Before You Apply
All states require applicants to the bar to establish their character and fitness to practice law. All applicants should carefully review the character and fitness requirements for the state in which they intend to practice. Links to state bar examiners can be located at: http://www.ncbex.org/character-and-fitness/.
J.D. Application Deadlines
The Law School admits one entering class each year for courses beginning in late August. Applications are available beginning September 1 with a deadline of April 1. As applications are considered on a rolling basis, applicants are encouraged to submit all required materials as early as possible. The Admissions Committee acts only on complete applications that contain all of the required components. Late applications will be considered upon written petition. Applicants typically receive a decision within 8 weeks from the date the application is complete.
Early Decision Option (Binding)
Candidates who have researched law programs and have determined that the University of Minnesota is the best choice may submit an application to the Early Decision Program. Applicants to the University of Minnesota's Binding Early Decision Program commit themselves to matriculating at Minnesota if admitted pursuant to the Early Decision Program. An applicant to the Early Decision Program may not be an Early Decision candidate at any other school during the same admissions cycle. An Early Decision applicant may apply to other law schools on a non-binding basis, but once admitted to the University of Minnesota as an Early Decision candidate, the applicant must notify the other programs and immediately withdraw all other law school applications. No new law school applications may be initiated. The University of Minnesota reserves the right to provide other law schools with the names of applicants admitted to the University of Minnesota under the binding Early Decision Program. The application deadline for Early Decision is November 15. Applicants applying Early Decision will be guaranteed a decision by the beginning of December.
Early Admissions Program (University of Minnesota undergraduates only)
Only degree-seeking, undergraduate University of Minnesota students at any campus who plan to graduate with their bachelors degree in May 2014, December 2014, May 2015, or August 2015 have the option to apply through Minnesota Law Early Admissions Program (MLEAP) to begin Fall 2015. Students graduating in May 2014 must submit their application before they graduate and prior to the June deadline. Current University of Minnesota undergraduate students who have researched law programs and have determined that the University of Minnesota is the best choice are encouraged to consider applying through MLEAP. If admitted, applicants to the University of Minnesota Law School’s MLEAP commit themselves to matriculating at the Law School and will not apply to any other law school.
Application Components and Procedure:
1. Completed application
a. Including application fee
b. Including character and fitness section
2. CAS Report via LSAC
a. Including transcripts, undergraduate and graduate/professional
b. Including LSAT score(s)
3. Two Letters of Recommendation (sent via LSAC)
4. Personal Statement
1. Application Form
The application form is available electronically on the University of Minnesota Law School application page, or on the Law School Admissions Council Web site at www.lsac.org. The form must be completed in its entirety, signed, and submitted to the University of Minnesota Law School Admissions Office. We strongly recommend that applicants submit their applications online. If submitting an application directly to the Law School, applicants must still register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).
1.a. Application Fee
All applicants must submit a $75 nonrefundable credentials examination fee with the application form. For electronic applications, the fee may be paid by credit card. For all other applications, please include a check or money order (drawn on a U.S. bank) payable to the University of Minnesota Law School.
Applicants who cannot afford to pay the fee may request a fee waiver by obtaining a fee waiver request form from the admissions office and sending the form to the University of Minnesota Law School. If possible, include a letter from a financial aid officer or a copy of recent tax returns to support the financial need.
1.b. Character and Fitness
All states require applicants to the bar to establish their character and fitness to practice law. All applicants should carefully review the character and fitness requirements for the state in which they intend to practice. Links to state bar examiners can be located at: http://www.ncbex.org/bar-admissions/offices/.
2. Registration with Credential Assembly Service
All applicants must first register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The service will act as a repository for academic transcripts, testing scores, and letters of recommendation. CAS will summarize your transcripts and send them to each law school to which you apply. If not applying online, applicants must still register for CAS.
Register with the CAS online at www.lsac.org, or contact:
Law School Admission Council
P.O. Box 2001
661 Penn St.
Newtown, PA 18940-0981
Once registered with CAS, applicants then must contact every previous college or university attended (even if a degree was not earned), and request that the institution send a transcript directly to CAS.
