As one of the nation’s T-14 law schools, the University of Pennsylvania Law School is a popular addition to any law school list. Read on to learn how to get into UPenn Law!
The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School ranks No. 6 out of the country’s best law schools. If you plan to apply to UPenn Law, we'll outline programs, requirements, essay advice, and more to maximize your chances of acceptance.
UPenn Law offers a JD program and five graduate law programs, excluding joint degrees. Graduate law programs offered are the following:
UPenn Law has one of the most diverse joint program offerings out of T-14 law schools. There are more than 30 options to tailor your law studies and receive a truly interdisciplinary education. Some options include:
To find out which of the UPenn JD programs best suits your needs, contact an experienced admissions advisor.
Carey Law School requires JD applicants to submit applications through LSAC for consideration. These are the standard UPenn Law requirements you should know about:
Penn Law states, "We do not have numerical 'cut-offs' in the application process nor do we employ the use of an admissions index." While there are no GPA requirements for admission, past class profile data can help you determine what a competitive GPA for UPenn Law looks like:
This data makes determining the Penn Law average GPA difficult. However, we can assume that your GPA should be close to 3.9 or higher for your best chance of admission.
While there is no UPenn Law LSAT score requirement, you should strive for the best score possible for a better chance at getting into UPenn Law. Penn released LSAT data from its incoming class:
It's difficult to determine the UPenn Law average LSAT score based only on this information. However, it would be best if you strived for an LSAT score of at least 171 to be a more competitive applicant.
While Penn Law accepts GRE scores, no information was released on how many students submit them, averages, or percentiles. However, it's also in your best interest to score as high as possible on the GRE.
Besides an interview, your personal statements and optional essays are your only chance to speak directly to the admissions committee and show why you’re the perfect fit for UPenn Law.
Knowing how to get into UPenn Law starts with understanding the personal statement. The prompt for the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is:
“The purpose of this personal statement is to provide you with an opportunity to submit information that you deem important to your candidacy. You may wish to describe aspects of your background and interests—intellectual, personal and/or professional—and how you will uniquely contribute to the Penn Carey Law community and/or the legal profession.”
UPenn Law also asks applicants to be aware of the suggested length of two pages for their writing. Your essay should be double-spaced and marked as "Personal Statement," and include your name and LSAC number on every page.
The personal statement prompt for UPenn Law is relatively open-ended, leaving some applicants wondering where to begin. Our top tips for crafting an excellent UPenn Law essay can help you write a captivating narrative sure to garner the attention it deserves.
Many topics can make an excellent personal statement; however, the perfect personal statement topic for you is something only you can judge. Thinking broadly about your experiences can help you narrow your options and determine the most impactful narrative direction.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Career Services suggests reflecting on these topics before writing a law school personal statement:
While there’s no rule explicitly stating you can’t reference an event in your distant past, the best personal statements focus on the recent past or present. Admissions committees want to get to know the adult you.
Your narrative should be cohesive, logical, and easy for your reader to follow. Truly stellar personal statements make great use of a thematic thread: it’s a strategic way to keep your narrative together, even if you write about seemingly disparate experiences.
For example, the conclusion of your essay can reference or “tie up” loose ends to something you wrote about in your introduction or earlier in the essay. Writing with a common thread can help leave the reader satisfied and bring your story full circle.
You want to subtly show the admissions committees you possess the qualities of a great lawyer. For example, you don't want to write, "I have a great sense of community spirit!" Instead, write about something you did that shows your community spirit.
Identify which qualities are most prominent (whether it's honesty, compassion, diligence, or something else) and match them to your experiences. Just try not to tackle too many of them in one essay.
Remember, you have only two pages to convey your story. The personal statement's length doesn't allow you to tell your life's story; however, you should also be careful not to let all your writing be consumed by describing the event in great detail. Finding the right depth is challenging but imperative.
Other tips to keep in mind while you’re writing your personal statement include:
UPenn Law offers four optional essays for applicants to share new information with the admissions committee. You may answer more than one prompt if you choose to. These are the most recent prompts:
If you want to write one of these Penn Law essays, these tips can help you write meaningful responses.
Your optional essays should not be the same length as your personal statement. Try to limit your response to about one page: you'll need to keep your writing concise to achieve this.
If you already wrote about how your goals and values match Penn's core strengths in your personal statement, you should not choose to write that essay. If you want to write one of these, ensure you haven't already touched upon the same content elsewhere in your application.
You don't have enough space to dance around your narrative. If you're writing one of these essays, ensure your main idea is clear and that you get to it quickly.
Although these are optional, you should take advantage of the space if either prompt applies to you. The first prompt asks for a diversity essay: law schools value diverse applicants from all backgrounds, so sharing yours is in your best interest if you didn't speak about your identity at length in your statement.
The last prompt is also necessary if you have any gaps in your academic performance or test scores. Leaving these gaps unexplained can hinder your application.
The UPenn Law School class profile can tell you more about the school’s commitment to a diverse class. Some highlights from recent data include:
Data shows that UPenn Law received 8,383 applications and accepted 787 students. As a result, the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s acceptance rate is 9.39%
UPenn’s acceptance rate falls way below the national average for more than 190 law schools (44%) and is on U.S. News' list of 10 hardest law schools to get into. A single-digit acceptance rate at any school means admission is competitive: overall, it's hard to get into UPenn Law.
There are three rounds for admission at UPenn Law: Early Decision Round 1 and 2 and Regular Decision. No matter when you decide to apply, you'll submit applications through LSAC and send transcripts and scores through CAS.
Below is a breakdown of all the dates/deadlines you should know about for each decision pathway:
Including living expenses, tuition, and other fees, UPenn Law estimates the cost of attendance for one year at approximately $101,000. However, UPenn Law states that it offers “one of the most comprehensive financial aid programs in the country.”
Besides seeking loans or need-based grants, Carey Law School offers numerous scholarship programs, including:
UPenn Law considers the financial situation of each student for financial aid eligibility.
If you still have questions about how to get into UPenn Law, check out these FAQs!
While there are no GPA cut-offs, achieving a GPA at or above the median 3.9 can make you a more competitive applicant.
There are no UPenn Law LSAT score cut-offs, but you should strive for a score at or above 171 (the median) for your best chance of acceptance.
Compared to other schools, UPenn Law is hard to get into. Its 9.39% acceptance rate means that less than 1 in 10 applicants are accepted: you'll need to produce a stellar application.
Yes, and it’s sometimes referred to as Penn Law or Penn Carey Law.
Penn Law is ranked as the six-best law school in the nation. As a member of the T-14 law schools, UPenn is a great school to pursue your law education.
Yes, the school has rolling admissions for Regular Decision applicants. You can receive your admissions decision anytime between December in mid-May.
Getting into UPenn Law requires excellent test scores and GPAs, but there's much more to your application. Remember to take extra care crafting your personal statements and deciding which optional essays you should write.
With care, time, and dedication, you can craft a stellar application and take one step closer to attending the law school of your dreams. Good luck!