Frequently Asked Questions
Considering law school and getting started.
Learn about costs and funding opportunities.
How does the Waitlist work?
Academic and General Questions
Prior to entering law school, you must earn a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. You may major in a subject of your choice. If you are interested in pre-law at UNM, please contact the pre-law advisor, and he can help you decide what major works best for you.
Peter S. Kierst, Pre-Law Advisor
Social Sciences Bldg Rm 2057
If you have questions about the accreditation of your college or university, please contact the UNM Admissions Office at (505) 277-8900.
DiscoverLaw.org Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program is targeted to racial and ethnic students in the first two years of college who wish to develop the skills required to succeed in law school. Each program establishes their own admission criteria and selects participants.
The American Indian Law Center offers a two-month summer program for Native American students called the Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI).
TheCouncil on Legal Education Opportunity(CLEO) offers a six-week summer program.
No, the UNM School of Law does not offer a true part-time program. The School of Law Faculty is committed to providing an environment that immerses our law students in the study, theory, and practice of the law. In order to obtain the most out of the Juris Doctorate curriculum it is critical that students maintain focus on their legal studies. In addition to several curricular components, including the required clinical experience, that mandate our students attend classes during the standard work-day, there are also professional development considerations for students and law school resource considerations that dictate our scheduled offerings.
In an effort to provide some relief to a limited number of students per class, the Faculty have developed the flex-time status which is designed for students seeking a lightened class schedule. A maximum of ten (10) incoming first year students are permitted to attend UNM under the flex-time status. Flex-time students attending UNM typically enroll in ten (10) credit hours per semester and will be on campus for half days while full-time students take between twelve (12) to fifteen (15) credits per semester and are on campus for full days. Candidates interested in attending law school as flex-time should indicate so on their application for admission.
First-year law students may work, subject to the following restrictions:
- Due to the intensity and importance of the first semester curriculum, UNM strongly recommends that students refrain from any employment during the first semester.
- Students who decide to work during their first semester must attend a counseling session with Career and Student Services prior to the start of the second week of law school.
- First-year law students may work no more than 15 hours per week, unless they are enrolled in the Flexible-Time Legal Education Program.
Second- and third-year law students may work no more than 20 hours per week, unless they are enrolled in the Flexible-Time Legal Education Program.
UNM School of Law has long been a leader in the area of clinical training, and its clinical program is considered one of the best in the country. All students are required to complete six credit hours of clinic prior to graduation. Clinics currently available include the Business and Tax Clinic, the Community Lawyering Clinics, the Law Practice Clinic, and the Southwest Indian Law Clinic. Please see The Clinical Law Program webpage for further information.
Students may also participate in law office, judicial, or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) externships
The UNM School of Law offers the following dual degree programs:
- JD/ Masters in Public Administration (JD/MPA)
- JD/ Master of Accounting (JD/MACCT)
- JD/ Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA)
- JD/ Master of Arts in Latin American Studies (JD/MALAS)
Applicants must apply to both programs separately and identify on their application which dual degree program they are applying to. Admissions decisions for both programs are made independently. Please contact the appropriate graduate program office for detailed information regarding admissions requirements and deadlines.
It is also possible to combine your JD with other graduate programs at UNM. An applicant must receive permission from the Dean of the School of Law, the Graduate Dean, and the chairperson of the graduate unit offering the other degree program. Applicants must satisfy the admissions and other academic requirements of both programs.
For further information, please see the Dual Degree webpage.
UNM School of Law does not offer the LLM. We only offer the degree of Juris Doctor (JD).
Our graduates enter all segments of the legal market, including private practice at large and small law firms; government agencies, including criminal prosecutor and public defender offices; prestigious federal and state judicial clerkships; public interest agencies; and business and industry. The majority choose to stay in the region, although others elect to work in large cities and small towns around the country and the world. Please see the Career Services webpage for detailed information on employment and professional development assistance for UNM law students.
Application Related Questions
Detailed information about the law school application process, including the application, may be found on the Application Process section.
The University of New Mexico School of Law does not employ presumptive cutoffs. All complete applications are considered for admission. The Admissions Committee considers a variety of factors when evaluating applications, in addition to UGPA and LSAT score. These include, but not limited to, the personal statement, letters of recommendation, work and life experience, and extracurricular activities.
See our Incoming Class Statistics for more information.
No, the Admissions Committee will use an applicant’s high score evaluation and reporting purposes. If an applicant has taken the LSAT multiple times, the applicant's LSAC's Credential Assembly Service report will show all of the scores, as well as computing an average score for the applicant. The Admissions Committee will have the opportunity to see all scores for that applicant, but only the high score will be used for reporting purposes.
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) offers fee waivers for the LSAT and CAS. Further information, including a fee waiver application form, may be found on the LSAC website. Individuals who have been granted a LSAC fee waiver will have their UNM School of Law application fee automatically waived.
The UNM School of Law provides need-based fee waivers to a limited number of qualified applicants. Interested applicants who have not been granted a LSAC fee waiver must submit a UNM fee waiver request form. Completed forms can be emailed or mailed to the Office of Admissions.
