J.D. FAQ

Admissions

What do I need to do to apply to UST Law?

Students should complete an application for admissions to the University of St. Thomas School of Law. A complete application includes: a complete and signed application form; our application fee is waived; the personal statement; and a complete CAS (LSDAS) report. A complete CAS report includes a minimum of two letters of recommendation, a copy of all transcripts from post-secondary institutions, and a reportable LSAT score. 

Does it matter whether I complete a paper application or the online application?

No, UST Law has no preference for a paper or online electronic application, and a favorable decision will not be based on the use of either application format. If you prefer paper, you can request an application through the Office of Admissions, or you can print out your own application.

For students who prefer to apply using an electronic application, you may apply on line through the LSAC. Due to the ease and speed in which we are able to download the online electronic application into our paperless review process, there may be some time-saving benefits to using the online electronic application.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply for entrance into the fall class is July 1. However, UST Law reviews applications on a rolling basis and students should apply as early as possible to increase the chance for favorable admissions and scholarship decisions.

What does it mean to review applications on a rolling basis?

Reviewing applications on a rolling basis means that applications are reviewed by the admissions committee in the order in which they are received in the admissions office and become complete.

How do I know when my application is complete?

You can check the status of your application online through LSAC.  You will receive an email from UST Law with your username and password shortly after we receive your application. We will also request your CAS (formerly LSDAS) report from the Law School Admission Council. Your application is complete when we have received a CAS report including all your undergraduate transcripts and at least two letters of recommendation. It is not unusual for components of the CAS report to have been submitted and waiting to be processed by Law Services. A follow-up report is sent to the admissions office whenever additional pieces of information are updated to the report.

However, if there are substantial problems with the CAS report that require candidate action, the admissions office will contact you so that you may correct the issue. Applicants to UST Law should check with Law Services to ensure that their CAS report contains a reportable LSAT score, at least two letters of recommendation, and all post-secondary institution transcripts.  You should also feel free to contact the UST Law admissions office to check the status of your application.

What is the latest date I can take the LSAT exam?

UST Law will accept an LSAT score from any of the dates that the exam is offered. However, you should keep the July 1 application deadline in mind if you intend to take the June LSAT just prior to the fall entrance date. Since we admit students and award scholarship on a rolling basis, late applicants to the program may find that there are no seats or scholarship remaining at that late date.

Finally, UST Law prefers that an LSAT score not be more than three years old, but at no time will accept an LSAT score that is more than five years old.

If I call the Admissions Office and provide my LSAT score and GPA, can I find out whether or not it is likely I will receive an offer of admission?

No. The admissions staff cannot predict the likelihood of an applicants chance of being admitted based solely on their LSAT score and undergraduate GPA. UST Law and the admissions committee consider many factors in addition to the numerical indices when making a decision whether to admit a student to the class. We refer to this as mission fit.

If you have questions about the competitiveness of your LSAT score or GPA with regard to the entire applicant pool, we would be happy to visit with you. Please feel free to make an appointment with the admissions office.

If I took the LSAT more than once, how do you review the scores?

UST Law will review all test scores submitted, but will consider the highest score when reviewing an applicant's file.

What are the minimum LSAT score and GPA that UST Law accepts?

UST Law does not use cut-off or minimum score requirements when making admissions decisions. The medians, 25th and 75th percentiles represent the profile of the previous entering class, and are intended to be used as a gauge to measure the competitiveness of your numerical indices. Moreover, all applicants should seek to enter the applicant pool as competitively as possible with regard to their LSAT score, their undergraduate GPA, and their mission fit.

Do you have an early decision process?

UST Law does not have an "early" decision process. We do, however, encourage students to apply early in the process. The admissions office begins accepting applications as early as September 1, and the committee begins reviewing applications in November. Once a file completes and enters the committee review process, it typically takes 6 to 8 weeks for a decision to be reached. Those students who have submitted their application early in the process have an increased opportunity to be considered for admissions and scholarship.

May I submit more than two letters of recommendation?

Yes. UST Law requires a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation. However, you may submit as many letters of recommendation as you deem valuable or beneficial to your application. Also, remember that LSDAS will accept four general letters of recommendation to be sent to every school to which you apply. Additional letters must be sent directly to the admissions office.

What is the CAS or LSDAS?

CAS stands for Candidate Assembly Service.  Formerly, it was called LSDAS which stands for the Law School Data Assembly Service.  It is offered by LSAC, the Law School Admissions Council. LSAC is the same organization that administers the LSAT exam. CAS is a service offered as a convenience to both applicants and law schools, and serves as a clearinghouse for the information and data necessary for applying to law schools. Your LSAT exam score will be reported to law schools through this service.

It is also the mechanism that calculates all credits from all of your post- secondary institution transcripts into a cumulative GPA and compiles a complete record of your letters of recommendation. The CAS allows students to have one copy of transcripts and letters submitted on their behalf. A complete CAS report is then forwarded to the law schools at which you apply.

Do I have to register for the CAS (LSDAS)?

