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Admissions Policies

The following is a list of admissions policies and application policies.

Application Requirements

Completed applications include the following elements:

  • Completed electronic application, submitted via
  • Completed Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report, which includes the following:
    • Valid LSAT score(s) or *GRE score(s) or *JD-Next exam score
    • All post-secondary transcripts
      • Undergraduate transcript must show either completion of bachelor's degree or projected degree completion prior to law school matriculation.
        • For applicants with undergraduate degrees completed within the United States: bachelor's degree must have been awarded by an institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
        • For applicants with undergraduate degrees completed outside the United States: bachelor's degree must have been awarded by an institution that is equivalent to that of institutions accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Addenda (as required/prompted by the application)

*GRE score report showing all valid and reportable scores (only required from applicants without a valid LSAT score). We will also begin accepting the JD-Next exam starting with the Fall 2024 entering class (only required from applicants without a valid LSAT or GRE score).

Application Review Process

When reviewing applications for admission, the Admissions Committee considers a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • LSAT, GRE, or JD-Next exam scores
  • Cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA)
  • Rigor of undergraduate coursework
  • Performance in graduate programs
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statements
  • Addenda
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Work experience
  • Demonstrated skills
  • Diverse life experiences

To be eligible for admission, an applicant must demonstrate he or she is capable of satisfactorily completing California Western's program of legal education and being admitted to the bar. Additionally, the most competitive applicants have LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs at or above our medians, as reflected in our class profile.

Character and Fitness to Practice Law

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.

Your law school application provides information relevant to certification to a state bar, which you should fully disclose on an admissions application.  Law schools are required to provide bar examiners in every state with an assessment of the student's character and fitness for the practice of law. This requirement can include information provided on your application, including prior criminal proceedings, discipline by an academic institution, and/or other disciplinary actions. Failure to disclose this information on the law school application can lead to an admission offer being rescinded. revocation of the admission offer, disenrollment after matriculation or other disciplinary action. Applicants are required to promptly advise the Admissions Office of any changes to the facts presented in their application once it has been submitted, leading up to matriculation. Applicants are required to promptly advise the Vice Dean's Office of any changes to the facts presented in their application after matriculation.


Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Decisions are made on completed applications only. All decisions are distributed electronically. Review typically begins in November each year for the fall entering class. The decision of the Admissions Committee is final.


Deposits are required to reserve your seat in the class to which you have been admitted. All deposits are nonrefundable. Deposits are not transferable to the next entering class unless the applicant has been granted a deferral by the Admissions Committee prior to the deposit deadline. Deposits are applied to tuition upon matriculation.

Official Final Transcripts

In order to enroll, you must send an official final transcript reflecting the conferral of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. If you are still finishing classes to complete your undergraduate degree and will not receive your final transcript until after you enroll, you must send an official final transcript to LSAC as soon as it is available. Your final official transcript must be on file with California Western by  October 15th. If your official final transcript is not on file with California Western by the deadline, you will be administratively withdrawn from all classes.

International JD Applicants

Applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree from a school outside the United States or Canada must take the LSAT and/or GRE and must have their academic transcripts evaluated by LSAC's Credential Assembly Service. This service is included in the CAS subscription fee.

Evaluation of transcripts is NOT required if the foreign education was completed through a study abroad, consortium, or exchange program sponsored by a U.S. or Canadian institution, and the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript.

An applicant who is not a U.S. citizen or who does not reside permanently in the United States and for whom English is not the native language must submit the results of one of the following English proficiency tests: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo, in addition to the other admissions requirements.

Deferment Requests

Circumstances can change. If you’ve been admitted to CWSL but find you are unable to enroll in your respected class, you can request a deferment to the next entering class. Deferments are reviewed on an individual basis and take into account all relevant circumstances. There is no guarantee the deferment will be granted. Applicants granted a deferment are required to submit the seat deposit required for the current term. If deferment is requested by a scholarship recipient, the scholarship awarded at the time of admission is not guaranteed for the future term. Because the scholarship program changes from term to term, the applicant's scholarship may be reassessed during the review process of the deferred term. Scholarship recipients will be notified if their scholarship can be deferred to the future term during the deferment review process.


If you are reapplying for admission to California Western, you must complete a new application, including an updated personal statement, a new CAS report and any new material to warrant a review. California Western does not consider previously submitted applications. 

Academically Disqualified Applicants

If you were academically disqualified from another law school, you may apply to California Western following a dismissal period. At least two years after the date of dismissal before an applicant can be considered for admission. 

As part of the application process, applicants are encouraged to submit materials that address their disqualification from a previous law school. This includes letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s disqualification, an applicant’s ability to reengage in law school coursework following disqualification, or the circumstances surrounding the disqualification.  

To be eligible to apply, applicants need to provide a transcript and letter of attendance from the disqualifying law school.

Statement for Non-Discrimination

California Western School of Law does not discriminate on the basis of age; ancestry; citizenship status; color; creed; disability or medical condition; gender; pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions; gender identity or expression; marital, military or parental status; national origin; race; religion; sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by law. For questions about discrimination on the basis of a disability or to file a Section 504 complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of a disability, contact the Vice Dean for Academic & Student Affairs, located at 225 Cedar Street, Second Floor, San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 525-1409.