Harvard Law School Acceptance Rate | Strategies and Insights for Admission Success 2024

Harvard Law School stands as one of the premier law programs globally, sharing the #5 spot with Duke University and New York University according to the esteemed U.S. News & World Report. Evidently, gaining admission to this esteemed institution is a formidable challenge. The median Harvard Law LSAT score, a crucial component of the admissions process, stands at an impressive 174 out of 180. Reflecting the program’s selectivity, the Harvard Law acceptance rate is a mere 10.1%. In the 2022 admissions cycle, the school received 8,170 applications, extending acceptance to 822 students. While Elle Woods’ memorable video essay may have secured her fictional spot, we strongly recommend a more comprehensive approach to navigate the intricacies of the admissions process. Continue reading for insights into LSAT scores, GPA expectations, and essential details for aspiring Harvard Law students.

Harvard Law School: An Overview of Excellence in Legal Education

Harvard Law School stands as a pinnacle of legal education in the United States, offering a comprehensive curriculum with over 500 courses and seminars, 47 clinics, and 88 student organizations. Situated in the vibrant Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this esteemed institution operates with a mission to advance the cause of justice globally through excellence and leadership in legal education and scholarship. Boasting a distinguished alumni list that includes U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, and influential government figures, Harvard Law School has secured its place among the top law programs in the world.

Here’s a glimpse into the essentials:

Campus and Location: Nestled in the renowned Harvard Square, Harvard Law School’s campus is an integral part of Harvard University. The location not only enhances the academic environment but also provides students with a rich and vibrant student hub. While the program comes with an annual tuition of $71,734, it acknowledges the financial commitment and offers a Low-Income Protection Plan to assist students in managing loans.

Clinical Education and Pro Bono Work: Harvard Law School takes pride in its extensive legal clinics, among the largest in any law school globally. Students actively engage in real-world legal scenarios, dedicating at least 40 hours to pro bono or volunteer work before graduation. This emphasis on practical experience from the outset distinguishes HLS, with cases ranging from deciphering copyright laws for musicians to representing prison inmates in disciplinary hearings.

Global Opportunities: With a commitment to early skills application, Harvard Law School allows students to work on cases starting from their first year. The program also provides avenues for international exposure, offering study abroad options and a joint program with the University of Cambridge in the UK. This global perspective enhances the learning experience, contributing to a well-rounded legal education.

Areas of Focus: Harvard Law School covers an extensive array of legal areas, reflecting the diverse interests and aspirations of its students. Notable areas include Business/Corporate Law, Constitutional Law, Dispute Resolution, Criminal Law, Contracts/Commercial Law, International Law, Health Care Law, and Environmental Law. The program’s flexibility and breadth enable students to tailor their education to align with their specific career goals.

In essence, Harvard Law School is more than an educational institution; it is a dynamic community where legal scholars and practitioners converge to shape the future of justice. Its commitment to excellence, global perspectives, and practical learning sets the stage for students to embark on impactful legal careers.

What are The Admissions Requirements at Harvard Law School?

Starting on the journey to secure a coveted spot at Harvard Law School demands meticulous preparation and a deep understanding of the admissions process. To navigate this path successfully, delve into the wealth of information available on the Harvard Law School J.D. admissions website. Here are the main components that constitute the HLS admissions process:

1. Resume: Craft a concise and impactful resume, limiting it to 1-2 pages. The Harvard Admissions website provides examples to guide you in presenting your achievements effectively.

2. Transcripts: Submit all undergraduate and graduate transcripts to date, offering a comprehensive overview of your academic journey.

3. LSAT/GRE Scores: Harvard Law School accepts both LSAT and GRE scores. However, if you’re applying to other law schools, prioritizing the LSAT could be advantageous.

4. Recommendation Letters: Present 2-3 letters of recommendation, with at least one being academic. Highlight your ability to thrive in a rigorous academic environment. If obtaining an academic reference is challenging due to time away from school, professional references can comment on skills applicable in an academic context.

5. Written Statements: Prepare a Statement of Purpose, detailing what motivates your pursuit of law, and a Statement of Perspective, outlining how your experiences, background, and interests shape you and your engagement with the HLS community. Adhere to formatting instructions, invest time in multiple drafts, and use these essays to add depth to your application, revealing aspects not evident in your resume.

6. Interview: Selected candidates may be invited for a 15-minute Zoom interview with a member of the admissions committee. Invitations begin in early November, continuing throughout the application period. Interviewers are randomly assigned based on applicants’ chosen time slots. To prepare, contemplate key questions in advance: 1) why you?; 2) why Harvard Law School?; and 3) why now? Thorough preparation and thoughtful responses will contribute to a successful interview.

