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Dean's Letters or Certification Forms

What are Dean's Certification Forms and Dean's Letters?

  • Some law schools require submission of a Dean’s Certification which asks college(s) whether a law school applicant has been subject to disciplinary action or academic probation.
  • Most law schools (with the exception of Stanford, UConn, and a few others)  do not require a Dean's Certification form as part of the application package unless there has been prior disciplinary action or academic probation.  It is common for law schools to request Dean Certification forms once you have been admitted.
  • For candidates who have issues relating to discipline or academic performance, the Dean’s Certification Form with an accompanying letter gives Hunter an opportunity to support your application.  The Pre-Law office can provide you with a letter that explains aspects of your academic program, highlights strengths, notes significant extracurricular activities and outside employment, and explains any extenuating circumstances that affected your academic performance.
  • If you have attended undergraduate institutions other than Hunter, you may need to obtain a Dean’s Certification from those schools as well.

Disclosure

  • Applicants who have had academic difficulties or have a record of violation of college rules should inform the Pre-Law Advisor. After discussing the circumstances with the applicant, the Pre-Law Advisor can assist in writing an “addendum” to law school applications about situations that require explanation.
  • Please note that if there is a criminal or disciplinary violation in your background, it is advisable to disclose the facts when you apply to law school as failing to do so can have serious consequences. If not disclosed at this time, they may surface when you apply for admission to a bar.

Dean's Certification Form and Letter Instructions for Current Students

  • Hunter does not use the forms provided by the law schools in their applications. For efficiency, the Pre-Law Advising Office uses a standard form, which is accepted by the law schools.
  • Please complete the top of the Hunter College Dean's Certification Form.  Please be sure to sign the form, provide your contact information, and indicate which school should receive the form.  Also include stamped, letter-sized envelopes, addressed to the law school(s).  Please do not include a return address -- the office will provide the return label.
  • Bring leave these materials in the Pre-Law mailbox in Room 812 Hunter East (Office of the School of Arts & Sciences).  Pease provide all Dean Certification forms to be completed on your behalf in ONE packet.  Please follow up with an e-mail to the Pre-Law Advising Office indicating your request and noting that the documentation has been provided.
  • If you have had academic difficulties or have a diciplinary record:
      • Complete the Pre-Law Questionnaire and Waiver Form and attach your résumé and personal statement for law school. It is also helpful (but optional) for you to request that copies of letters of recommendation be sent to Pre-Law Advising.
      • Make an appointment with the Pre-Law Advisor to discuss the Dean’s letter.
  • Dean’s Certifications are sent directly from Hunter to individual law schools.
  • Please allow 5 business days for a standard form, and 10 business days for a personalized letter to be provided on your behalf.

Dean's Certification Form and Letter Instructions for Alumni

  • Follow the process outlined above for current students. 
  • Send these materials to: Elise Jaffe, Pre-Law Advisor, Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue, Room 1134 East, New York, NY 10065
  • If you need a detailed letter, be sure to schedule an appointment with the advisor.  These matters can be handled by phone if you do not reside in the New York City metropolitan area.
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