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Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions by prospective applicants. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions or concerns.  Also, check out some of our podcast episodes for more information on topics including LSAT preparation, the admissions process, and financial aid

1. When is the application deadline?
2. What is the application fee?
3. Who are eligible for scholarships?
4. What are the median LSAT and undergraduate grade point average for the entering class?
5. How does Widener Law Commonwealth consider multiple LSAT scores?
6. May I submit additional information with my application?
7. Are letters of recommendation required?
8. What should I include in response to the character & fitness questions on my application?
9. When will I receive a decision?
10. Will I have to pay a seat deposit if admitted?
11. Does Widener Law Commonwealth offer a part-time program?
12. Does Widener Law Commonwealth offer on-campus housing?
13. What is the Trial Admissions Program (TAP)?
14. Are there qualifications for admission to the bar aside from successful completion of a bar exam and is there anything I should do now in anticipation of being admitted to the bar in my preferred jurisdiction?
15. Are Clinical Programs offered at Widener Law Commonwealth?
16. Does Widener Law Commonwealth offer a Study Abroad Program?
17. Does Widener Law Commonwealth offer any Joint or Dual Degree Programs?
18. Is Widener Law Commonwealth accredited?


 

1. When is the application deadline?

The application for Fall 2021 will be available in October.  Applications are reviewed, and decisions are rendered, on a rolling basis; thus, admission offers for Fall 2021 will begin this fall (2020).  The dates have been set for admissions:

January 1,2021-Binding Early Decision Deadline

February 1, 2021-Early Action Deadline

May 1, 2021- Priority Admissions Deadline

June 30, 2021- Application Deadline

2. What is the application fee?

There is no application fee through May 1. An application fee of $60 may be required after May 1.

3. Who are eligible for scholarships?

All admitted applicants are considered for law school scholarships.  Scholarships are primarily awarded based on academic merit (LSAT scores and GPA) although a holistic review of the application is also considered. Admitted applicants who are awarded scholarships will be notified of their scholarships along with their offer of admission.

4. What are the median LSAT and undergraduate grade point average for the Fall 2019 entering class?

The Fall 2020 entering class median LSAT score is 148 and the median GPA is 3.13.

5. How does Widener Law Commonwealth consider multiple LSAT scores?

While we receive all valid LSAT scores, the Admission Committee will place a greater weight on the highest LSAT score for decision purposes. A score is considered valid for five years, and recent scores tend to carry more weight than dated scores.  If the variance between a high score and low score is more than five points, an addendum addressing the scores is helpful. The addendum should address: How did you prepare for the LSAT? What scores were you making on the diagnostic tests that you took in preparation for the actual test? How have you historically performed on other standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT? Did that standardized test, SAT or ACT, accurately predict how you did in undergraduate school?

6. May I submit additional information with my application?

Yes. In addition to the required personal statement and current resume, applicants may submit an addendum if you feel an aspect of your application, such as an unusually low GPA during a term(s) of undergraduate studies, requires additional explanation. A diversity statement may also be submitted. Diversity may be very broadly defined.

7. Are letters of recommendation required?

Yes, applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation. Applicants currently enrolled in an academic program should have at least one academic letter of recommendation (professor or academic advisor).  Letters from employers, clients, customers, or people who know you well are beneficial in reviewing a file.

8. What should I include in response to the character and fitness questions on my application?

Applicants must read the questions carefully and respond fully. Not disclosing the required information may lead to a formal charge of misconduct and dismissal from law school. Typically, not disclosing the incident is more serious than the incident that was omitted from the application. 

You should include all charges, arrests, and convictions for all felony and misdemeanor offenses, including juvenile offenses, as well as probation and parole terms. The question on the application ask for "anything other than a minor traffic violation." Examples of charges that should be included are underage possession, simple possession, open container, etc. You should also include any actions taken against you by licensing boards. When applying to the take the bar exam, the State Board of Bar Examiners will review original applications for admission to law school. If a discrepancy is found, even if it is unintentional, this may preclude you from sitting for the bar exam. If you are unsure about including a particular incident or record, you should contact your State Board of Bar Examiners for further clarification; however, it is always in your best interest to err on the side of full disclosure. 

