Application Process

At the UNM School of Law, we request that you apply through the Law School Admission Council’s online application service. It’s easy to set up your account and begin the application process.

Requirements

To apply to UNM School of Law applicants must

  • Currently have, or will have earned by the time of matriculation, a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Have taken, or plan to take this admission cycle, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • Submit all application materials (see application checklist below)

Application Timeline 

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.

Application Checklist

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. 

Personal Statement
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.   

Résumé
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.

Re-applicants

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:

  • A new application form;
  • The $50 application fee;
  • A new personal statement;
  • A resume.
  • At least one letter of recommendation;
  • A new CAS report;

Dual Degree Candidates

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.

International Students

To be eligible for admission to the UNM School of Law, international applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Have earned a degree that is equivalent to the United States bachelor's degree.  Academic records will need to be evaluated by a credentialing service. All foreign transcripts sent to the LSAC will be processed through the JD Credential Service (JD CAS), an extension of the LSDAS Credential Assembly Service (CAS).  There is no additional fee for the JD CAS, it is included in the standard LSDAS fee. 
  • Demonstrate proficiency in English. If English is not your first language or if English is not the official language spoken in your country, you must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, or 100 on the internet-based test. Please see TOEFL for more information.
  • All international applicants will be required to submit documentation verifying adequate funding to meet study and living expenses while in the United States.  An international applicant must provide proof of funding of approximately $48,000 (U.S.) If planning to bring a spouse or child, a proportionally larger amount must be certified on the basis of at least an additional $5,000 per academic year for your spouse and $2,500 for each child. 

Character and Fitness Evaluation

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.