General Applicant Questions

Application Materials & Requirements

Financial Aid

Merit-based Tuition Scholarships

General Questions About NUSL

Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program Applicant Questions

Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program

Transfer Applicant Questions

Transfer Applicants

Waitlisted Applicant Questions

Waitlisted Applicants

General Applicant Questions 

Application Materials & Requirements

When should I submit my JD application? 

The School of Law begins to receive applications in September for the next year’s class (about a year prior to enrollment). There are several application deadlines. 

  • Early Decision (Binding): December 1
  • Early Action (Non-binding): December 1
  • Regular Decision Priority Deadline: March 1

Applications submitted after March 1 will continue to be reviewed on a space-available basis.

When will I receive an admissions decision?

Apply Early Decision by December 1, receive a decision by the end of December.

If you submit your Early Decision JD application by December 1, and take the LSAT no later than November, your decision will be posted on your application status checker by December 31. You will be notified via email when your decision is available. You may be admitted, denied or placed on the waitlist.

Apply Early Action by December 1, receive a decision by mid-February.

If you submit your Early Action JD application by December 1, and take the LSAT no later than November, your decision will be posted on your application status checker by February 15. You will be notified via email when your decision is available. You may be admitted, denied or placed on the waitlist.

Apply by March 1, receive a decision by mid-April.

You will be notified via email when your decision is posted on your application status checker by April 15. You may be admitted, denied or placed on the waitlist. JD Applications received after our March 1 deadline will not be given priority, and we cannot guarantee a decision date.

How will I receive my admissions decision?

JD Applicants will receive an email notification when their admissions decision has become available on the application status checker.

What are the median LSAT score and GPA for enrolled students?

For the Class of 2022, the median LSAT score was 162, and the median GPA was 3.63 as of October 5, 2019.

What do I need to submit to make my JD application complete?

You must submit a completed application form, résumé and personal statement. You may also choose to provide a response to one of our optional essay topics. Once the law school receives your application, we will contact the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) in order to obtain copies of your transcript(s), LSAT score(s), letter(s) of recommendation and any other information you have sent to LSAC. After we have received these materials, your application will be reviewed. Please keep track of your application and contact Admissions if you are concerned about your status.

Is there a preferred format for application materials?

Yes, please adhere to the following formatting requirements:

Personal Statement
The personal statement should be two pages, double-spaced in 12-point font.

Applicants are encouraged to limit their résumé to one page in 12-point font. A second page will be accepted for applicants with significant work experience. 

Optional Essay
Optional essay responses should be one page, double-spaced in 12-point font.

Addenda should be no more than one page in length in 12-point font

What should I write about in my personal statement?

In short, anything! Our application instructions state that you must provide a personal statement on any topic. A hallmark of a Northeastern University School of Law education is the freedom to pursue the areas of law that interest you, both in and out of the classroom, and we are granting you the same freedom in deciding what topic(s) to cover in your personal statement. Our only requirements are that your essay should be no longer than two pages, double-spaced and in 12-point font. This is your chance to help us get to know you in a more personal way.

How many letters of recommendation are required? May I submit additional letters?

Northeastern University School of Law requires one letter of recommendation submitted via LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS). We will not accept more than two letters of recommendation.

What transcripts are required?

Please submit all undergraduate and graduate transcripts (if any) via LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS).

Undergraduate Transcripts
Transcripts for all previously attended colleges and universities must be sent directly to CAS. If you receive additional grades, you should submit an updated transcript to the Credential Assembly Service, so they can send updated information to the law school. While an undergraduate transcript without a date of conferral can be submitted with your initial application, the transcript is not considered final without the date of conferral.

Graduate Transcripts
Transcripts for graduate work should be submitted to CAS.

What are the optional essay topics? Is there a page limit?

We encourage you to respond to one of our three optional essay questions. Your response must be in your own words, one page, double-spaced in 12-point font. The optional essays provide a space for you to showcase your writing abilities and share additional information with us. The essay prompts are as follows:

1. Over the past few years, most law schools have come to recognize the importance of hands-on legal experience. At Northeastern, we have been incorporating practice directly into the curriculum since 1968. Ranked #1 in Practical Training by the National Jurist, our signature Cooperative Legal Education Program (co-op) guarantees you nearly a year of full-time work experience in the areas of law that interest you, anywhere in the world. 