9. When will I receive a decision?

Once a file is complete (see Application Requirements on the Apply web-page) most applicants may reasonably expect a decision within three to four weeks. Some applicant decisions may be delayed do to certain circumstances; applicants may track their application decision via our Status Check portal. Decisions for the summer Trial Admissions Program (TAP) are made in March and April.

10. Will I have to pay a seat deposit if admitted?

Widener Law Commonwealth requires two non-refundable $400 seat deposits. The first deposit is due on or about April 15 and the second deposit is due in mid-June. Applicants admitted after April 15 will be advised of their deposit deadlines at the time of acceptance. All seat deposits are credited toward tuition upon matriculation, but are non-refundable if you do not enroll in the Law School.

11. Does Widener Law Commonwealth offer a part-time program?

Yes. Widener Law Commonwealth offers a part-time (Extended Division) program. The part-time day or evening program offers flexible scheduling options to fit most student's schedule, and is designed to be completed in four years. Any student may opt to go to summer school which may result in early completion of the program.

12. Does Widener Law Commonwealth offer on-campus housing?

Widener Law Commonwealth does not offer on-campus housing. However, the Admissions Office maintains a list of convenient and affordable housing options within close proximity to campus. Accepted applicants who are looking for housing, or a roommate, are encouraged to view the apartment complex and landlord list and the roommate list, and to join the applicable class Facebook group. Feel free to contact the Admissions Office at [email protected] with any questions.

If you are a landlord or seeking a roommate, please complete our housing list submission form to request your posting be added to the Law School’s housing spreadsheet.

13. What is the Trial Admissions Program (TAP)?

The Trial Admission Program (TAP) is designed to help identify those applicants who did not excel in one or both of the principal standardized measures of success in law school, the LSAT and the undergraduate GPA. The Admissions Committee considers many factors in making decisions regarding who to admit, often times there are other factors to be considered beyond the two numbers. Selected applicants will be invited to participate in TAP, a candidate does not apply for the program. TAP is held during the summer as an opportunity for participants to demonstrate their ability to succeed in legal studies. While classes do not count toward a degree, successful completion of the program will result in an offer of admission to the law school.  To be considered for TAP, a completed application must be received by May 1. 

14. Are there qualifications for admission to the bar aside from successful completion of a bar exam, and is there anything I should do now in anticipation of being admitted to the bar in my preferred jurisdiction?

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. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

15. Are Clinical Programs Offered at Widener Law Commonwealth?

Widener Law Commonwealth houses the Central Pennsylvania Law Clinics, offering free legal assistance to approved clients. Currently, the clinics serve in the areas of Administrative Law, Consumer Law, Elder Law, and Family Justice. Students may also get clinical experience through numerous judicial and governmental internships.

16. Does Widener Law Commonwealth Offer a Study Abroad Program?

Students enrolled in Widener Law Commonwealth may take advantage of summer study abroad opportunities. The law school offers a program in Madrid, Spain. The program is offered in cooperation with the University of New Mexico School of Law. With appropriate approval, students may participate in the study abroad program at other ABA approved law schools.

17. Does Widener Law Commonwealth Offer Any Joint or Dual Degree Programs?

Widener Law Commonwealth offers joint degrees in Masters of Library Science (MSLS) and an online Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Students interested in a joint degree must meet the standards of admission for the law school and for the other program.

18. Is Widener Law Commonwealth accredited?

Widener Law Commonwealth is fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). The ABA can be reached at 321 N. Clark Street, 21st floor, Chicago, IL 60610, (312) 988-6738. The AALS can be reached at 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., (202) 296-8851.

Contact Information

Admissions Office 
3737 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717.541.3903
Fax: 717.541.3999
Email: [email protected] 



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