Stanford Law School Acceptance Rate: What You Need to Know

Stanford Law School is known for being one of the most prestigious law schools in the United States. With an acceptance rate of just 6.88%, getting admitted to Stanford Law is exceptionally competitive. Prospective students need to demonstrate outstanding academic achievements and a strong passion for law.


Prospective students often aim for an LSAT score around 173 and a GPA of 3.95 to be competitive. The school also looks for individuals who can contribute to its community through innovation, collaboration, and a drive to make a difference in the legal field. Stanford Law School’s selective admissions process ensures that only the most exceptional candidates are accepted.

By understanding what it takes to be a part of Stanford Law, candidates can better prepare their applications and increase their chances of admission. This article will explore key aspects of applying to Stanford Law School and what applicants need to know to enhance their prospects.

Key Takeaways

  • Stanford Law School’s acceptance rate is 6.88%.
  • High LSAT scores and GPAs are crucial for admission.
  • The school values innovation, collaboration, and impact.

Understanding the Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at Stanford Law School is extremely competitive, reflecting the high standards and rigorous selection process. Key factors include LSAT scores, GPA, and applicant diversity.

Factors Influencing Acceptance

Several elements play a crucial role in acceptance:

LSAT Scores:
Stanford Law School values high LSAT scores. Data shows that the median LSAT score for recent classes is around 173. This demonstrates the need for excellent standardized test performance to stand out.

A strong undergraduate GPA significantly impacts acceptance chances. For instance, the most recently admitted class had an average GPA of 3.92. Achieving high academic marks in undergraduate studies is essential.

Diversity and Experience:
Diverse backgrounds and unique experiences are important. Stanford seeks varied profiles: applicants with different cultural, professional, and educational backgrounds to enrich the learning environment. Personal statements, letters of recommendation, and resumes help highlight these aspects during the application process.

Understanding these factors can help guide prospective applicants toward strengthening their applications.

Admissions Process


Stanford Law School’s admissions process is comprehensive, evaluating various components of an applicant’s profile to ensure a diverse and capable student body. Candidates must carefully prepare and submit several key documents and meet specific timelines to be considered.

Application Requirements

Applicants need to submit their materials through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). The essential documents include a Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report, containing undergraduate transcripts and other required information.

Other components include:

  • Letters of Recommendation: Two to three, ideally from professors or employers who know the candidate well.
  • Personal Statement: An essay that provides insight into the applicant’s motivations and character.
  • Short Essays: These may cover specific topics provided by Stanford.
  • Application Fee: A non-refundable fee that needs to be paid upon submission.

Evaluating Credentials

Stanford assesses the academic and personal credentials of each applicant to ensure they align with the school’s high standards. The CAS report is crucial as it provides a standardized way to compare applicants.

Key factors include:

  • GPA and LSAT Scores: High academic achievements and LSAT scores (typically above the 75th percentile).
  • Work Experience: Relevant professional experience can add significant value to an application.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Leadership roles and community service are highly regarded.
  • Personal Character: Letters and essays should reflect an applicant’s integrity and commitment to law.

Decision Timeline

The decision process is structured and adheres to specific timeframes. The application opens in mid-September and must be completed by early December.

Important dates for applicants:

  • September 15: Application availability.
  • December 1: Application deadline, encompassing all required materials.
  • March-April: Final decisions are generally communicated by this time.

Candidates are encouraged to apply early to ensure all materials are reviewed comprehensively. Successful applicants will reflect high academic prowess, strong recommendations, and compelling personal statements. For more details, refer to the JD Application Process at Stanford Law School.

Academic Criteria


Stanford Law School has specific academic criteria for admissions, focusing mainly on LSAT scores and GPA. High performance in these areas is crucial for prospective students.

LSAT Scores and Percentiles

Stanford Law School looks at LSAT scores closely when making admissions decisions. The median LSAT score for admitted students is 173.

The LSAT percentiles for admitted students are as follows:

  • 75th Percentile: 175
  • 50th Percentile: 173
  • 25th Percentile: 171

These scores highlight the competitive nature of the admissions process. Strong LSAT scores are necessary, with the majority of accepted students scoring in the upper percentiles. The LSAT is a key factor in evaluating a candidate’s readiness for the rigorous demands of law school.

GPA Requirements

In addition to LSAT scores, GPA is another critical element in Stanford’s admissions process. Potential students are expected to have strong undergraduate GPAs.