Universities and other educational institutions should send transcripts to:
Law School Admission Council
P.O. Box 2000-M
Newtown, PA 18940-0993
For in-progress undergraduate degrees, applicants must submit a final, official transcript from their undergraduate institution upon graduation, indicating proof of degree. This transcript should be sent directly from the undergraduate institution to the University of Minnesota Law School Admissions Office. The transcript must be received by the Admissions Office prior to the first day of orientation in August.
Law School Office of Admissions
290 Mondale Hall
University of Minnesota
229 19th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
2.b. Law School Admission Test
Applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The LSAT score is considered current for five years. The LSAT requirement will not be waived for any applicant (unless applying through Early Admission). If multiple scores are available, the highest score will be used for review of your application. If you intend on retaking the test after you have submitted your application and wish to have your application held until the newest score is available, please submit an addendum making this request with your application. Foreign students also must have completed a post-secondary degree at an English-speaking institution OR must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For more information, visit www.toefl.org.
International Applicants or Foreign Transcripts
If postsecondary work is completed in a location other than the United States, a U.S. Territory or Canada, the University of Minnesota Law School requires that foreign transcripts be submitted through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). This service is included in the CAS subscription fee. To use the CAS, simply log in to your LSAC online account and follow the instructions for registering for the service.
Please note: Most U.S. students who study abroad as part of exchange programs sponsored by U.S. or Canadian institutions do not need to submit a foreign transcript to CAS.
Since more time is usually needed to obtain foreign transcripts, be sure to print out a Transcript Request Form and send it promptly to each institution. This form can be printed from the CAS Web site. Questions about the J.D. Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at 215-968-1001, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Foreign Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, and the evaluation will be incorporated into your CAS report.
International applicants need to submit a current TOEFL or IELTS score to LSAC. (Please see LSAC instructions regarding reporting of these scores.) This requirement is waived if you have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited U.S. institution. This requirement may also be waived if you received an undergraduate degree from an international institution for which English is the official language and submit documentation to that effect. This could be, for example, a letter from the Registrar of the institution. The Law School requires no minimum TOEFL score for admission.
3. Two Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation are required with an application. The letter of recommendation form may be photocopied as many times as necessary.
The letters should be from persons in an academic setting who are personally familiar with an applicant's work and can attest to his or her ability to enter a competitive professional program. If an applicant has been out of college for more than two years, letters from an employer may be submitted instead. Letters from family friends or personal acquaintances are discouraged.
The Law School requests that applicants have letters be submitted through the LSAC letter of recommendation service, which is included in your CAS registration subscription. To use this service, follow the directions outlined at www.lsac.org.
References who wish to write about your qualifications for the University of Minnesota Law School specifically may send a letter directly to the U of M Admissions Office (address above) accompanied by the form located with the application form. Such letters must be sent directly by the author of the letter to the Law School; letters sent by applicants will not be accepted, even if presented in a sealed envelope.
4. Personal Statement
The varied backgrounds and exceptional talents of our students contribute tremendously to the quality of the education at the University of Minnesota Law School. Through the personal statement, the Admissions Committee seeks insight into the abilities, motivation and experiences of an applicant, as well as an assessment of writing ability. An applicant's personal statement also should explain why he or she wishes to obtain a law degree at the University of Minnesota. Additional information about the personal statement requirements can be found on the instructions page of the application for admission.
Applicants should include a detailed résumé with their application. The résumé should contain work history during college and since college graduation, including paid and unpaid employment. Please indicate whether the employment was during an academic term.
Resumes should also include:
Any academic or professional honors, prizes or recognition received
Name and location of each employer, dates of employment and hours worked per week
Brief description of each job's duties, and reason for leaving
Extracurricular activities and community service, including the extent of involvement in and contribution to such activities
Hobbies and other special interests, abilities, or accomplishments.