community.

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Application Process for JD Applicants

The College of Law participates in the Credential Assembly Services (CAS) and requires its prospective students to register for this service through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). LSAC exists to serve both the law schools and the candidates for admission.

All applicants must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) administered by LSAC no later than June of the year for which they are applying. Please keep in mind that Iowa is on a rolling admission so early applications are highly encouraged. 

The College of Law requires applicants to submit at least two letters of recommendation. Recommendations from professors or others who can comment on your critical thinking, writing skills, and potential for success in law school are particularly welcome. The College participates in the letter of recommendation service offered by LSAC as part of the CAS subscription.

For the CAS report, applicants are responsible for submitting an official transcript to LSAC from each college or university they have attended. In addition, every applicant who accepts admission to Iowa Law must file official transcripts showing conferral of a degree with the University's Office of Admissions.

The personal statement is required for all applicants. The application form contains complete instructions regarding the personal statement. The personal statement (limited to two to three pages) should address the following topics:

-- Why do you wish to study law?

-- Why do you want to study at the University of Iowa?

-- What has been your most significant accomplishment?

-- How would you contribute to our law school community and the legal profession?

-- Describe any life experiences that would indicate your drive, determination, motivation, and/or leadership characteristics.

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Apply online through your LSAC.org account.

Important Dates

  • Starting September 1, Application for admission accepted for the following fall
  • Starting October 1, Submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) accepted for the next academic year
  • December, Recommended last LSAT test for admission
  • January 15, Recommended last Application submission date for scholarship opportunities
  • April 1, $250 First Deposit Deadline for students accepted before March 15
  • May 1, Application Deadline
  • June 1, $250 Second Deposit Deadline
  • Mid-August, Mandatory Orientation Program for new students (Dates listed on the Academic Calendar)
  • Late August, Opening of Classes (Dates listed on the Academic Calendar)

Frequently Asked Questions

The timing of your application may make a difference. The College of Law has a rolling admissions process. Although the final deadline is not until May 1, we recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. You may submit an application even if you have not yet taken the LSAT. Historically, the Admissions Committee  begins reviewing completed application files by December.

We encourage you to submit your application no later than January 15 for the following reasons:

-- There is still room in entering class

-- It allows time to resolve logistical issues

-- Gives you more time to consider your options

-- Scholarship money will likely be available

Please keep in mind that your application file is considered complete only after we have received all of the following: your application, your official CAS report (with transcripts and LSAT scores), résumé and your letters of recommendation. It may take a few days to process your application after we receive it.

In an effort to make the JD application process as easy as possible, we have waived the application fee this year for the three-year program.  By filing an application free of charge, you will give us an opportunity to learn more about you and your achievements, and you also will set the stage for learning more about us as you work through your decision-making process.  It won’t cost you a thing, and it might very well set in motion a process that transforms your life.

The Admissions Committee does take graduate work into account. Please note that the GPA that we will consider will be your undergraduate GPA. However, the committee does review graduate transcripts and weighs those courses and grades in the comprehensive review.

Previous graduate work will not count towards credits that lead to earning a JD. Graduate credits are only applicable to students in the Advanced Standing JD Program who have already earned their law degree from another country.

All files are reviewed by our Admissions Committee. A percentage  of the first-year class is admitted primarily on the basis of the LSAT and GPA. The rest of the class is admitted on the basis of criteria in addition to those numbers in accord with our "numbers-plus" admissions policy.

If you wish to accept the offer and hold your place in the class, you must submit a $250 nonrefundable deposit  by the date set forth in your offer letter. Applicants accepted into the Fall class must pay a second non-refundable deposit of $150 by June 1. These payments are credited toward tuition and fees for those who enroll.

Under extraordinary circumstances, we may grant a request to defer. The request must be in writing, and must include the reasons for the request. Approvals to defer are left to the discretion of the Admissions Committee Chairperson and the Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management, and are granted under only extreme circumstances. If granted, an applicant can defer for one year only. Requests to defer should be sent to the Admissions Office.

English requirements can be found here