Admission as a Beginning Student
Additional information about admission to the law school, including admission criteria and current application fees, is given in General Information.
Students beginning the study of law are admitted to the School of Law at the beginning of the fall semester. To be eligible for admission, an applicant must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, must have earned a grade point average of at least 2.20 on all undergraduate work (as calculated by the Law School Admission Council), and must have attained a reportable score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). An applicant who meets these minimum requirements is not guaranteed admission; each year, the law school receives applications from a greater number of qualified candidates than the school can accommodate. In 2008, the law school received more than 5,200 applications for the 400 seats in the entering class. An applicant's Law School Admission Test score and undergraduate grade point average are two of the major factors considered, along with the résumé, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and other supporting documents.
If an applicant lacks no more than six semester hours to be entitled to a baccalaureate degree, the dean may declare the applicant eligible for admission on condition that the applicant make arrangements to earn the baccalaureate degree before beginning the third year of law study.
There are no specific course prerequisites for admission to the law school. Students should consult their undergraduate prelaw advisers for information about academic preparation for law school.
Application forms in both pdf and electronic format are available online. Complete instructions are provided with the application form. Applicants seeking regular admission must take the following steps:
- Take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) no later than December.
- Register for the credential assembly service (LSDAS) with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
- Submit a complete application to the law school, including the $70 nonrefundable application fee, that is postmarked by February 1.
Applicants seeking early-decision admission must take the LSAT no later than September and submit law school applications postmarked by November 1. Applications that are postmarked after November 1 but by February 1 will be considered for regular admission.
Declaration of Intention to Study Law
The Supreme Court of Texas, which admits candidates to the practice of law in the state, has provided by rule of court that all candidates must file a formal Declaration of Intention to Study Law, on forms supplied for that purpose. The declaration must be filed by October 1 in the student's first semester in law school. These declarations of intention to study law provide for a certification of good moral character. Forms are available from the Texas Board of Law Examiners.
Admission as a Transfer Student
A person may apply to the dean for admission to the School of Law as a transfer student from another law school that is approved by the American Bar Association. Approval of such applications is entirely at the dean's discretion. Admission as a transfer student may be granted only if the applicant (1) would have been competitive if he or she had applied as a first-year entering student; (2) has completed a full-time, first-year law school curriculum; (3) has compiled a superior academic record at the other law school; and (4) demonstrates good cause for the transfer. Because of limited availability of spaces at the law school, only a few requests for transfer are granted each year; the law school receives far more applications for transfer from qualified candidates than can be granted.
A transfer student from another law school receives University credit on the following terms: (1) the total number of credit hours transferred may not exceed the number of credit hours earned during the first year by University law students; (2) transfer credit is not given for any course in which the student earned a grade of less than C, or its equivalent as determined by the dean; (3) a grade of CR is recorded for all transferred work; (4) the law school from which the applicant seeks to transfer must be a member of the Association of American Law Schools and approved by the American Bar Association. The transfer student is subject to the same performance standards as students who complete their first year of study at the University's School of Law.
Application forms and instructions are available online and by mail from the School of Law Admissions Office, 727 East Dean Keeton Street, Austin TX 78705-3299.
Transfer to Another Law School
A law student in good standing may apply to transfer to another law school at the end of the first year of study only. Approval of such a transfer is wholly dependent on the actions of the other law school. If the application is granted, the School of Law will cooperate with the other law school to facilitate the transfer.
Admission as a Transient Student
A student attending another law school may enroll in the School of Law as a transient student for the summer session if he or she presents a Statement of Good Standing from the school he or she is attending and demonstrates good cause. A law student who has not completed the first year of study may not enroll as a transient summer student.
A student may be allowed to register as a transient student during the long session if good cause is shown and if he or she presents a competitive record and receives permission from his or her law school to enroll in the School of Law in order to earn credit toward a degree to be granted by his or her home school. A transient student may earn no more than thirty-two semester hours of credit in no more than three semesters (roughly the equivalent of one year's maximum course load); he or she must maintain a grade point average of at least 1.90 in all law courses taken during any semester. Because of limited space at the law school, only a few requests for transient status during a long session are granted each year.
Application forms and instructions are available online and from the Law School Admissions Office, 727 East Dean Keeton Street, Austin TX 78705-3299.
Visiting Status at Another Law School
A student enrolled in the School of Law may apply to the assistant dean for student affairs to attend another law school and to transfer credit earned at that school toward a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. The student must have approval to transfer the credit before attending the other school. Approval of the request is entirely at the assistant dean's discretion. The assistant dean will consider the request only (1) if the student seeks to transfer credit from a school that is a member of the American Association of Law Schools and is approved by the American Bar Association; (2) if the student shows good cause for requesting the transfer of credit; and (3) if the assistant dean approves the courses for which the student seeks to receive transfer credit. The student must earn a grade of at least C for a course to be transferred; the course may not be taken on the pass/fail basis. The symbol CR is recorded for all transferred work. The amount of credit transferred may not exceed the maximum amount of credit that an upper-level law student may earn during one year's study.
Classification of Students
Regular students in the School of Law are classified as first-year, second-year, and third-year students. Students are classified as first-year students until they have earned twenty-nine semester hours of credit in law; as second-year students until they have earned fifty-three semester hours in law; and as third-year students until they graduate. The terms "upper-level" and "advanced" are also used to refer to second- and third-year students and courses.