admissions: Application Requirements
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible during the admissions cycle. Applicants must register with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and submit applications via the LSAC website by or before the posted deadline in order to receive consideration by the Admissions Committee. Applications may be accepted after the posted deadline and reviewed on a space available basis. Please note that foreign-educated students must submit their official transcripts to LSAC for evaluation. LSAC does not accept evaluations from other credential review services.
A complete JD Program application consists of the following:
Applicants must register with LSAC and use the electronic application form available on the LSAC website. GGU Law no longer provides printed application forms or instructions. Applicants are advised to read the application form thoroughly and follow the instructions carefully.
A non-refundable $60 application fee, payable by credit card through LSAC, must accompany the online application. GGU Law will automatically waive the $60 application fee for prospective students who apply on or before May 1, 2013. After May 1, 2013, applicants with financial hardship may request a fee waiver directly with LSAC. Read more about LSAC fee waivers.
After May 1, 2013, applicants may also request a waiver of the $60 application fee directly with GGU Law prior to completing the online law school application. To request a waiver directly from GGU Law, applicants are required submit a written request to the Admissions Office that describes the financial hardship. Supporting documentation, such as a current undergraduate financial aid award or a recent income tax return, may be required.
Personal Statement & Resume
GGU Law requires each applicant to submit a written personal statement no more than two double-spaced pages, typed in 12-point font. The statement is the applicant's opportunity to address the Admissions Committee, share the motivation for obtaining a Juris Doctor and to describe the personal characteristics and the academic and professional achievements the applicant would bring to the law school community. The applicant should also discuss why he or she would be a successful law student and valued member of the bar.
Applicants must also include a current résumé detailing educational and work history along with any current or past community service or volunteer experience.
Applicants may include an optional addendum with the application to highlight, for example, diversity or to address any issues not included in the personal statement. The personal statement, résumé and any addenda must be uploaded to the LSAC website as part of the online application.
Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report
LSAC will consolidate each applicant's LSAT score(s), undergraduate transcripts and letters of recommendation into a single CAS Report which is sent to each law school indicated by the applicant.
- LSAT Score - All applicants seeking admission to the JD Program must take the LSAT, which is administered by LSAC several times each year. The Admissions Committee prefers to consider LSAT scores that are less than three years old, and under no circumstances will the Committee consider a score more than five years old. Read more about the LSAT.
- Transcripts - Upon registering with LSAC, all applicants must request that their undergraduate (and any graduate) transcripts be sent directly to LSAC for inclusion in the CAS Report. Read more about requesting transcripts.
- Letters of Recommendation - A minimum of two letters of recommendation are required. However, GGU Law will accept a maximum of four letters. Applicants are advised to request letters from current or former professors, or professional colleagues or supervisors who can attest to the applicant's intellectual and professional attributes. Letters from personal acquaintances or family members are discouraged. All letters of recommendation must be submitted from the recommenders directly to LSAC. Read more about submitting letters of recommendation.
The Admissions Process
Applications are considered complete once they contain all of the required elements as detailed above. Completed applications are then forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review. A decision is typically rendered six to eight weeks after an application has been forwarded to the Committee. Applicants will be informed of admissions decisions via regular U.S. Mail. Final decisions will not be given via email or by phone and all admissions decisions are final.
In order to enroll at GGU Law, admitted students must have obtained an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution before the first day of New Student Orientation. Admitted students are required to submit an official transcript reflecting the undergraduate degree and the conferred date. GGU Law will withdraw offers of admission from admitted students who cannot show proof of a conferred undergraduate degree.
Please note that the Admissions Office communicates with applicants primarily by phone and e-mail. It is the applicant's responsibility to notify the office of any changes in mailing address, email or telephone number. Please email any changes in contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 442-6630.
Online Status Check
GGU Law provides Online Status Check through the LSAC website for applicants to check the progress of their application. Once an application is received by the Admissions Office, the applicant will receive a confirmation email which will include a unique username and password for access to Online Status Check.
