J.D./M.S.W. - Admissions

Scholars 2012

A separate application must be submitted to both the law school and the school of social work. Please indicate to both schools, at the time you apply, that you are seeking admission as a dual-degree candidate. Applicants can apply to both schools concurrently, or wait until their first year in either program to apply to the other school. Applicants who apply to both schools concurrently will defer enrollment to one school upon acceptance into both programs.

The same admissions deadlines and requirements apply as if students were applying to only one program.

The Law School's Admissions Office can be reached by email at applylaw@wustl.edu, or by calling the Admissions Office at (314) 935-4525. The School of Law will grant all current Washington University graduate students who wish to pursue a dual degree an application fee waiver.

The Brown School’s Admissions Office can be reached by email at brownadmissions@wustl.edu, or by calling the Admission’s Office at (314) 935-6676. The application fee for the Brown School is $60, or $40 if you apply online.

Which School First?
Which school you start at comes down to a personal choice; you are free to start at either. Some students choose to start at the school of social work for social reasons: since you will not graduate with the people you start social work with (they will be finished in two years), if you begin law your second year, you will graduate with the people you start law school with. This is a purely social consideration, but is very real in terms of your support network.

That said, the majority of students in the J.D./M.S.W. program start in law. Currently, 9 of the 12 students enrolled in the program started at the law school. Although you will not graduate with your entering class if you start in law, you will feel well prepared to take on the social work class load your second year. The change of pace when you go to Brown your second year is refreshing and lets you break up the flow of law classes, which will dominate your schedule the rest of your time in the program.

Applying to Law as a 1st Year MSW Student
In addition to paying attention to the regular admissions deadlines and requirements, current MSW students need to be strategic in managing their time to prepare for their law school application because of their busy graduate student schedules.

The law school requires applicants to take the LSAT. The LSAT is offered four times a year: February, June, October, and December. If you have not already taken the LSAT previously, you will need to take the October, December, or February LSAT during your first year of social work. The February LSAT is the last opportunity to take the exam in order to be admitted to the law school for the following fall semester. If at all possible, however, taking the October or December LSAT may be preferable, despite the overlap with your class schedule (and papers and final exams taking place in December), because if you do not achieve as high a score as you were expecting, you will have an opportunity to re-take the LSAT in February.

Applying to the Brown School as a 1L in the Law School
The Brown School does not require you to take the GRE or other graduate level test, so there is no need to worry about taking an exam during your busy 1L year.

Among the standard application requirements is the requirement of submitting three letters of recommendation. As a current law student, you may consider asking a law professor to write a letter of recommendation for you. If you do, consider asking your Legal Practice I professor because s/he will be more likely than your other professors to speak to your performance (because of the ongoing and non-anonymous assignments you will complete throughout your first semester).