A handful of law schools still require a “Dean’s Certification” or “Dean’s Letter” as part of the application process. This is a letter from the undergraduate institution that details the applicant’s disciplinary record (if any) and, in some cases, confirms the applicant’s grade point average and class rank (if available). Some schools require them of all applicants; others require them only of those applicants who attest on their application that they were disciplined by their undergraduate institutions; and still others require them only of admitted students.
The Pre-Law Advising Office processes most Dean’s Letters for applicants to law schools. (The Dean of Students Office also processes some.)
In order to process your request, we require the following:
- a completed and signed Dean’s Letter Request (PDF), which includes a signed authorization allowing the Pre-Law Advising Office access to your transcript and disciplinary record; and
- an original Dean’s Certification form from each law school that requires one (usually available in the “Supplemental Forms” section of the CAS online applications). Note: an increasing number of schools do not provide a form but require a letter all the same. For these schools, include the address to which the letter should be sent.
The Dean’s Letter is NOT completed online and does NOT go through LSAC. It may very well be the only part of your application that must be completed on paper and that is sent directly to law schools.
You must allow three weeks for processing of your request.
Because we must request information from other departments of the University, your letter takes some time to complete. Do NOT put this off. The Pre-Law Advising Office has little control over the speed of the process and cannot hurry along your request just because your application deadline is approaching.
Please print ALL pages, fill them out, and return them to the Pre-Law Advising Office. (You can mail them, fax them to 413-545-3460, or scan and email them.)
Note about disciplinary records: The main purpose of Dean’s Letters is to report on your disciplinary record, both regarding conduct and academics. Many students do not realize they have disciplinary records, especially when the record consists of something minor, like a noise or bathroom policy violation that resulted in a warning. For this reason, the Pre-Law Advising office always notifies applicants by email with the details of their record if one exists. Please see the page on Disciplinary and Criminal Records for more information on how law schools take these into consideration.