GGU Law's prestigious Honors Lawyering Program (HLP) integrates practice-based learning and real world apprenticeships in courts, law firms and government agencies around the world. To be considered for admission into HLP, check the appropriate box on the JD Program application. Please note that due to scheduling requirements, part-time evening students and joint JD/PhD students are not eligible to be considered for HLP.
In order to be considered for GGU Law's LLM and SJD Programs, LLM candidates must hold a law degree from a U.S. or non-U.S. law school or university. SJD candidates must hold an LLM or its equivalent. Students may tailor a program to their needs by attending full-time or part-time.
Fall semester classes are scheduled August to December, and spring semester classes are scheduled January to May. A summer session runs from May to July, with most classes held in the evening. LLM students may enter the program in the fall (August), spring (January), or summer (late May). SJD students may enter the program in the fall (August).
Units from a JD program or from any non-law school program cannot be transferred into an LLM program. Up to six units from an ABA-approved LLM program may be applicable to an LLM program at GGU Law if the student has earned grades of at least B- (2.50 GPA). Permission of the GGU Law LLM Program Director is required.
Students who have taken LLM program courses while attending the GGU Law JD Program may apply up to nine units to an LLM program (up to twelve units for the LLM in Taxation Law Program). All units transferred must be approved by the LLM Program Director or the Graduate Law Programs Administrative Director.
Students earning an LLM from GGU Law may apply to that program up to six units of coursework in another GGU Law LLM program. Consent of the Program Director is required to apply coursework from another program.
Deadlines for filing an LLM application are:
- July1 for starting the program in the fall (August)
- November 1 for starting the program in the spring (January)
- April 1 for starting the program in the summer (late May)
Deadlines for filing an SJD application are:
- April 1 for starting the program in the fall (August)
Late applications will be considered if program space permits. International law students seeking visas to enter the U.S. should apply well in advance of these deadlines to allow time for visa processing: By May 15 for a fall (August) start date, by October 1 for a spring (January) start date, and by March 1 for a summer (late May) start date.
No decision will be rendered until the application and all supporting documents have been received.
Applicants must submit the following materials:
- Application form
- Application fee (waived for current GGU Law students and alumni)
- Personal statement
- Law school transcripts (translated if not in English)
- Non-U.S. applicants must submit additional documents
All documents should be sent to:
Graduate Law Programs
Golden Gate University School of Law
536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
An application fee is not required from current GGU Law students and alumni. For all other applicants, a fee of $60 must accompany the program application. Please make your check or money order payable to Golden Gate University. Or to have your application fee charged to your credit card, download and complete the Credit Card Authorization Form and include it with your application.
LLM Personal Statement
The personal statement allows an applicant to present credentials in non-statistical terms and may include the reasons for seeking the degree. Of interest to the admissions committee are the applicant's experiences as a student or practitioner in the subject area of the specific LLM program. The applicant is encouraged to describe the impact of these experiences on his or her decision to undertake graduate legal study. The statement should be in narrative rather than résumé form. It should be typed and no longer than three double-spaced, 8.5x11 inch (or A4) pages.
SJD Personal Statement
The application statement should provide a description of the applicant's reasons for seeking the SJD degree. It should set forth the applicant's intended fields of inquiry and research objectives in specific terms. It should be typed and no longer than ten double-spaced 8.5 x 11 inch (or A4) pages. View the SJD procedural guidelines.
Law School Transcripts
Official transcripts from all law schools attended must be submitted. From U.S. institutions, official, original transcripts must be sent directly by the institution. From non-U.S. institutions, applicants must provide an original or certified true copy of academic records for each year of study. These records must be in the original language issued. If not in English, a certified English translation must also be provided. Academic records should be sent directly by the institution. If included with the applicant's documents, academic records should be in an official, sealed envelope from the institution.
An interview is not required but may be scheduled upon request.
Online status check
GGU Law provides Online Status Check through the LSAC website. Once an application is received by the Admissions Office, the applicant will receive a confirmation email which will include a unique username and password for access to Online Status Check.
Applicants not admitted in a particular year are encouraged re-apply for a subsequent term. When re-applying, applicants should submit all new materials including the online application form, application fee, personal statement, résumé and complete LSAC CAS Report.