The GPA percentiles for Stanford Law School are:

  • 75th Percentile: 3.99
  • 50th Percentile: 3.93
  • 25th Percentile: 3.83

Maintaining a high GPA is essential. Students within the accepted range have demonstrated academic excellence throughout their undergraduate studies. This consistent academic performance shows an ability to succeed in a challenging law school environment.

By focusing on both LSAT scores and GPA, Stanford Law School ensures that admitted students are well-prepared and capable of thriving in its demanding program.

Programs and Curriculum


Stanford Law School offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes various programs and specialized areas to tailor legal education to each student’s interests. The school emphasizes both foundational courses and opportunities for joint degrees and advanced studies.

Juris Doctor Overview

The Juris Doctor (JD) program at Stanford Law School is the core offering, designed to provide a robust foundation in law. Students begin with basic courses such as Contracts, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Property.

The program includes both mandatory first-year courses and a broad range of electives in later years. The small student-to-faculty ratio of 4.4:1 ensures personalized attention and a supportive learning environment. Hands-on learning is also emphasized through clinics, policy labs, and externships.

Joint Degree Offerings

Stanford Law School offers several joint degree programs, allowing students to combine their JD with other graduate degrees. These include JD/MBA, JD/MPA, and JD/PhD programs.

Students can integrate courses from Stanford’s other renowned schools, such as Business, Medicine, and Engineering. This multidisciplinary approach not only broadens knowledge but also enhances career opportunities in diverse fields such as business, public administration, or academia. These programs are designed to be completed in a shorter time compared to pursuing the degrees separately.

Advanced Degrees

Beyond the JD, Stanford offers advanced legal degrees such as the Master of Laws (LLM) and the Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD). The LLM program includes specializations in Corporate Governance and Practice, Environmental Law and Policy, and International Economic Law.

The JSD is aimed at those pursuing academic or high-level legal research careers. These programs attract students from around the world, fostering a diverse and intellectually stimulating environment. The advanced degrees are tailored to deepen expertise and facilitate professional growth in specialized legal areas.

Specialized Legal Areas

Stanford Law School provides focused study tracks in various specialized legal areas. Key areas include Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, and International Law.

Environmental Law covers issues like climate change, water policy, and energy regulation. Intellectual Property Law addresses patents, copyrights, and trademarks, while International Law explores global legal systems and human rights.

These tracks offer targeted courses, seminars, and practical experiences. Students can engage in research centers and clinics dedicated to these fields, enhancing their knowledge and practical skills further.

Stanford Law Community

Stanford Law School boasts a close-knit community known for its collegial atmosphere and support among students, faculty, and staff. Key aspects of this community include dedicated faculty and a rich diversity among students.

Faculty and Mentorship

Stanford Law School’s faculty is renowned for their expertise and commitment to student mentorship. Faculty members often engage with students beyond the classroom, providing guidance in both academic and career matters.

Professors are not only accomplished scholars but also accessible mentors. They frequently invite students to participate in research projects and offer personalized advice during office hours. This close interaction helps students develop their skills and networks, which is crucial for their future careers.

Moreover, faculty members come from diverse backgrounds and have a wide range of specializations, ensuring that students can find mentors in virtually any area of law. The school’s innovative approach to education encourages interdisciplinary collaboration, further enhancing the student experience.

Student Diversity

The student body at Stanford Law School is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and background. This diversity enriches classroom discussions and fosters a more inclusive environment.

Approximately 47.32% of admitted students accepted their offers, indicating a strong yield and a community that values the unique perspectives each student brings. The school admits students with varied undergraduate degrees and career paths, creating a rich tapestry of experiences.

Furthermore, there are numerous student organizations that support students of color and other underrepresented groups. These organizations provide forums for networking, advocacy, and social activities, helping to build a supportive community that respects and celebrates diversity.

In sum, Stanford’s commitment to community-building and diversity plays a significant role in shaping a vibrant and supportive environment for its students.

Career Prospects


Graduates of Stanford Law School have strong career prospects, with many securing prestigious positions in various fields like private practice, government, and public service. The school also offers extensive resources to support career development.

Employment Outcomes

Stanford Law School graduates enjoy an impressive employment rate. Many secure jobs at top law firms, while others pursue clerkships with federal judges. Around 47.32% of admitted students end up attending the school, which highlights its competitiveness and the high regard employers have for its graduates. Public service remains a popular choice, with many opting to work in non-profits or government agencies.

The school reports a high placement rate within ten months of graduation, underscoring its role in preparing students for successful legal careers. Private sector roles, whether in large law firms or boutique practices, are common. Public interest roles, such as working in non-profits and public defenders’ offices, are also well-represented among graduates.

