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At the UNM School of Law, applicants are required to apply through the Law School Admission Council's (LSAC) online application service. It’s easy to set up your account and begin the application process.
To apply to UNM School of Law applicants must
|September 15||Application becomes available through the LSAC|
|November through April||Applications reviewed by Admissions Committee|
|March 1||First year application priority deadline*|
|May 1||Applicants who meet the March 1 deadline will be notified of their admissions decision no later than May 1.|
|July 1||Transfer and visiting application deadline|
Beginning late in the fall semester, the Admissions Office will assign completed applications to the Admissions Committee for review on a weekly basis. Once an application is complete it may take between three to four weeks for a decision and during peak times may take between six to eight weeks for a decision. All completed files submitted by the priority deadline will receive a 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 the March 1 deadline.
Completed application form
Applicants are required to apply electronically through the 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 the UNM School of Law.
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 the following points:
Areas that can demonstrate this include family background, obstacles you have overcome, educational, volunteer, and/or work experiences. Personal statements typically range between two to three 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.
Credential Assembly Services (CAS) Report
A completed CAS Report includes the following materials: Official LSAT scores, official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, and your letters of recommendation. To register with LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS), please see the LSAC website for more information. Information on these requirements is listed below.
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 five years.
Official College/University Transcripts
You must have a separate transcript sent to LSAC directly from each undergraduate and graduate institution you attended prior to applying to law school. Only official, sealed transcripts issued directly from your prior institution(s) to LSAC will be accepted.
Letter(s) of Recommendation
At least two letters of recommendation are required; however, up to 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.
Letters of recommendation must be current. The Office of Admissions will accept letters of recommendation that have been written within one year of the date of application. Recommendations that are older than one year old will not be accepted. Recommendations from family members or personal acquaintances are strongly discouraged.
An applicant may wish to provide a supplemental addendum to provide further details regarding a part of his/her application or background that he/she feels would be helpful to the Admissions Committee as the review the applicant’s file.
Admission to the bar in all states involves character, fitness, and other qualifications. Applicants are required to disclose information in their application regarding character and fitness. Please provide an addendum describing the incident(s) for each Character & Fitness question you answered “yes” to. Please review our website for more information on Character & Fitness requirements.
A Heritage Statement is requested from applicants who select “American Indian/ Alaska Native” as a category of ethnicity on their application, but have not identified a tribal affiliation and tribal citizenship information in the demographics portion of the application. A heritage statement should describe the applicant’s connection to his/her Native American heritage and are typically one to two pages in length. This request is in accordance with Resolution 102 approved by the American Bar Association House of Delegates in August 2011.
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the Law School Admissions Council and ABA-approved law schools to require additional information from individuals who indicate on their applications for testing or admission that they are Native American, including Tribal citizenship, Tribal affiliation or enrollment number, and/or a “heritage statement.”
Please use this space to upload evaluations, grades, or certificates of completion from special summer law programs. Examples of these types of programs may include, but are not limited to: American Indian Law Center’s Pre-Law Summer Institute, CLEO Pre-Law Summer Institute, CLEO Scholars Program, DiscoverLaw.org PLUS Program, and Graduate Horizons.
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.
In addition to the standard application requirements listed above, international applicants must satisfy the following requirements in order to be eligible for admissions to the UNM School of Law.
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 July 1st.
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 July 1st.
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.
The University of New Mexico School of Law offers the possibility of advanced standing to graduates of non-US law schools holding a first degree in law. Applicants may receive credit for up to one-third (28 credits) of the required total credits for the Juris Doctorate degree (86 credits).
Pursuant to the American Bar Association’s Standard 507, law schools may accept up to one-third of the required total credits for the Juris Doctorate program from an applicant who received a terminal degree which is required in order to practice law in another country. The coursework in the foreign law school must have been done “in residence” at the foreign law school and the University of New Mexico School of Law must be satisfied that the quality of the foreign law school is equal in quality to that of an ABA-approved law school.
Foreign lawyers interested in pursuing the J.D. with Advanced Standing must complete all of the standard application requirements and submit an addendum to their application requesting advanced standing. Decisions regarding advanced standing are made by the Admissions Committee at the time of acceptance. The total number of credits accepted towards the Juris Doctorate will be assessed on an individual basis by the Assistant Dean for Registration after receiving the applicant’s official transcript.
Students who are approved to pursue the Juris Doctorate with Advanced Standing must complete the remaining two-thirds of their coursework in residence at the University of New Mexico. Students pursuing the J.D. with Advanced Standing complete the standard first-year doctrinal courses during their first year on campus and will complete all required upper-level courses and clinical requirements during their second year.