What field(s) of law would you like to pursue on co-op and why?

2. Northeastern is a nationally recognized leader in public interest law with a strong reputation for producing accomplished leaders in the field. The success of our graduates in part reflects our social justice mission.

What specific social justice issue are you most passionate about and how have your professional or personal experiences influenced your interests?

3. At Northeastern University, diversity is about excellence and inclusion. It's about the way in which we engage with the world, the opportunity to learn from new perspectives, a core value for the University, an essential element of contemporary life, an expression of cultural pride, and a reflection of our campus, community, and global partners.

Northeastern University School of Law, in keeping with the mission of Northeastern University, is committed to building and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community of faculty, students, and staff that welcomes and respects all persons, regardless of race, gender identity or expression, family structure, socio-economic status, or ability status. We strive to develop an open and respectful environment that draws on talent from every sector or society and engages the global community. We are dedicated to the integration of multiple, divergent perspectives, and to the principle that a diverse and inclusive community not only supports innovation and creativity, but also creates and promotes cultural understanding throughout Northeastern's community. With these guiding principles, the School of Law aspires to promote a thriving society built on equal opportunity and social justice.

How has your background shaped who you are today or your future aspirations, and how will your presence enhance the Northeastern community?

If I would like to provide additional explanation on a certain component of my application, may I submit an addendum?

Yes, you are welcome to submit an addendum to address anything in your application that might require further explanation, such as a gap in schooling or employment. Please be specific but brief. An addendum should be no more than one page in length.

May I submit additional, supplemental materials such as my senior thesis?

We kindly ask that you refrain from submitting additional, supplemental materials, including, but not limited to, senior theses, works of art, creative writing, publications, reports, videography, music or other materials. We encourage applicants to include information about such work in their applications if applicable — in résumés, personal statements or, if necessary, application addenda — but we strongly discourage applicants from sending extraneous material directly to our office. 

What are the character and fitness requirements?

Northeastern asks applicants to answer a series of character and fitness questions. These questions are required by the ABA. Because of the high ethical standards to which lawyers are held, the failure to disclose an act or event can lead to more serious consequences than the act or event itself. Failure to provide truthful answers, or failure to inform the School of Law of any changes to your answers in advance of matriculation or during school enrollment, may result in revocation of admission or disciplinary action, or denial of permission to practice law by the state in which you seek bar admission.

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every US jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction directly. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

I applied before and was waitlisted/denied. How do I reapply?

The School of Law welcomes applications from candidates who have previously applied. If you applied to Northeastern in a previous year, you are encouraged to include an updated résumé, personal statement, letter(s) of recommendation and/or an optional essay, though these are not required. Your LSAT score must be no more than five years old as of the date of your new application. 

Financial Aid

How do I apply for financial aid?

All students interested in being considered for need-based financial aid must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at Northeastern's federal institution code is 002199. Important information regarding FAFSA changes for the 2018-2019 application cycle is available here.

When should I apply for financial aid?

Please refer to the Financial Aid section of our website for important information about applying for aid.  The priority filing window for the FAFSA is October 1 through February 15. You should submit the FAFSA before February 15 even if you have not received an admissions decision yet.

When will I receive my financial aid package?

The financial aid office typically sends out award letters in mid-March to admitted students who submitted their FAFSA by the priority deadline. This year, due to the filing window opening on October 1, award letters may be sent out earlier. If you are admitted after mid-March, you will receive your financial aid award letter about a week to a week and a half after you receive your acceptance letter, provided that you have filed your FAFSA before the priority deadline.

Merit-based Tuition Scholarships

As a first year JD Applicant, when will I find out if I have been awarded a merit-based tuition scholarship?

Generally speaking, if you are awarded a merit-based tuition scholarship, this information is included in your admission letter. Merit-based scholarships can only be applied to tuition.

How do I apply for the Public Interest Law Scholars (PILS) Program?

