Below are some common questions about law school application and admission requirements from Juris Doctor applicants. (Specific requirements may vary depending upon the law school to which one applies.)
What are the requirements for law school application?
What is the LSAT exam?
What is a CAS report?
What is taken into account for law school admission and scholarship consideration?
Who should write my reference letters?
What goes in the personal statement?
How long should the personal statement be?
How long does it take to get through law school?
How many hours are required a semester?
When should I apply to law school?
What if I take the LSAT more than once?
How much does it cost to apply to law school?
Application requirements may vary. Below are TU College of Law’s requirements, and these requirements are shared by most law schools.
- All applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited four year college or university.
- All applicants must take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
- All applicants must register for Credential Assembly Service (CAS) through LSAC.
- All applicants must submit a formal application to law school (includes submission of a personal statement and two letters of recommendation) and complete all required steps associated with the review process that may or may not include a personal interview.
International Applicants: Applicants who graduate from a school outside of the US or Canada must complete steps 2-4 above. Therefore, international applicants are required to register for CAS and arrange for foreign transcripts to be mailed to CAS. CAS will evaluate the transcripts and include them in the CAS report. LSAC has the ability to evaluate foreign transcripts. As a result, TU College of Law requires international applicants to have their transcripts evaluated by LSAC through CAS.
Additionally, international applicants must request the Educational Testing Service send their TOEFL score directly to LSAC so that the TOEFL score, in addition to the transcript evaluation, Letters of Recommendation and the LSAT score may be placedinto the CAS report.
Finally, all international applicants admitted to TU College of Law must provide proof of financial resources by submitting a Confirmation of Financial Resources (CFR) form to the Office of Admissions.
The LSAT is a half-day standardized exam that tests for reading comprehension and writing skills, as well as logic, reasoning and analytical capabilities. The exam consists mainly of multiple-choice questions and one essay question. The essay question, though not graded, is important because law schools will use it to evaluate a candidate’s writing skills.
The LSAT is given multiple times a year. Please visit LSAC.org to see a listing of upcoming test administrations.
The LSAT does not test knowledge on any particular subject. Although one cannot necessarily “study” for the exam, one can definitely prepare for it by practicing the exam and developing strategies for selecting the correct answers on the multiple choice portion of the exam. There are prep courses available to help students prepare. Also, there are LSAT prep books available in bookstores and sample tests available online. Which preparation technique is right for you will depend upon how you learn. It is very important to prepare for the LSAT. Students will vary as to which learning style suits them best.
The CAS report is prepared on your behalf by the same company that administers the LSAT exam. Nearly all ABA accredited Law Schools use this service, which helps the schools manage the volumes of information we receive each year on our applicants. CAS reports are sent out to every law school to which you apply as long as you have made proper arrangements for that to happen. Once an applicant has applied to a law school, that school may then request your CAS to be sent. If the CAS report is ready (i.e. all transcripts and reference letters received, LSAT exam taken and score readily available in the report and all necessary fees paid) it will be released to the law schools specified by the applicant. The CAS report contains statistical information about an applicant’s performance in school and on the LSAT exam, copies of ALL transcripts, copies of reference letters written on behalf of applicant and a copy of the applicant’s LSAT essay answer. The CAS is also the official way an applicant’s LSAT score is reported to a law school.
- Undergraduate cumulative GPA
- LSAT score
- Character and fitness
- Personal Statement (submitted with application)
- Two recommendation letters (submitted to CAS)
- Other factors may include, but are not limited to writing ability, seriousness of purpose regarding pursuit of law degree, employment history, capacity for leadership, maturity, obstacles overcome, discipline, passion for law, a personal interview (if applicable) and service within community or within campus community.
Professors are recommended because they have the benefit of having observed a student in the classroom environment and can comment in regard to his/her contributions to class, performance on assignments, overall classroom conduct, etc. Employers and other business/professional acquaintances may also be good choices if they can comment in detail about an applicant’s strengths and skills as personally observed by the letter writer.Law alumni, judges and attorneys can be effective choices because of their own perspectives on what it takes to get through law school. However, be aware that letters from these references will work only if such persons know you well enough to write detailed letters which specifically address your personal attributes as well as what the applicant might contribute to the classroom and to the legal field. Basically, anyone other than a family member will work as a reference. Just remember that the letter should be detailed and truly speak to the applicant’s personal skills, strengths, accomplishments, etc.
The answer to this question will vary depending upon which school you are asking. Some will say that applicants should write about why they want to go to law school. Others will recommend that you express what you will contribute to the law school as a student. TU College of Law asks that applicants write about whatever is personal to them. Ask yourself, what do I need to convey to the admissions review committee before they cast their votes in regard to my application? If the answer to that question is one of the topics above, obstacles you may have overcome, achievements you have enjoyed or some other area of importance to you, THAT is what goes into your personal statement. You want to give the reviewers an understanding of why you’re applying to law school now.
Some schools require personal statements others do not. TU College Law requires applicants to submit personal statements along with their application. Personal statements should be double-spaced, well written, concise, free of error, and should not exceed three pages in length. A good rule of thumb is to have someone whose judgment you value proofread your personal statement prior to submitting it to any law school.
Please note: Reviewers will use your personal statement to determine writing skill, seriousness of purpose and readiness for the study of law.
Schools will vary on the length preference for the personal statement. TU College of Law requires one to three pages, double-spaced.
At TU College of Law, it typically takes three years to complete a legal education. However, the availability of a reduced schedule or part-time option would result in additional years. Also, full-time students may complete their legal education in two-and-a-half years by attending summer sessions or obtaining externship credit during summer sessions.
Usually, and specifically at TU College of Law, the first year of law school consists of all prerequisite courses so the first-year student has few course choices at the beginning. A typical full-time first-year schedule includes 15 hours in the fall and 13-16 in the spring. Once a student completes required courses, they are at liberty to choose from a variety of electives. The maximum hours allowed per spring and fall semesters is 16. The maximum for the summer is 10.
For applicants who wish to begin law school in the fall, TU College of Law recommends one year prior to the time when a student would like to begin classes. One year gives students ample time to take the LSAT exam, concentrate on the accurate completion of the application, register for the CAS, etc. Also, for scholarship consideration and to avoid the additional competitiveness associated with later application, it is always good to apply early. TU College of Law begins receiving applications each year on August 1 for the following academic year. Be aware that some law schools are stricter than others with regard to application deadlines and may not review applications after certain times in the year. The University of Tulsa College of Law practices rolling admissions, which means the Office of Admissions reviews applications year-round with no formal deadline. However, it is still recommended that applicants apply early in the year (prior to early action deadline of February 1) for reasons mentioned above.
Please note: For spring applicants, the application period is August 1 through December 1. For summer applicants, the application period is August 1 through April 13.
Whenever law schools receive CAS reports they will contain both individual scores and an averaged score if the applicant has taken the LSAT more than one time. TU College of Law recommends that all candidates approach the LSAT with the mindset that the first time taking the exam will be the only time to take the exam. In other words, prepare diligently the first time to eliminate the possibility of having to repeat the exam.
Please note: If an applicant needs to take the LSAT more than one time, TU College of Law will look more closely at the high rather than the averaged LSAT score when reviewing an applicant’s file. However, this may vary from school to school.
A standard $30 application fee is required if an applicant submits his/her application via the LSAC website. Schools will vary regarding application methods, preferences, and costs. Applicants may apply for a fee waiver through TU College of Law.