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Chicago Law Personal Statement

How to Apply

JD Applications

All JD applications are completed online through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website.

Loyola University Chicago School of Law accepts applications for both the Full-time and Weekend Juris Doctor (JD) programs. All candidates for law school must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. International students must have received the educational equivalent to a United States baccalaureate degree from their foreign institution. No particular undergraduate curriculum or major is viewed as ideal for the study of law.

Transfer, International, and Visiting Applicants

Application Timeline

JD Program Important Dates
October 1stApplication  for admission opens 
January 15Early notification deadline
February 15Priority deadline for submission of admission application for candidates also applying for special scholarships and fellowships.
March 1Deadline for submission of specialized scholarship and fellowship applications. Candidates must be admitted by this date for consideration.
April 1Priority deadline for submission of application for admission
April 30Priority deadline for submission of documentation to complete application
July 1Final deadline for submission of application for admission
July 15Final deadline for submission of documentation to complete application Candidates sitting for the June LSAT should ensure their transcripts and letters of recommendation are on file with CAS prior to sitting for the June test.

Early Notification Deadline 

Candidates may elect to submit all necessary materials for their application files by January 15. If all items are received by this date, a non-binding admissions decision will be sent by February 15. This program is of particular relevance to applicants applying for specialized scholarships and fellowships, which have a deadline of March 1

Priority Application Deadline

The priority application deadline is April 1 for all applicants who do not meet the early notification deadline. The priority deadline for submitting supporting application documents needed to complete an application is April 30.

Final Application Deadline

The final application deadline is July 1. The final deadline for submitting supporting documents to complete an application is July 15. 

Application Information

Application Form

Applications for our JD Programs are available through the Law School Admissions Council website.

Application Fee

There is no application fee for all entering JD program applicants.

Signing Your Application

You may use an electronic signature to certify the information on your online application. Please follow the directions provided by LSAC.

E-mail Address

Loyola’s primary method of communication is email. Please make sure that we have your current email address; mark our email address safe; and check regularly for messages.

One (1) letter of recommendation

If an applicant has been out of school for less than three years, the Faculty Committee on Admission prefers letters from faculty and/or teaching assistants from undergraduate or graduate schools who can address academic capabilities.

Applicants who have been away from a formal education setting for more than three years may submit letters from employers or other qualified individuals in lieu of academic recommendations.

Resume

A resume is required, and a good place to include work experience, extracurricular activities, voluntary service, honors, and awards.

LSAT

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is required for admission to the JD program. Applicants are encouraged to take the LSAT no later than the June test prior to the fall of their intended enrollment in law school.

You may submit your application prior to sitting for the LSAT.

Candidates who take the June LSAT should be aware that there will be limited seats available for fall admission. We recommend that you submit all application materials prior to sitting for the June test.

CAS through LSAC

All applicants must register with CAS (Credential Assembly Service) in a timely fashion and ensure that your registration is active and current. You can register LSAC.org. You will be asked to submit complete transcripts of all post-secondary work to CAS, including transcripts from all colleges or universities that you have attended, even if you did not receive a degree from those institutions. You must also submit transcripts from all summer school courses and graduate courses that you have taken.

We recommend that you obtain a copy of your transcript(s) to verify all information including grades, transfer credits, and institutions and any possible academic action taken by any institution attended.

Previous Law School Attendance

All applicants who have enrolled in and/or attended any law school must have an official copy of the law school transcript and a letter of standing sent directly to Loyola University Chicago School of Law from the law school(s).

Personal Statement

Candidates are required to submit a personal statement of no more than two typewritten pages. The essay should contain information about you and why attending law school is important to your life goals.

You may also choose to include an optional essay as part of your application on one of the following topics.

  • Option One: Why have you chosen to apply to Loyola University Chicago School of Law?
  • Option Two: What attributes or characteristics best describe you, and how will they contribute to your success as a law student and member of the legal profession?
  • Option Three: Diversity Statement: Loyola University Chicago School of Law students come from diverse racial, economic, religious, ethnic and educational backgrounds. We believe that tremendous educational benefits flow from our diverse student body, and we greatly value diversity in our classrooms and our community. We also fully appreciate that many of our students have encountered and overcome significant and unusual hardships in the pursuit of their educational goals. Please explain how your unique background or circumstances would contribute to our community and should be a factor in our consideration of your application.

Character and Fitness

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.

Part of the application is a questionnaire from the Character and Fitness Committee which asks about past incidents involving the law..