Northeastern’s most generous and prestigious scholarship program is the Public Interest Law Scholars (PILS) Program. This program offers full tuition to students with strong social justice and public interest backgrounds and is renewable each year so long as the student remains in good standing. All applicants to the law school, whose applications are received by March 1, are automatically considered for this scholarship.

Students who wish to bolster their candidacy for the PILS Program may also submit an optional one-page essay with their application materials. The public interest essay prompt is as follows:

Northeastern is a nationally recognized leader in public interest law with a strong reputation for producing accomplished leaders in the field. Whether winning MacArthur Genius Fellowships, arguing critical cases before the United States Supreme Court, or running some of the nation's most powerful advocacy organizations, the success of our graduates in part reflects our social justice mission. What specific social justice issue are you most passionate about and how have your professional and/or personal experiences influenced your interests? Our Public Interest Law Scholarship program offers full-tuition scholarships to selected students, and all completed applications submitted by March 1 will be automatically considered for this program. Applications accepted after March 1 may be considered as time and space allow.

For more information on the selection process for the PILS Scholarship, and how to submit additional optional materials, check out the PILS webpage.

What are the conditions for renewing my merit-based tuition scholarship? Are there any GPA or class rank requirements?

Our merit-based tuition scholarships are guaranteed for three years; a student automatically keeps their merit-based tuition scholarship as long as they maintain status as a full-time student in good academic standing, and abide by university policies, including the University Code of Student Conduct and our academic policies and procedures. There are no GPA or class rank requirements. Northeastern University School of Law firmly believes that students work best, and learn best, in a cooperative and collaborative community environment. As such, we neither rank our students nor calculate a GPA for them.

My scholarship requires I remain in good academic standing. What does this mean?

As long as a student is enrolled and has not been dismissed for academic or disciplinary reasons, s/he is in good standing. However, no student may receive institutional aid (merit or need-based) for more than six academic terms. Should a student require additional academic semesters or quarters beyond the standard six terms necessary to complete the JD degree, institutional aid will not be available.

After I receive my scholarship offer, can I negotiate for additional assistance?

The School of Law reviews every application in detail, and merit-based scholarships are awarded to students based on their individual applications. It is our policy to be fully upfront with our merit scholarship offers. With such a deep and talented applicant pool, we are required to make some very difficult decisions about the limited merit aid we are able to award, and, unfortunately, not every admitted student receives a merit scholarship due to the competitive nature of our pool. We are therefore unable to provide additional merit scholarships after admission. All students are strongly encouraged to visit our Financial Aid webpage to learn more about need-based aid, loans and grants. Additionally, all admitted students are invited to make an appointment to speak with our Office of Financial Aid to discuss funding their legal education.

Are international students, applying as first year JD applicants, eligible for merit-based scholarships?

Yes, international students who apply as first year JD applicants are eligible for merit-based tuition scholarships. These scholarships can only be applied to tuition.

General Questions About NUSL

I heard that Northeastern doesn't have grades. How does the evaluation system at the law school work?

That's true. When the law school re-opened in the 1960s, the program was designed to replace the typical adversarial law school environment with a spirit of teamwork and collaboration. In order to do this successfully, student rankings and letter and number grades were replaced with written evaluations of students’ work in class and on co-op. This system:

  • Allows you to work with classmates without worrying that you are giving away the opportunity to be at the top of a grading curve.
  • Gives you a more thorough review of your work by professors, so you know where you are doing well and where you need to improve your performance.
  • Teaches you, before you go out on co-op and begin your career, how to work well on teams and get more out of your work because others depend on it.

Rather than a number or letter grade, you will receive a narrative evaluation from your professor for each class you take throughout your law school career as well as from your supervisor for each of your co-ops. Copies of all of these evaluations are included in your law school transcript. There are no class rankings or GPAs. Students may also receive Honors or High Honors designations for strong performance in academic courses.

What resources are available for students with immigration issues, including DACA policy updates?
Visit for information and resources regarding immigration issues. 

Does Northeastern offer a part-time or evening program?

No. The law school offers a full-time program only, with all first year JD students enrolling in the fall. This is necessary in order for all students to complete their required co-op positions.

I’m interested in working while I attend law school. Is that possible with the full-time program?

