- Admissions Home
- Why UNM?
- Application Requirements & Deadlines
- Financing Your Education
- Statistics & Class Profiles
- Contact Us
To apply to UNM School of Law applicants must
|Apply Online||Application available through the Law School Admission Council|
|November through April||Applications reviewed by Admissions Committee|
|February 15||First year application deadline*|
|June 15||Transfer and visiting application deadline|
|May 1||Applicants who meet the February 15 deadline will be notified of admission decision no later than May 1|
Applications will be postmarked on the day they are electronically submitted.
No file is reviewed until it is completed
*A substantial preference is given to those applications received by February 15. Applicants taking the Feb LSAT must have all other materials submitted by Feb 15 to meet deadline.
Completed application form
Applicants are encouraged to apply electronically through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Once an application is submitted to UNM, no additional materials (other than an updated CAS file which can include any LSAT or transcript additions) can be processed via the electronic file.
Nonrefundable $50 application fee
Applicants can pay with a credit card through their LSAC account. If paying by check or money order, the application fee must be sent directly to UNM School of Law.
Applicants granted a LSAC fee waiver will have their fee automatically waived. See LSAC for more information on its fee waiver. If not eligible for a LSAC waiver, applicants can request a need-based waiver through UNM.
The personal statement is an opportunity for the Admissions Committee to get to know you beyond your academic record, as well showcase your ability to communicate effectively and concisely in writing. Each statement is unique and should address your reasons for attending law school and pursuing a legal career. Areas that can demonstrate this include family background, obstacles you have overcome, educational, volunteer, and/or work experiences. Also, please address reasons for wanting to study law at UNM. It is recommended your statement be within the range of three to five double-spaced pages.
A résumé is a tool to provide an overview of your academic, work history, and volunteer history that both compliments and supports the other sections of the application. Include your educational background (honors, scholarships, extracurricular activities, etc) work history, military service, public/community service, publications, foreign language proficiencies, and any other significant achievements and involvements. Education and work history should be listed current information first and needs to include the start and end dates in month and year as well as the city, state, and country (if international).
Letter(s) of Recommendation
At least one letter of recommendation is required; however, one or two additional letters will be accepted. Overall, a recommendation letter should be from an individual in a position to make an academic and/or professional critical and informed appraisal of your qualifications. An academic letter should be from a professor who has personal knowledge of your academic work, preferably one who knew you in a seminar or small class. A professional letter can be from an employer or business associate that has personal knowledge of your work performance. Recommendations can also come from professionals in mentor or supervisory roles from community and/or volunteer experience
Register with LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
See LSAC website to register and for more information.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
The LSAT is administered by the Law School Admission Council. You can register for the exam at the LSAC website. Tests are given in June, September or October (depending on year), December, and February. We recommended that you take the LSAT no later than December, however, UNM will accept a February test score. LSAT test scores are valid for three years.
Individuals who previously applied to the law school, but did not attend (whether accepted or denied) must reapply. A re-applicant who has applied in the last year should provide the law school with:
Students must satisfy the admission and other academic requirements of both the law school and the graduate school. Separate applications must be made to each school. See the Dual Degree section on the law school website for additional information.
To be eligible for admission to the UNM School of Law, international applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
Applicants who intend to practice law should be aware that admission to the bar in all states involves character, fitness and other qualifications. Applicants are encouraged to determine what those requirements are in the state(s) in which they intend to practice by consulting the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
The law school accepts a limited number of transfer students who have completed one full-time year at another ABA-approved law school. UNM School of Law has more transfer applicants each year than we are able to admit. Transfer applicants are considered for admission only if they:
The deadline for submitting transfer applications is June 15th. The deadline for completing a transfer application file is July 15th.
If you are admitted with advanced standing to the UNM law program, your right to continue in that program depends entirely on work done at UNM. Transfer students are ineligible for certain prizes and awards given by the law school and are not ranked academically.
Credits earned at other law schools that do not meet their minimum graduation requirements are not acceptable for transfer credit.
Students who have completed their second full-time year at another ABA-approved law school and who wish to receive their degree from that school, but spend either one or both semesters of their final year at The University of New Mexico School of Law, may be considered for admission as visiting students. The deadline for filing visiting applications is June 15, and the deadline for the completion of the visiting application is July 15.
Visiting students receive financial aid from their own law school, not UNM, and may not enroll in courses which are over-subscribed by regular law school students. They may participate in on-campus interviews only if space is available.
For international law students whose home institutions have exchange agreements with the University of New Mexico, please review the Visiting International Law Students section of UNM’s International Law Programs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adopted November 5, 2013
The faculty and administration at the University of New Mexico School of Law are committed to excellence and diversity in the student body. We believe that diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in the student body help to ensure a dynamic, productive, and positive learning experience.
The admissions committee is instructed to consider a wide range of factors in evaluating applicants for admission, including but not limited to the following: demonstrated intellectual capacity; academic achievement in undergraduate and/or graduate studies; employment history; life experiences (including those related to race, ethnicity and/or national origin); tribal affiliation; academic and personal motivation; commitment to public service; leadership potential; the extent to which the applicant has overcome educational and/or socio-economic disadvantages; other indicators of the applicant's potential success in legal studies and potential to make a significant contribution to the law school community and legal profession.
Applicants are evaluated for their potential for academic success in law school and their potential to contribute to an enriching educational environment at the law school. In deciding which students from among a very talented and qualified pool will be admitted, we consider the applicant's undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) and score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The University of New Mexico does not rely solely on any combination of UGPA and LSAT scores. While high UGPA and/or LSAT scores are positive factors and low UGPA and/or LSAT scores are negative factors, UGPA and LSAT scores at one extreme or the other do not automatically grant or preclude admission.
Applicants are must complete all application requirements as outlined on the Admissions Office webpage in order to be considered for admission. Applicants are advised to give considerable attention to each of the required documents to ensure that the completed application fully and accurately reflects their individual background, qualifications, and goals.
The UNM School of Law is a public law school and the only law school in New Mexico. While we welcome non-resident applications, we give a preference to applicants who are New Mexico residents. Among resident applicants, we take into account geographic diversity within the state.
Each year the School of Law receives many applications from a highly qualified and diverse pool of applicants who, if admitted, would succeed in law school. Due to the small size of our program, we regrettably are unable to offer admission to many qualified applicants.
Requests for Deferment – The law school does not have a guaranteed deferment policy. Deferments are made on a case-by-case basis. An individual 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.
The School of Law adheres to the equal opportunity policies of the University of New Mexico and makes appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities.
This policy shall be subject to review by the faculty every five years or at an earlier date as requested by the dean.