How To Get Into

Penn Law School

Penn Program Overview

Consistently ranked as #7 of the top ten law schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (Penn Law) is in the heart of Philadelphia, in close proximity to the many other University of Pennsylvania graduate and undergraduate colleges. The overlap between Penn and the Wharton School is perhaps its most prominent feature: as many graduates of Penn Law pursue corporate and business law, engagement and opportunity with the business school is particularly attractive.

The school is also close to many other Philadelphia-based colleges and law schools including Villanova, Thomas Jefferson, Drexel and the Arts Institute of Philadelphia.

Culturally, attending school at Penn Law is a delight. Center City Philadelphia and Old City Philadelphia both offer coffee shops, restaurants and nightlife. As the nation’s first capital city, the city includes sights such as the Liberty Bell. Monthly “First Fridays” featuring wine and appetizers happen at Old City Philadelphia art galleries. The presence of many other colleges and graduate programs in the area ensures a lively networking community in the city.


Penn Law School

 Important Insights about Penn Law School

Stanford Law School

Penn Law features a wide range of opportunities for students interested in interdisciplinary studies. The school offers joint degree programs across academic areas: a joint JD-MBA program with the Wharton School; an MBE in Bioethics, which may be especially appealing for students interested in patent or intellectual property law; a JD-MA in International Studies; and a JD-PhD in Philosophy.

The school also has certificate programs for law students who may not seek a joint degree but who still want to have their coursework recognized. Certificate programs are available with the Wharton School, the Annenberg School of Communication, the Women’s Studies program in the School of Arts & Sciences, and the Center for Neuroscience and Society.

Clinical and Experiential Learning
Stanford Law School

Penn Law offers a clinic for every type of future advocate. The Legislative Clinic is devoted to legislative lawyering. The Supreme Court Clinic enables students to assist with Supreme Court cases, including writing briefs and actually attending oral arguments in Washington, D.C.. The Entrepreneurship Clinic offers free legal services to aspiring business owners; this program can cultivate relationships with co-founders who may be connected with the Wharton Business School.

The Toll Public Interest Center seeks to inspire public service across the school. The program facilitates pro bono opportunities for students, and also selects a few Toll Public Interest Scholars each year. The Toll program empowers students to organize the annual Toll Symposium, which brings academics and practitioners together to engage in topics related to poverty, social justice and the law. In addition, the school offers a special postgraduate fellowship for students interested in human rights. Current 3Ls and recent graduates are eligible.

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 Important Facts about Penn Law School

Class Profile



Class Size: 244

Average Age: 24

Average Work Experience: 72% out of college one or more years, 7% hold advanced degrees

Women: 48%

Students of color: 34%

Median LSAT: 169

Median GPA: 3.89

Career Placement

Bar Passage Rate (first-time test takers): 90.6%


  • Law Firms: 71.1%
  • Judicial Clerkships: 13%
  • Business & Industry: 8.3%
  • Government/Public Interest: 7.6%


  • New York: 40.3%
  • Pennsylvania: 15.8%
  • District of Columbia: 10.4%
  • U.S. Territories / Foreign: 2.3%

 Penn Law School Resources

Admissions Tips & Advice for Getting Accepted

Essay Prompts

Personal Statement

The Admissions Committee requires that every applicant submit an original example of written expression. The purpose of this personal statement is to provide you with as flexible an opportunity as possible 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 Law community and/or the legal profession. Please try to limit your statement to two pages, double-spaced, as a suggested length. In addition, mark as “Personal Statement” and include your name and LSAC account number on each page.

Optional Essays

If you wish, you may write an additional essay on any of the following topics. These optional essays allow you an opportunity to provide the admissions committee with additional relevant information that you were not able to include in your personal statement. Please include the essay with your application by electronically attaching it to your application before submission through LSAC. You may answer more than one essay topic if you so choose. Include your name and LSAC account number on each page.

Please limit any optional essay to one page, double-spaced and title it appropriately.

  • Describe how your background or experiences will enhance the diversity of the Penn Law community (e.g., based on your culture, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ideology, age, socioeconomic status, academic background, employment, or personal experience).
  • These are the core strengths that make Penn Law the best place to receive a rigorous and engaging legal education: genuine integration with associated disciplines; transformative, forward looking faculty scholarship; highly-regarded experiential learning through urban clinics and our pro bono pledge; innovative, hands-on global engagement; and a manifest commitment to professional development and collegiality. These qualities define Penn Law. What defines you? How do your goals and values match Penn Law’s core strengths?
  • Describe a time when, as a member of a team, you particularly excelled or were especially frustrated. What was your role within that team? What was the outcome?
  • If you do not think that your academic record or standardized test scores accurately reflect your ability to succeed in law school, please tell us why.

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