Due to the rigor of law school studies, especially in the first year, we strongly advise against working while attending school. Students frequently take on part-time employment after completing the first year.

What is a typical class size at Northeastern?

First-year class sections can range from 40-80 students for Property, Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice. For our first-year Legal Skills in Social Context program, students work in teams of 12-15 students. The size of our upper-level classes varies.

Does the law school offer any academic support programs?

Yes. The Academic Success Program is here to support you with workshops, teaching assistants, study groups and more, particularly as you are making the transition into law school during your first year.

What clinical programs does the law school offer?

Northeastern offers students the opportunity to engage in advocacy on behalf of individuals and community organizations often unacknowledged or underrepresented by the justice system. Together, our clinics, institutes and special programs reflect and fulfill a commitment to social and economic justice that distinguishes Northeastern as one of the nation's foremost public interest law schools. Students can participate with faculty and staff in the work of the following outstanding research and service centers. Visit the Clinics section of our website for more information about the different offerings.

What dual-degree programs does the law school offer?

Northeastern offers a number of dual-degree programs. Visit the Academics section of our website for details on each program offered. 

What is co-op and how does it work?

Northeastern's unique approach to training law students for a career in the legal profession is known as Cooperative Legal Education. This program ensures that you will graduate in three years with nearly a full year of practical legal experience gained through terms of full-time work ("co-ops"). You will complete a traditional first year of academic study. Then, during your second and third years, you will alternate between full-time classes and full-time legal work. The successful completion of cooperative work program is a graduation requirement for all Northeastern law students.

The co-op application process begins in the fall of your first year with an information session with the Center for Co-op and Career Development to introduce the co-op program. Students who will be going out on their first co-op in the summer will have subsequent trainings through the fall covering the co-op application process, policies and procedures, résumés, cover letters and other topics. Students who will be going out for their first co-op in the fall will participate in these same sessions the following spring.

Students receive a weekly newsletter from the Center for Co-op and Career Development listing all new co-op positions and will receive regular reminders for all deadlines for the quarters during which they will be going on co-op.Co-op advisors are available to meet with you to review résumés, cover letters, and other application materials; to help you choose the right co-ops to apply to; to discuss or practice for interviews; to help you weigh offers and choose how to respond; and to work with you on any other professional development goals.

Will it take longer to earn a JD because of the co-op program?

No. You will be able to complete Northeastern’s JD requirements in the same three years as your counterparts at other law schools. Not only will you complete your JD in three years, you’ll gain nearly a full year of legal work experience while you’re at it.

Will I get paid while I’m on co-op?

Students may be paid on co-op with salaries ranging from minimal compensation for public interest employers to approximately $3,000 per week for large private US law firms. Some students may be eligible for Federal Work Study; additionally, students may apply for stipends to support certain types of co-ops.

Can I travel outside of Boston for a co-op?

Absolutely! Students go on co-ops all over the country and around the world with the program’s more than 1,500 employers. The major co-op hubs outside of Boston are New York City, Washington DC, and San Francisco. The Center for Co-op and Career Development can assist you in setting up new co-ops throughout the world, provided that potential employers meet the program requirements. You will work with a co-op advisor who will guide you through the process of finding a co-op, taking into consideration your desired location and the type of work you wish to pursue.

Why is Northeastern considered a premier public interest law school?

Nationally recognized for its commitment to public interest law, Northeastern University School of Law is a dynamic institution for service as well as learning. Whether they are representing indigent clients, combating discrimination, working with survivors of domestic violence, advocating for equal access to health care or ensuring fair treatment for immigrants, Northeastern students, graduates, staff and faculty are on the front lines, making the world a more humane and compassionate place.

You’ll find that social justice is a theme in your law school courses and discussions throughout your career at Northeastern. As a first-year student, you’ll complete Northeastern’s year-long Legal Skills in Social Context program, where you’ll develop legal research, writing and advocacy skills and put those new skills to use in a social justice project on behalf of a real-world nonprofit or community-based organization. Furthermore, you’ll fulfill a public interest requirement before you graduate by going on a public interest co-op, participating in a law school clinic, completing uncompensated legal work in a public interest setting or on a pro bono project at a firm, or doing a public interest independent study. 