Career Support Services

Stanford Law School provides extensive career support services to its students. The Office of Career Services (OCS) offers one-on-one counseling, resume reviews, and mock interviews. They also organize job fairs and networking events to connect students with potential employers.

The Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law supports students looking to enter public service careers. It provides fellowships, funding for unpaid internships, and guidance on public interest careers. Clinics also play a significant role, offering hands-on experience that is invaluable in job preparation. The school also facilitates clerkship applications, helping students secure coveted positions with judges. With these resources, students are well-equipped to navigate the job market successfully.

Financial Considerations


Stanford Law School presents various financial aspects to consider such as tuition and fees along with numerous financial aid opportunities. Understanding these can help prospective students plan better for their education journey.

Tuition and Fees

Stanford Law School’s tuition for the 2023-2024 academic year is approximately $70,000. In addition to tuition, students also need to budget for mandatory fees which can total around $1,000 per year.

Living expenses like housing, food, and transportation are crucial components of the cost of attendance. On-campus housing typically ranges from $20,000 to $30,000 annually depending on accommodation type. Students should also consider budgeting for books, which can cost around $1,500 per year.

Financial Aid Opportunities

To make law school more accessible, Stanford Law offers robust financial aid opportunities. About 75-80% of the student body receives some form of financial aid, with average fellowship awards ranging from $25,000 to $28,000 annually.

Students may also apply for federal loans with a fixed interest rate, such as the Federal Direct Stafford Loan with a rate around 6.54%. Further, the Federal Direct PLUS Loan can cover the remaining cost of attendance beyond what is covered by other financial aid.

For detailed planning, prospective students are encouraged to consult the Financial Aid Handbook which outlines all available options and eligibility criteria.

Comparative Analysis


Stanford Law School’s acceptance rate and ranking make it highly competitive. This analysis will focus on how Stanford compares to its peers and how its acceptance rate has changed over the years.

Peers and Rankings

Stanford Law School is among the top law schools in the United States, competing closely with Harvard Law School and Yale Law School. Stanford has an extremely low acceptance rate of 7.26%.

Harvard and Yale also maintain low acceptance rates, around 6-7%. Their median LSAT scores are similarly high, with Stanford’s median at 173, Harvard’s at 173, and Yale’s at 174. The competition is fierce, and each school draws top-tier applicants.

Yale often ranks slightly higher in overall legal education. Stanford and Harvard, however, offer unique strengths, such as Stanford’s strong technology law focus and Harvard’s extensive alumni network.

Historical Trends

Stanford Law School’s acceptance rate has remained consistently low over the years. In the 2023-2024 academic year, the acceptance rate was 7.26%, with 4,863 applicants and 353 accepted students. This reflects a slight increase in competition compared to previous years.

From 2016 to 2024, tuition at Stanford increased from $55,061 to $73,713, reflecting a nearly 60% rise. Despite higher costs, the number of applicants continues to grow, driven by Stanford’s reputation and ranking.

Over the past decade, trends show a gradual drop in acceptance rates among top law schools, including Stanford, reinforcing the increasing selectivity in legal education. This trend underscores the need for applicants to maintain high academic achievements to gain entry.

Applying to Stanford Law School

Students applying to Stanford Law School need to focus on several key areas: preparing their application materials, crafting a compelling personal statement, and ensuring all application elements are complete and submitted on time.

Preparing Your Application

Before applying, gather all necessary materials. A strong resume highlighting academic and professional achievements is crucial. The admissions team looks for high LSAT scores and exceptional GPAs. Stanford Law School’s admissions statistics reveal a median LSAT of 173 and high GPAs among admitted students.

Moreover, applicants should focus on presenting diverse experiences. Highlighting roles in community service, leadership positions, or unique personal accomplishments can make the application stand out. Applicants should also be aware of the various components required, such as the main application, Stanford Law Essays, a diversity essay if applicable, and recommendations.

Writing a Compelling Personal Statement

The personal statement is a critical part of the application. It allows the admissions committee to see beyond scores. Applicants should aim to tell a story that explains why they want to study law and why specifically at Stanford.

Showing personal growth, experiences, and aspirations can make the statement compelling. Applicants should avoid cliched statements and focus on sincerity and clarity. Details about significant life events, professional experiences, or unique perspective can enrich the narrative. Remember to proofread to ensure it is free of errors and clearly written.

Completing the Application

Completing the application involves several steps. Ensure all forms are filled accurately and completely. This includes the Application for Admission, which should be reviewed carefully before submission. Each section of the application must be filled with precise and honest information.