Yes. All students applying to UST Law must register with CAS. A CAS report will be the method through which your LSAT score, letters or recommendation and transcripts will be submitted to the law school for review.

To register for the CAS, please go to the Law School Admissions Council website.

Does UST Law consider the personal statement and letters of recommendation in the decision to award scholarship?

Yes. The personal statement and letters of recommendation are a valuable part of the admissions committee's review. The personal statement is used to evaluate mission fit, as well as displaying the writing skills necessary for being successful in law school. The letters of recommendation are useful in highlighting the characteristics, both academic and personal, that an applicant brings to the law school community.

When will I be notified of the admissions decision?

Once a file completes and enters the committee review process, it typically takes 6 to 8 weeks for a decision to be reached.

Applicants who have been denied or waitlisted will also be notified of the committee's decision in that same period of time.

How do I check the status of my application?

Applicants may check on the status of their application through the application status link on the Prospective Student website.  Shortly after receiving your application, we will send you an email providing you with a username and password.

Does UST Law offer a conditional or provisional admission program?

UST Law does not currently offer a conditional or provisional admit program. We do, however, participate in the Council on Legal Education Opportunity and the Pre-Law Summer Institute summer programs. Students who are applying to or plan to participate in either of these programs should disclose that as part of their application.

I plan to participate in the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) / Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) program this summer. Will this be considered by the Admissions Committee?

Yes. An applicant's participation in the CLEO or PLSI program will be considered by the admissions committee, and should be disclosed as part of the original application. A decision from the admissions committee may be held pending evaluation of your participation and performance in the program.

Does UST School of Law offer a part-time program?

Yes. ABA acquiescence for our part-time program is pending, but is expected to be approved for the class entering in fall 2015.

For full-time students, UST School of Law has long offered the possiblility of flexibility in scheduling when necessary. First-year students presumptively take the full required course offerings, but if there are particular personal or professional circumstances that necessitate a lighter load, the student can seek permission from the Associate Dean for Academics to take a reduced load to meet their other obligations. Upper-division students can choose to take fewer than a full load of courses (and take more semesters to graduate) if that meets their professional or personal needs.

I was notified that I have been waitlisted. What does it mean to be waitlisted?

Waitlisted means that the admissions committee has completed review of your application, but has chosen not to make an offer of admission at this time and would like to hold the application for further review should there be seats available later in the admissions process. To be waitlisted is distinct from a denial, which means that the committee has reached a final determination on the application and will not review the file further for any openings in this year's entering class.

I received a letter indicating that my application has been denied. Can I appeal the decision or request reconsideration?

No. Once an applicant has received a decision denying his or her application for this year's class, there is no ability to appeal that decision. You are welcome to apply during a subsequent application season but should seriously evaluate the need to improve the strength of your application to be more competitive in a new applicant pool.

Is it possible to defer my decision of admission until next year?

UST Law accepts requests for deferment in writing. Should the request be approved, the deferral will be for one year.

My degree is from a foreign institution, where should I send my transcripts?

If your undergraduate work was done outside the United States, Puerto Rico, or Canada, then The University of St. Thomas School of Law School requires that your foreign transcripts be submitted through the LSAC JD Credential Assembly Service. If you completed any postsecondary work outside the US (including its territories) or Canada, you must use this service for the evaluation of your foreign transcripts. The one exception to this requirement is if you completed the foreign work through a study abroad, consortium, or exchange program sponsored by a US or Canadian institution, and the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript. This service is included in the LSDAS subscription fee. A Foreign Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into your LSDAS report. For additional information, visit www.lsac.org

Admitted Students

Do I register myself for classes?

For your first year of law school, we will register you for your classes. Your class schedule will be based on what section you are assigned to.

1Ls are divided into two sections with approximately 85 students in each. Each section is then divided in into two sections with approximately 40 students for Foundations of Justice and into four sections of approximately 20 students for Lawyering Skills I and II.

When will I find out what my class schedule is?

You will be mailed your schedule in late July with your orientation packet.

What is the 1st year curriculum?

1st Semester - 16 Credits
Civil Procedure
Contracts
Torts
Lawyering Skills I
Foundations of Justice (introductory week)

2nd Semester- 15 Credits
Constitutional Law
Criminal Law
Property
Lawyering Skills II
Foundations of Justice

Can I study abroad?

Yes! UST law students have studied in several countries including: Chile, Germany, France, England, India, Netherlands, Greece, China, Argentina, Ireland, Mexico, Malta, Hungary, South Africa and Italy.

Students can study abroad through UST and Villanova University School of Law’s Rome Program or through another ABA-approved study abroad program.

What clinics are offered?

UST Law currently has 9 clinics: Appellate, Bankruptcy Litigation, Community Justice Project, Consumer Bankruptcy, Elder Law, Federal Commutations, Immigration Law, Misdemeanors and Nonprofit Organizations.

These clinics are part of the Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services (IPC), in which faculty and students from law, social work, and psychology work together to help their clients.

More information about the clinics and the IPC can be found at: http://www.stthomas.edu/law/academics/clinicaleducation/

Not finding an answer? Ask us: lawschool@stthomas.edu