What support does Northeastern offer to students and alumni who work in the public interest sector?

Northeastern’s most generous and prestigious scholarship program is the full-tuition Public Interest Law Scholars (PILS) Program

A variety of endowed scholarships are also awarded annually to upper-level students; some of these scholarships have very specific eligibility criteria.

In addition, students undertaking public interest co-ops may also be eligible for co-op stipendsThe Cooperative Income Sharing Program (CISP) is a student-run and student-managed organization dedicated to increasing awareness of, and student participation in, public service. CISP provides approximately $24,000 annually to students accepting unfunded co-ops with public interest employers. Stipends have allowed students on co-op to represent immigrants seeking political asylum, tenants fighting to prevent eviction, women seeking shelter from domestic violence, children trying to obtain educational services, mothers seeking child support payments, inmates challenging overcrowded prison conditions and more.

Alumni who enter public service after graduation may be able to have student loans forgiven through Northeastern’s Loan Deferral and Forgiveness Program and/or through the federal College Cost Reduction and Access Act

Is the law school diverse?

Yes! Visit the Class Profile page of our website to see the makeup of our current 1L class. Northeastern seeks a student body with a broad set of interests, backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives. Our students represent various political ideologies as well as religious, cultural and social backgrounds, including a large number of LGBTQ+ students. 

Is the law school faculty accessible to students?

Absolutely! Most professors have open door policies, meaning that if they are in the building, students are free to come by to say hello, ask questions or get help with difficult course material. Professors also have designated office hours and are widely available via email. Finally, professors are very involved on the campus through student organizations, social events and other activities that allow students to get to know them on a personal and professional level.

Is on-campus housing available?

Yes. On-campus housing is available each year to a limited number of law students. The demand for these housing spots varies year to year, but it is a good idea to contact the Housing and Residential Life at 617.373.2814 early so you are in the best position to obtain on-campus housing for the coming year.

I do not currently live in the Boston area. How can I find an apartment off-campus?

Most students prefer to live in an apartment off-campus. There are many apartments available near the school, and even more apartments in surrounding areas close to public transportation. The most popular neighborhoods for students to live are Jamaica Plain (a 15-20 minute commute on the Orange Line or bus), Cambridge (especially Central Square - a short commute on the #1 Bus or Red/Orange Lines), and the Fenway area (a 10-15 minute walk). Northeastern is accessible via two lines of the MBTA subway system, the Orange Line and Green E-Line, as well as multiple bus lines. Students are encouraged to utilize the resources provided by Off Campus Student Services, which include access to apartment listings and information about the various neighborhoods near campus.

Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program Applicant Questions

Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program

What materials do I need to submit to apply for admission to the Foreign Trained Lawyer Program?

You must submit a completed application form, résumé, transcript and personal statement. You may also choose to provide a response to one of our optional essay topics. Once the law school receives your application, we will contact the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) in order to obtain copies of your transcript(s), letter(s) of recommendation and any other information you have sent to LSAC. Additionally, applicants whose foreign degree program was not taught in English need to submit a TOEFL score report directly to Northeastern University School of Law (institution code 3658). Alternately, Northeastern University School of Law will accept an official IELTS score report.

Do I need an LSAT score?

You are not required to submit an LSAT score if you hold a law degree from a non-US law school. If you have an LSAT score, it will appear on your CAS report and be considered as part of your application.

Do I need a TOEFL? 

If your foreign degree program was not taught in English, you will need to submit a TOEFL score report directly to Northeastern University School of Law (institution code 3658). Alternately, Northeastern University School of Law will accept an official IELTS score report.

When is the application deadline for the Foreign-Trained Lawyer Program?

Your application and supporting documents should be received by Admissions by March 1 of the year you would like to enter. The later you apply, the fewer seats will be available in our class. If you will require a visa to study in the United States, please submit your application before July 1 to ensure enough time to secure your visa.

How will my credits be evaluated for advanced standing?

Once you have been granted admission to the JD program, Academic and Student Affairs will review your transcript and evaluate you for advanced standing.

