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Adopted April 24, 2007
The faculty at the University of New Mexico School of Law is committed to excellence and diversity in its student body. Indeed, we believe that diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in the student body help to ensure a dynamic, productive, and positive learning experience.
In seeking to achieve diversity, 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 indicia 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). Unlike some law schools, however, the University of New Mexico does not rely presumptively 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 advised that important documents in this evaluation are letter(s) of recommendation, their academic transcript(s), their LSAT score(s), their personal statement, their resumé, as well as any other relevant information the applicant provides. Applicants are well advised to give considerable attention to each of the required documents to ensure that the completed application fully and accurately reflects the applicant's individual background, qualifications and goals. These documents provide important information which allows the admissions committee to reach its decisions. The Law School does not grant personal interviews as part of the evaluation process.
Admissions decisions at the UNM School of Law are made by a five-person admissions committee, which includes three faculty members, the assistant dean of admissions, and a third-year student elected by the student body. Each member of the committee evaluates all applications submitted by residents of New Mexico, as well as a large number of applications submitted by non-residents. All non-resident applications are prescreened by the dean of admissions, and a substantial number of these applications are forwarded to the committee for review. After each member of the committee has engaged in a holistic review of the applicant, the committee then meets to discuss candidates and make collective decisions.
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.
Applicants with relatively low undergraduate grades and/or LSAT scores, but with overall records demonstrating that they can succeed in law studies, may be admitted conditioned on their successful completion of an approved pre-law program.
It has been our experience that a large percentage of the applicant pool is qualified to be admitted to law school and, if admitted, would succeed in law school. Given the small size of this law school and the size of the applicant pool, however, many qualified applicants are regrettably denied admission.
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.