How to Apply
All J.D. applications are completed online through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website. Our Early Decision application deadline is January 15, 2017, and our regular application deadline is July 15, 2017.
J.D. Regular & Early Decision application process
Eligible candidates for admission to the J.D. program must have completed their Bachelor’s degree, or be in the final year of a Bachelor’s degree program. The Bachelor’s degree must be awarded by an accredited U.S. college or university or be an equivalent degree from a recognized non-U.S. institution.
Admissions decisions are made on a holistic rolling basis, and priority consideration for scholarship awards is April 1. The Admissions Committee begins reviewing regular applications in early November, and it usually takes 4-6 weeks for decisions to be made. In order to enroll a highly qualified, diverse class each year, the Admissions Committee conducts a holistic review of each applicant’s materials and considers factors such as student engagement and leadership, professional experience, writing ability, community service, and references.
In addition to law school admission, character and fitness is a major qualification for bar admission. Applicants should determine the requirements for any jurisdiction where they intend to seek admission. Agency addresses are available through the National Conference for Bar Examiners.
Early Decision Program
Candidates who have determined that the University of Minnesota Law School is their first choice may submit an application to the Early Decision program. This program is binding; therefore, applicants admitted through the program commit themselves to matriculating at Minnesota Law, withdrawing all applications at other law schools, and not initiating new applications after being admitted to the Law School. Early Decision applicants receive the same scholarship consideration as regular candidates; if not admitted through Early Decision, students may be considered for regular admission at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. Admissions decisions will begin mid-November for Early Decision applicants who submitted their application between September 1 and November 15. If you submit your Early Decision application after November 15, your application will be reviewed on a rolling basis within 2-3 weeks. The early decision application deadline is January 15, 2017.
1. Application Form
All applicants are required to submit their application electronically through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
1.a. Application Fee
The nonrefundable application fee is $60 and is paid via credit card through LSAC when submitting the application. Applicants who cannot afford to pay the fee may fill out the Fee Waiver Request form.
1.b. Character and Fitness
All states require applicants to the bar to establish their character and fitness to practice law. Applicants should carefully review these requirements for the state in which they intend to practice, available at http://www.ncbex.org/character-and-fitness/.
2. Registration with Credential Assembly Service
All applicants, including international, must first register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) through the LSAC website. 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.
Once registered with CAS, applicants then must contact every previous college or university attended (even if a degree was not earned) to request a transcript be sent 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
2.c. 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. If multiple scores are available, the highest score will be used for review of your application. If you intend to retake 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. International 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.
3. One Letter of Recommendation
One letter of recommendation is required and must be submitted through CAS.
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.
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. Additionally, an applicant’s personal statement should explain why he or she wishes to obtain a law degree at the University of Minnesota. There is no formal prompt to our personal statement section, but we encourage personal statements to be 2 pages double spaced.
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. Resumes should also include academic or professional honors, co-curricular activities and community service, or hobbies and special interests.
Applicants may also submit one or more supplemental statements (one page, double-spaced) to highlight diversity perspectives, explain absences or breaks in academic history, or present other matters that may be of importance to the Admissions Committee.
Applicants receiving their undergraduate degree from institutions outside the United States must submit their transcripts to the CAS for evaluation. A valid TOEFL or IELTS score (no more than 5 years old) must also be submitted to the CAS; however, this requirement is waived if an undergraduate or graduate degree has been earned in the United States. We do not have a minimum TOEFL score.
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.