The School of Law will also provide fee waivers to active duty military, veterans, AmeriCorps volunteers, Peace Corps volunteers, and Teach for America Corps members. To request a fee waiver as a current or former military member or a Corps member, please email the Office of Admissions to request a waiver. Proof of service is required.
Upon request from eligible Teach for America participants, University of New Mexico School of Law will offer a two-year deferral to admitted students who want to participate in the corps in the year in which their study was to commence. We will also grant an application fee waiver to any current Teach for America corps member who meets the law school’s eligibility requirements. Teach for America corps members and alumni will be considered for scholarships and tuition assistance.
Tuition and Financial Aid Related Questions
Applicants who wish to apply for federal loans should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority deadline of January 4th, or 45 days after their date of acceptance.
Limited need-based grant funding is available. Awards will not be made until an individual has been admitted. Further information about the financial aid application process may be found on the Financial Aid section.
All first-year applicants will be considered for merit scholarships based on their law school application file and no additional application or paperwork is needed.
Law students may petition for residency after residing in New Mexico for a period of twelve consecutive months immediately prior to the term for which residency is being sought and complying with specified overt acts that demonstrate intent to become a resident. The rules and regulations for establishing residency for tuition purposes are defined by state statutes.
The residency decision is based on the information contained in the application for admission. Details about residency for tuition purposes may be found on the UNM Office of the Registrar.
Applications for financial aid become available beginning October 1st for the upcoming academic year for the FAFSA. Applications for Named Scholarships are essay based and can be submitted at any time prior to the scholarship deadline.
March 1st is the deadline for most named scholarships. Please visit our Financing Your Education page for a complete list of named scholarships and deadlines.
January 4th is the priority deadline for the FAFSA.
It is strongly recommended that you submit your applications on or before these deadlines in order to be considered for all eligible types of financial aid. Students must apply each year if they wish to be considered financial aid.
You may borrow up to $20,500 for the year in Federal Unsubsidized Student Loans, depending on your cost of attendance and other aid you may be receiving. If you would like to reduce or cancel your loan(s), notify the School of Law Financial Aid Officer.. You may also take out a federal Grad Plus for the difference between your cost of attendance and aid/loans.
A financial aid award letter will be mailed to you within a few days of your file's completion. You may also view the status of your financial aid application at MyUNM; select the Student Life tab and click on My Financial Aid.
Disbursement occurs each semester, usually the first week of classes.
You will receive your refund either by setting up Direct Deposit, or by having a check mailed to your current mailing address on file with the University of New Mexico.
Yes, it is extremely important that you notify us as soon as possible if you receive funding from any other source. We must take into consideration all sources of assistance you receive because they can affect your eligibility for financial aid. Unreported aid could result in an overaward, which you must repay.
In order to receive funding for study abroad courses, the courses you take must be approved by the UNM School of Law Registrar. You must also submit documentation of the course costs and your enrollment to the Financial Aid Officer in the Law School Financial Aid Office. For the type and amount of aid you will be eligible for it is best to meet with the UNMSOL Financial Aid Officer in person.
Waitlist Related Questions
Due to the large competitive pool of highly qualified applicants, the University of New Mexico School of Law is only able to offer seats to a limited number of applicants. Applicants offered a place on the waitlist have been identified by the Admissions Committee as bright, promising, and interesting candidates who UNM would be happy to have in our community should space become available.
No. The number of students who accept our offer of admission determines whether and to what extent we use the waitlist.
No. We do not rank our waitlist. Waitlisted applicants are reviewed holistically and will be accepted based on institutional need.
Considering the profile of students admitted earlier in the admissions process and our desire to build a strong and diverse class, we consider applicants from our waitlist who will compliment and provide strength and balance to our incoming cohort.
UNM is very interested in selecting candidates from the waitlist who have expressed a sincere desire to matriculate. If the University of New Mexico is your first choice, please let the Office of Admission know in writing why our program is your top choice. You may either email this information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to our office at 1117 Stanford Drive, NE, MSC11 6070, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131.
UNM welcomes additional academic, experiential, and reference materials to supplement your application. You may send any additional information to the Office of Admission by email at email@example.com to be considered by the Admissions Committee.
All individuals are welcome to visit the law school. We look forward to the opportunity to meet you and provide you with a tour of the campus. To schedule a visit to UNM School of Law please call the Office of Admission at (505) 277-0958 or visit our webpage.
No. Your financial aid package will be the same as if you had been admitted prior to May 1, provided all financial aid application deadlines and eligibility requirements were met.
No. Your admission decision is not related to your request for financial assistance.
Yes. In order to ensure that you have secured a seat at a law school for the upcoming term we encourage waitlisted applicants to make a deposit at another institution in case we are unable to offer you admission from the waitlist.
Yes. Please email the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to remove your name from our waiting list.
The Office of Admission will notify you as soon as possible, but usually not earlier than May 1. If you have not already heard from us, you could be notified into late July or early August concerning the status of the waitlist. We appreciate your patience as you wait for notification.