Navigating the Harvard Law School admissions process requires diligence, attention to detail, and a strategic approach. Utilize the resources provided by the HLS admissions website, and embark on your application journey with a clear understanding of the components that will shape your admission to this prestigious institution.

What are The LSAT and GRE Scores for Harvard Law School?

A pivotal aspect of the law school application process, especially for esteemed institutions like Harvard, involves mastering the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Securing admission to any of the T14 Law Schools, including Harvard, is significantly enhanced with an LSAT score exceeding 170 (out of 180). Harvard Law School, in particular, has a median LSAT score of 174 for incoming students. The lower 25th percentile stands at 170, while the upper 75th percentile reaches 176. Hitting a score within this range is advisable for maximizing your chances of acceptance.

How does LSAT scoring work?

Understanding LSAT scoring is crucial for aspirants aiming to secure admission to top-tier law schools such as Harvard. Here’s a breakdown of how LSAT scoring works:

  1. Raw Score Calculation: The LSAT comprises four sections, and your raw score is determined by the number of questions answered correctly across these sections.
  2. Scaled Scores: LSAT graders establish scaled scores based on the raw scores of all test-takers. This conversion results in scaled scores ranging from 120 to 180. The difficulty of questions in a particular year influences this calibration.
  3. Percentile Ranking: Your scaled score is then translated into a percentile score, representing how many test-takers scored lower than you, averaged over several years. For instance, scoring in the 90th percentile indicates that 90% of LSAT test-takers scored lower than you over the past three years.
  4. Harvard Law School Benchmark: Harvard Law School typically admits students who score exceptionally high, often in the 99th percentile. Achieving this percentile means outperforming 99% of other LSAT test-takers over the past three years. Aspiring Harvard Law students should aim for this elite level of performance to enhance their chances of acceptance.

In essence, LSAT scoring is not just about correctness; it’s about your performance relative to other test-takers. Mastering the LSAT requires strategic preparation to excel in both raw and scaled scores, ultimately positioning yourself in the upper echelons of percentile rankings sought by elite law schools like Harvard.How does LSAT scoring work?

Can I submit my GRE score instead LSAT?

In a move reflecting a more inclusive approach to admissions, Harvard Law School accepts GRE scores alongside traditional LSAT scores. For the class of 2026, applicants using GRE as their standardized test achieved the following median scores:

  • GRE Verbal: 167 (out of 170)
  • GRE Quantitative: 165 (out of 170)
  • GRE Writing: 5.5 (out of 6)

What is The GPA Requirements at Harvard Law School?

In the intricate landscape of Harvard Law School admissions, a high undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) is a pivotal factor. The median GPA for admitted students stands impressively at 3.92. Here’s a breakdown to guide aspiring applicants:

  • Lower 25th Percentile: 3.82
  • Upper 75th Percentile: 3.99

For those embarking on their undergraduate journey, maintaining stellar grades across all coursework is imperative. While a high GPA is a prerequisite, the versatility of successful law school students shines through diverse majors. Contrary to popular belief, a pre-law or political science major is not a prerequisite. Harvard Law School embraces candidates from a spectrum of backgrounds, including Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM majors. Thus, the key lies not only in the GPA but in the richness and diversity of academic experiences you bring to the table.


Securing admission to Harvard Law School is undoubtedly a formidable challenge, requiring a stellar combination of an exceptional LSAT score, high undergraduate GPA, impactful extracurriculars, and a compelling written application. While these elements form a potent recipe for success, the stark reality remains—the exceedingly low admissions rate at Harvard Law School may pose a formidable hurdle.

In the face of such fierce competition, it’s crucial to recognize that even with an outstanding profile, acceptance is not guaranteed. The sheer selectivity of Harvard Law School means that many exceptional candidates may not secure a spot. If you find yourself in this position, it’s essential not to be too hard on yourself.

The legal field boasts numerous outstanding law schools, both within and beyond the esteemed T14 Law Schools list, each offering a pathway to success in the legal profession. Exploring alternative institutions with strong programs and supportive environments can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding legal education.

Embrace the journey, acknowledge the diversity of opportunities available, and remember that excellence in the legal field can be achieved through various avenues. The pursuit of legal education is a personal and transformative journey, and the right fit for your ambitions may lie beyond the ivy-covered walls of Harvard Law School. Explore, aspire, and find the institution that aligns seamlessly with your goals and aspirations in the legal realm.