The questions you will be asked on the application are listed below:

  1. Were you ever suspended, expelled, placed on probation, either for academic or social reasons, or otherwise disciplined by any college, university, or professional school? Actions arising from allegations of academic dishonesty (including, but not limited to cheating and plagiarism), or any form of behavioral misconduct (including, but not limited to misconduct related to alcohol or substance abuse) must be included. You must include disclosures about any proceedings that are pending. Please note: If your transcript indicates any notation(s) of academic action, including academic probation, suspension, dismissal, warning, etc., you will need to answer “yes” to this question and provide a written explanation of the circumstances.
  2. Were you ever suspended, expelled, placed on probation, or otherwise disciplined by any professional organization or state agency charged with regulating professional conduct, or are any such proceedings pending?
  3. Have you ever been convicted of, pleaded guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to a criminal offense or ordinance violation other than a minor traffic offense? A minor traffic offense is one that results in a fine of $200 or less. All other criminal offenses, ordinance violations and traffic offenses must be disclosed. Is any criminal charge now pending against you? Offenses involving the use of drugs or alcohol are not considered minor offenses and must be reported.
  4. Have you ever been discharged from military service under conditions other than honorable?
  5. Have you ever had your driver's license suspended?

If you answer any of these questions in the affirmative, you must provide a complete explanation of the circumstances. 

As promised this begins a series entitled, "Tips & Tricks," that is designed to help you with the some of the more difficult aspects of completing your law school applications.  Future posts will cover topics such as the importance placed upon GPA, questions about majors and suggestions for obtaining the best letters of recommendation.  We thought we would start with the personal statement as it is one of the most difficult and time-consuming parts of the application.  Making this the first post in the series is also a reminder that you should set aside enough time to write a compelling personal statement.  And so now, here are our words of wisdom about that infamous personal statement...

The personal statement is the aspect of the application that we hear the most about when recruiting or talking to prospective students (except perhaps general fear of the LSAT!). "What should I write my personal statement about" is a critical question for the applicant, but one that is hard to answer. Here is a summary of do's and don'ts taken from several members of our admissions committee:

DO’S:

·       A personal statement is supposed to be PERSONAL! We want to hear about you, what makes you tick, what motivates you, and what inspires you. We are trying to make up a class of interesting, dynamic people, and this is the place to show us that you will add something vital to our school.  Whether your statement is light-hearted and comical or more serious, a statement that will stand out in our minds is one that is not only personal and interesting, but sincere. 

·       A good personal statement will give a sense of who you are as a person after reading it and there are hundreds of ways to accomplish this.

·       Remember, this is your writing sample as well as a personal statement so make sure that it is a flawless piece of writing. No typos, nice paragraphs, and something that flows well is highly desirable. One good way to catch typos is to read your statement aloud.  You often will catch missed words and awkward phrasing that you don't when silently reading it.  One of the most important things you can do to make your statement its best is to have someone whose writing you respect read it and offer comments.

·       Make your personal statement interesting, tell a captivating story, or inject some humor into the essay. We read a lot of these, so something fun can help you stand out in the crowd. 

·       Try to focus on something unique about you, something that is not going to be repeated in other people's essays. One essay topic we see a lot is the pre-med student who has an epiphany in a Political Science class and decides to change her major (but not until after getting a C- in Organic Chemistry!).  Nonetheless if your motivation to study law does originate with such an experience do not let that deter you from telling us so.

·       If you are sending out individualized personal statements, make sure that you send the correct personal statement with your application. I have read hundreds of personal statements talking about how the applicant really wants to go to a school other than Chicago. Needless to say, this can ruin an otherwise wonderful personal statement.

DON’T’S:

·       Don't rewrite your resume in your personal statement, writing chronologically about all the things you have accomplished in your life. That is the purpose of a resume this kind of personal statement tells us nothing new and tends not to be very interesting.

·       Be very careful when talking about the law. Remember, our committee is made up of lawyers, so if you are going to argue a legal issue, be aware that a lawyer will be reviewing your arguments very carefully. 

·       Don't be weird or quirky, just to be weird or quirky.  Although we encourage creativity, anything too strange (past examples included rhymes, videotapes, and CDs) will be memorable, but not in the good way.

·       Don't talk about our law school instead of yourself. It's great that you think we have a wonderful law school, and even better that you learned a lot on our website, but we already know that!

·       Don't feel like you have to write an essay about saving the world. If saving the world is your passion, then feel free to write about it. Something personal and introspective that fails to mention global warming, international terrorism or the sub-Saharan AIDS epidemic can still be a great personal statement.

With that we wish you luck composing and we look forward to reading what will undoubtedly be a compelling, interesting and personal statement about you!

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