Are international students eligible for loans?

International students may apply for loans from private student loan lenders; however, these loans typically require a creditworthy co-signer who is a US citizen or permanent resident. US federal student loans are not available to international students.

Are international students applying as foreign-trained lawyers eligible for merit-based scholarships?

No, international students who apply under the Foreign-Trained Lawyer Program are not eligible for merit-based tuition scholarships. 

Once I am an advanced standing student, what will the length of my program be?

Students admitted with advanced standing typically complete the JD program in two years. Although situations may vary, students with advanced standing usually enter in late August with the incoming first year JD class and graduate in August two years later. 

Transfer Applicant Questions

Transfer Applicants

What materials do I need to submit to apply for admission as a transfer student?

To apply as a transfer student, submit an application, Dean's letter of good standing, résumé, transfer statement, and current CAS report that includes LSAT score(s), two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a law school faculty member, and all required transcripts. 

When is the application deadline for transfer applicants?

There are two transfer options available:

Early Transfer: March 1 Deadline
If accepted, early transfer students will begin upper-level coursework when the summer term commences at the end of May. 

Regular Transfer: July 1 Deadline* 
If accepted, regular transfer students will begin upper-level coursework in the fall term. 

*This is the priority deadline for transfer students. Applications received after July 1 will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

What does Northeastern University School of Law look for in a transfer applicant?

We will focus primarily on your performance in your first year of law school, but we will also consider your undergraduate work, LSAT score, outside activities and connection to the mission of Northeastern University School of Law. You should have enrolled in the following classes in your first year in order to be eligible for admission as a transfer student.

Civil Procedure
Constitutional Law
Criminal Justice/Criminal Law
Legal Writing

If you have not or will not complete these courses in your first year, please contact Academic and Student Affairs at or 617.373.5147.

I am attending a law school that is not ABA-accredited. Can I transfer to Northeastern?

Unfortunately not. In order to transfer to Northeastern, you must have completed your first year at another ABA-accredited law school.

How many transfer students enroll in a given year?

It varies from year to year; we typically enroll a small class of transfer students.

Assuming that I am accepted, will all of the credits from my first year at my current law school transfer?

Academic and Student Affairs determines which credits transfer on a case-by-case basis. First-year students at Northeastern take seven courses (Civil Procedure, Property, Torts, Criminal Justice, Constitutional Law, Contracts and Legal Skills in Social Context). Transfer students are not required to take Legal Skills in Social Context, but must complete a first-year legal writing course. If you have any questions as to which courses will transfer, please contact Academic and Student Affairs at or 617.373.5147.

Waitlisted Applicant Questions

Waitlisted Applicants

When are decisions made regarding waitlisted students?

The  waitlist is monitored throughout the summer. When we are able to extend offers to waitlisted students, they are usually done between early May and orientation, which occurs in late August.

How will I be contacted if I am selected off of the waitlist?

If and when we are able to extend an offer of admission to a waitlisted candidate, an admissions staff member contacts the student directly (via phone or email). Those who are admitted from the waitlist have a limited window of time to respond to an offer of admission.

Will I be eligible for scholarship funding?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer institutional scholarship grant money to students admitted from the waitlist. You may be eligible for modest need-based grants and you are encouraged to submit a FAFSA form. If you have any questions regarding financial aid, please contact Financial Aid.

If I'm selected from the waitlist, can I defer?

No, we do not allow students admitted from the waitlist to defer entrance to the law school. 

Is the waitlist ranked? 

No, we do not rank our waitlist. Should we activate the waitlist, we will give every file consideration. If you are interested in attending Northeastern, we encourage you to submit a letter of continued interest and keep us updated on your status throughout the summer.

I'm a waitlisted student, can I set up an interview to meet with an admissions representative?

Unfortunately, we do not interview or formally meet with applicants, but we have plenty of staff on hand to answer any questions you may have. We can be reached at 617.373.2395 or

Can I submit updated documentation?

Yes, you may submit additional materials to your application, including an updated resume, letter of continued interest, or any other relevant update to We ask that you refrain from submitting materials such as theses, works of art, creative writing, publications, reports, videography, music, or other similar materials.