Meeting deadlines is crucial. For Stanford Law, it’s important to mark key dates on your calendar, such as submission deadlines and other milestone dates. Applicants should also request letters of recommendation from people who can provide insightful and positive perspectives about their abilities and character. Finally, a thorough review of the entire application package before submission can prevent errors and omissions.

Innovations and Initiatives


Stanford Law School is recognized for its forward-thinking approach to legal education, emphasizing practical experience and interdisciplinary studies.

Clinics and Centers

Stanford Law School offers various clinics and centers that provide hands-on legal experience. One of the notable centers is the Center for Internet and Society, which focuses on the intersection of law and technology. Clinics such as the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic offer students the chance to work on real cases before the Supreme Court. These programs allow students to gain practical skills and insights, preparing them for diverse legal careers.

Law Reviews and Publications

Students at Stanford Law contribute to numerous respected legal journals. The Stanford Law Review is one of the most prestigious, publishing scholarly articles on various legal issues. Another important publication is the Stanford Journal of International Law, which addresses global legal affairs. These publications provide students with opportunities to engage in advanced legal research and writing, enhancing their academic experience.

Notable Programs

Stanford Law School offers several innovative programs designed to expand students’ horizons. Programs like the Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology explore the relationship between legal and scientific advancements. There’s also a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, with options to take courses in other departments at Stanford. These programs help nurture well-rounded legal professionals equipped to handle complex legal challenges in various fields.

Alumni and Legacy


Stanford Law School boasts an impressive roster of alumni and a significant number of legacy students. These graduates and legacy connections often play impactful roles in both the legal field and the broader community.

Prominent Graduates

Stanford Law School has produced many notable alumni. William Rehnquist, who later became Chief Justice of the United States, is one of the most distinguished graduates. His legal opinions have shaped American jurisprudence.

Another prominent alumnus is Jeffrey L. Fisher, a law professor at Stanford who has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court. His work focuses on criminal procedure and constitutional law.

Michael W. McConnell, also an alumnus, is known for his expertise in constitutional law and served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. His academic contributions continue to influence legal scholarship.

Community Impact

Stanford Law alumni have made significant contributions to their communities. They work in diverse fields and often take on leadership roles. Through their initiatives, they enhance access to legal services and support various social justice causes.

For example, the Stanford Law School Promise program allows alumni to work in public service sectors while managing their student loans, broadening the scope of legal assistance available in underserved areas.

Furthermore, the school’s strong network of legacy students provides a valuable support system. Legacy connections foster mentorship opportunities and maintain a sense of tradition and continuity within the legal community. The impact of these efforts extends beyond the campus, influencing global legal practices and policies.

Frequently Asked Questions


Stanford Law School is highly competitive, with specific GPA and LSAT requirements affecting acceptance rates. Understanding what makes an application stand out and how Stanford compares to other top law schools is crucial.

What are the GPA requirements for admission to Stanford Law School?

Stanford Law School looks for a high undergraduate GPA. Most accepted students have a median GPA near 3.9. This strong academic background is vital for increasing admission chances.

How does the LSAT score impact acceptance rates at Stanford Law School?

LSAT scores are critical for admission. The median LSAT score for admitted students is about 173. Higher LSAT scores significantly boost the likelihood of acceptance.

What are the defining factors that influence admission into Stanford Law School?

Key factors include a strong GPA, high LSAT scores, and compelling personal statements. Extracurricular activities and professional experience also play a role in making an application stand out.

How does Stanford Law School’s acceptance rate compare to other top law schools?

Stanford Law School has an acceptance rate of about 6.88%. This positions it as one of the most selective law schools, similar to Yale and Harvard.

What is the typical profile of a student accepted to Stanford Law School?

Accepted students often have a GPA near 3.9 and LSAT scores around 171-175. They usually demonstrate excellence in academics, leadership, and public service.

How do graduation outcomes relate to the acceptance rates at Stanford Law School?

Graduates from Stanford Law School generally achieve high employment rates and prestigious clerkships. This strong track record makes the school’s rigorous acceptance process more understandable.

Helpful Resources

Navigating the scholarship landscape can often be overwhelming, but there's no need to go through it alone. Scholarship Owl offers a supportive platform that can help simplify your search by matching you with scholarships suited to your unique situation. By consolidating numerous scholarship opportunities into one place, it provides a significant time-saving benefit, allowing you to focus more on your studies and less on the search. If you're looking to streamline the scholarship application process, Scholarship Owl may be a valuable tool in your educational journey.


Leave a Comment