Evaluation Process

Admission to the University of New Mexico for the first-year class is once per year and students are admitted for the fall semester.  Students enrolled in the J.D. program are primarily full-time, but the Law School does allow a limited number of students to enroll with a flexible-time status.

A five-member Admissions Committee makes final decisions on acceptance for admission into the next fall's entering class. The Committee is comprised of three full-time faculty members, the Assistant Dean for Admissions, and one third-year law student elected by the student body. The Committee begins reviewing files near the end of the Fall semester; however, in many instances, a final decision is not made until early May. The Dean of the School of Law is not part of the process for admissions but is informed of the outcomes and is actively involved in recruiting admitted students.

The Admissions Committee considers quantifiable factors (LSAT and grade point average) and non-quantifiable factors (letters of recommendation, personal statement, extracurricular activities, public and community service, and work experience) in making decisions.  Interviews are not part of the School of Law’s admissions process. Any information that an applicant wishes the Committee to consider when making the admission decision needs to be included in the application.  A substantial preference is given to New Mexico residents.   The Committee also recognizes that special pre-law programs for minority and disadvantaged applicants provide valuable information about an applicant’s ability to succeed in law school, and participation in such programs is taken into account.

Please see the Application Process section to review UNM’s application requirements, timeline, and checklist.

Applicants will receive email notification when their applications have been received.  They will also receive instructions on how to view and monitor their admissions file on-line.

Information for Accepted Applicants

Seat Deposits – Accepted applicants are required to submit two seat deposits to hold their seats in the class. The first deposit, in the amount of $200, is due by April 15 or within two weeks of the date of the acceptance letter, whichever is later. The second deposit, in the amount of $200, is due by June 15. The seat deposits are non-refundable but are applied toward tuition when the student enrolls.

Official Transcripts – The School of Law must receive an official transcript showing proof of the undergraduate degree directly from the degree-granting institution prior to matriculation. All acceptance offers are conditioned upon receipt of official transcripts.

Requests for Deferment – The law school does not have a guaranteed deferment policy. Deferments are made on a case-by-case basis. Individuals must submit a letter to the Assistant Dean for Admissions requesting a deferment and should include an explanation for the request. Due to the small class sizes and large applicant volume, deferments are granted only in exceptional cases.

Admission to the Bar – Students are responsible for compliance with any registration requirements of the state in which they intend to practice and for securing information about the character and fitness requirements for admission to the bar in that state. Students should be aware that certain states require law students to register with their state boards upon entering law school.

Information for Denied Applicants

Application Review – We are more than willing to review your application and discuss it with you. Please email the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, Jeffery Dubinski-Neessen, at to request an appointment. Application review is not available until applicants have received their final admission decisions for the academic year. File reviews will be generally be scheduled after May 15th to provide candidates with feedback on how they may improve their application for a future application cycle.

Information for Waitlisted Applicants

The waiting list is not ranked. There is no definitive way to determine your likelihood of admission from the waiting list. When an admitted applicant decides to go elsewhere, a seat in the entering class becomes available. At that time, the Admissions Committee reviews the waitlisted candidates again and determines who will be offered admission. Final decisions may occur throughout July, in order to give the students enough time to settle here and prepare for law school in mid-August.