Criteria for Admission to Law Schools
Law schools consider a variety of factors in deciding which students to admit. However, two factors outweigh the rest - prior academic performance as measured by the undergraduate grade point average and the score on the LSAT.
Students with less than a "B" average (3.0) can expect difficulty in gaining admission, although a high LSAT score may overcome a low GPA. Students should be aware that while IU Southeast has a policy that allows students to repeat a failed course and have only the passing grade calculated in the GPA, CAS puts all grades of a student, even those failed but repeated for a passing grade and those which did not transfer from a student’s original undergraduate college (if the student attended more than one college) on the CAS format and re-computes the GPA. So students with one or more course grades replaced through the grade replace process will discover that the CAS calculated GPA would be lower than the official GPA from IUS.
The LSAT is a requirement for admission to law school. It is a national exam offered four times each year: June, late-September or early-October, December and February. Application deadlines are one month before the exam is administered. A student should take the exam in his/her senior year - or the year before the student expects to enroll in law school. For a list of frequently asked questions with their answers please see the LSAT Frequently Asked Questions page.
There are several ways to prepare for the LSAT, ranging from workbooks to professionally designed courses. The Pre-Law Advisor has information about various preparation options, as well as information about fee waivers for those with extreme financial need that cover the cost of two LSAT exams, the CAS registration, and LSAT preparation materials available from the Law School Admission Council.
Other criteria that may be considered by law school admissions committees are:
- The rigor of your undergraduate curriculum and major and whether any graduate courses were taken prior to admission
- High quality letters of recommendation
- Evidence of writing ability
- Your personal statement
- College curricular and extracurricular activities, especially those involving a leadership role
- Service to your community
- The reputation and prestige of your undergraduate institution
- Diversity, individual character and motivation, prior accomplishments