How to Apply
The application process can be broken into 3 main areas:
- Register and Apply through LSAC
- Provide Supporting Materials
- Provide Test Scores, Transcripts, & Letters of Recommendation
Application components details:
Once you have completed the application process you can check your application status.
Register and Apply through LSAC
- Step 1:
All applications are handled through the LSAC (Law School Admission Council) website. Once at the site click "Sign Up Now" to begin registering your LSAC account.
- Step 2:
Once you have created an LSAC account, add California Western School of Law to your school list (This is done from your LSAC Account Homepage).
- Step 3:
In your list, click on California Western School of Law to view the application and other information.
- Step 4:
Use the Start/Continue Application button to access the CWSL application. You can save the application at any time and revisit it.
- Step 5:
Attach all supporting materials to your application.
- Step 6:
Complete, date and submit the application (this is all done online)
Provide Supporting Materials
- Step 1:
Write a personal statement. (See below for additional information about personal statement requirements).
- Step 2:
Prepare a resume that includes work history and/or volunteer service to include with your application.
- Step 3 (Optional):
You may include an optional diversity statement or an addendum.
- Step 4:
Upload supporting documents from Steps 1-3 to your application through LSAC.
- Please include your LSAC account number on all correspondence.
- The application and supporting material may be submitted before taking the LSAT.
- It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure his/her file is complete.
Provide Test Scores, Transcripts, & Letters of Recommendation
All applicants must take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). After your results have been graded, your LSAT score should be associated with your LSAC account, if it isn't, contact LSAC for help. The application and supporting material may be submitted before taking the LSAT.
Through your LSAC account, register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
After you register for the CAS, you must have a separate transcript sent to LSAC directly from each undergraduate and graduate institution you attended.
Make sure at least 2 letters of recommendation, preferably from professors or employers, are added to your CAS report.
Once your CAS report is completed LSAC will provide the information to California Western; it will then be reviewed along with your application.
Credential Assembly Services (CAS) Report
LSAC's Credential Assembly Service simplifies the admission process for law school applicants by allowing you to submit all of the necessary documentation one time.
- Undergraduate, graduate, professional, and law school transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
CAS will release the report to any school to which the applicant has applied and provided his/her social security number. Applicants should register with CAS, and ask their college registrar to mail transcripts to CAS as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that this process has taken place.
The California Western LSAT law school code number is 4802.
Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
All applicants are required to take the LSAT. Applicants must have taken the LSAT within the past three years; otherwise applicants should retake the test. If more than one LSAT score is reported, the scores will be averaged.
The LSAT test is given four times each year: October, December, February and June. The latest LSAT we can consider for the Fall entering class is the February test, and the latest LSAT we can consider for the Spring entering class is the October test. Later test dates may affect scholarship and financial aid opportunities.
We encourage the applicant to prepare adequately for the test. Studies show that applicants who use several sources for preparation, and practice by working through the entire test on a timed basis, score better than those who do not.
A brief one to two-page personal essay is required. Please consider one of the questions listed below to help guide your personal statement topic:
a. Write a personal statement about your expectations for what law school ought to be (e.g., focusing on issues such as what your expectations are, how do you know law school is right for you, what your life as a lawyer will be, or discuss a lawyer's role as a problem solver.
b. What is the most difficult thing you have ever had to do?
c. If you could relive any one day of your life, what day would it be?
d. At California Western, we make an effort to understand what you value, in order to provide support and guidance to your personal goals. Please attach a brief statement in which you discuss the personal values most important to you.
e. Write a statement on a topic of your choice.
While the academic record and performance on the LSAT are the most important aspects of the review process, a well-written essay can be a significant factor. If you have something extra you would like to highlight, be sure to discuss it in your personal statement. PLEASE NOTE: The Admissions Committee does not conduct personal interviews.
You may wish to include an optional diversity statement. California Western recognizes that a diverse student body enhances the educational process for all students. To ensure the benefits of diversity, we consider, in addition to academic credentials, a variety of factors such as background, experience and personal characteristics when reviewing applications to ensure the benefits of diversity. Examples of factors which may be considered for diversity purposes include but are not limited to the following:
- ethnic minority applicants;
- bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender applicants;
- older applicants;
- applicants from geographically diverse areas;
- applicants with disabilities;
- applicants who have overcome economic, religious or cultural disadvantage, personal adversity or other social hardships;
- applicants who have lived in a foreign country or who spoke a language other than English at home;
- applicants with unusual career goals, employment history, volunteer or community service, or military or law enforcement experience.
An applicant who believes that his/her background or experience can contribute to the law school's goal of diversity and educational enrichment, and who wishes to have this considered in the admissions process, should provide written detailed information about his or her background or experience as part of the personal statement or in a separate diversity statement.
Addenda or other Statements
You are encouraged to include a separate statement explaining any perceived weaknesses in your application you feel may need to be explained to the Admissions Committee. This could include, but is not limited to, unique situations that may have affected your LSAT score or an illness in college that may have impacted your grades. It is important to note that this written statement should not be used as a means for making excuses for substandard academic performance or test scores, but as a means of communicating weaknesses and inconsistencies.
Transcripts from all of the colleges or universities you have attended must be submitted to LSAC for processing.
After admission and before enrollment, official transcripts must be sent directly to California Western Admissions Office from the degree-granting undergraduate school.
- Hand-delivered transcripts cannot be accepted.
- If the transcript will not precede enrollment, the applicant must provide written documentation to the Admissions Office that degree requirements will have been completed but that the official transcript will arrive after enrollment.
- An "official transcript" is a transcript certified by the issuing school sent to California Western in a sealed envelope with seal intact.
- Copies supplied by CAS are not official transcripts.
"An official transcript showing the receipt of a degree(s) and all academic work undertaken prior to the date of registration of the applicant shall be on file at the time the student registers in the law school or within a reasonable time thereafter." (ABA Standard 502)
Resume should include a summary of your volunteer and/or work history, including activities where you assumed leadership.
The application fee for the 2015 application year has been waived.
Checking Your Application Status
You can check the status of your California Western application by visiting the application status site (provided by LSAC). Use your LSAC account login.