Vanderbilt Law School Background Image

J.D. application process


VLS Viewbook and Application Guide


Application Process

  • Register with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), if you have not done so already. Applicants must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). You will need your registration "L number" to complete your application and to request an interview.
  • Applicants must hold (or expect to hold) a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • All international applicants must register with the LSAC J.D. Credential Assembly Service, and some international applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, see below)
  • The application fee is $70 and should be paid online using a credit card when you submit your application. If you have received an application fee waiver from VLS or LSAC has provided you a need-based waiver, the VLS application fee will be waived automatically when you submit your application.
  • We encourage all applicants to schedule an in-person interview (see below)
  • Apply online between September 15 and April 1 for Regular Decision or by November 1 for the Binding Early Decision option


LSAT and J.D. Credential Assembly Service. All applicants must take the LSAT and register with the J.D. Credential Assembly Service (CAS) through the Law School Admission Council. You must provide a copy of official college transcripts from each college and university you have attended to the CAS. The CAS report sent to law schools will include photocopies of your transcripts, your LSAT score(s), your LSAT writing sample, a transcript analysis and other information helpful to readers of your application.

Two letters of recommendation. You must submit at least two letters of recommendation. Letters should be from members of the faculty of your undergraduate or graduate school, preferably faculty members who served as your advisers on research projects or who taught you in more than one course. If you have been recently employed full-time or serving in the military, you may submit letters from the persons best able to comment on your performance. If you have been out of school for several years, you may submit letters from employers if academic recommendations are not available. We recommend that your letters be submitted through the CAS letter of recommendation service, although your recommenders may send their letters directly to the Admissions Office if they prefer.

Personal statement. Please provide a personal statement, presenting yourself to the Admissions Committee. The application forms provide additional guidance for your statement. We also welcome a diversity statement or other supplemental statement you believe will be helpful to readers of your application.

Admission Interviews for J.D. Applicants.

We would like to know you better as a prospective student - and for you to learn more about Vanderbilt. That's why we offer admission interviews with VLS alumni as part of the application process, and why VLS alumni conduct interviews nationwide and in several foreign locations.

Applicants to the J.D. class entering in fall 2024 may request an alumni interview by: 1) completing the admission interview section of the application for admission, and 2) submitting the application for admission no later than 11:59 PM, November 15, 2023.  

Admission interviews FAQs 

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. With an eye toward these professional standards, the Vanderbilt application for admission asks specific questions concerning disciplinary actions in an academic setting, charges or convictions of crimes, and charges or findings of offenses (whether or not defined as crimes). Bar examiners may review your answers to these questions on your law school application when you apply for admission to the bar and your background records are checked.

International Students. If you completed a bachelor's degree at an institution outside the United States (including its territories) and/or Canada, in addition to providing the materials listed above, you must also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or or the  Duolingo English Test . unless the language of instruction at the foreign institution conferring your bachelor's degree is English. Please request that ETS send your TOEFL score directly to LSAC for inclusion with your CAS report, using code 0058.

The  Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with Vanderbilt when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.

Application for Law Scholars Merit Awards. (optional) Law Scholars Merit Awards

Application fee. $70 (non-refundable).You must apply online and pay the application fee with a credit or debit card. If you have received a need-based fee waiver through LSAC or a VLS fee waiver, your Vanderbilt application fee will be automatically waived when you apply online.

Selection Process

While we make decisions on individual applications as quickly as possible, the time required varies from case to case. We evaluate each application thoroughly, reflecting our belief that the quality of the educational environment at Vanderbilt Law School benefits from considering a range of information far broader than your GPA and LSAT score.

Our "rolling" selection process allows for extending the time frame of consideration in appropriate cases, which ensures that each application receives the individual attention it deserves and allows us to make careful comparisons of applications completed at different times. 


Questions? Contact the Admissions Office

 615-322-6452 |