JD Admission Requirements & Policies
JD Admission Requirements
Below are the requirements for JD admission to the University of Cincinnati College of Law. This list of requirements is also included in the instruction section of our JD application. We look forward to receiving your application to study law at Ohio's first and the nation's 4th oldest law school.
The following items must be submitted in order for the application to be considered complete:
1. A Completed Regular Decision Application for Admission
The College of Law requires each applicant to complete the regular decision application for admission in its entirety. Failure to disclose information on the College of Law application will result in the suspension of your application processing. The application must be signed electronically by the applicant.
The applicant should note that the information released on the application related to character and fitness may become part of a future state bar application. An application cannot be considered complete until a Character and Fitness Form and explanation detailing any responses checked “yes” have been received (see item 7 below).
2. Application Fee
Fall Admission: Application fees are waived automatically if you apply on or beforeFebruary 1. After February 1, a nonrefundable $35 application must accompany the application. The College of Law is committed to educating an academically talented and diverse group of students. To this end, we strive to keep our application fee as low as possible. The College of Law will waive the application fee by request for any applicant who has been awarded a need-based fee waiver for the LSAT/Credential Assembly Service by LSAC. The College of Law will also consider other need-based fee waiver requests on a case-by-case basis.
3. Law School Admission Test (LSAT) Score(s)
All applicants must take the LSAT. The College of Law recommends that applicants take the LSAT in June, July, August, October, January or February preceding applying to law school. April, May and June LSAT scores will also be considered, provided that the application is submitted prior to the recommended deadline of March 15. Applicants are strongly encouraged to retake the LSAT if the initial score is significantly below the College's published LSAT median.
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4. Two Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation are required and must be submitted through the LSAC’s Credential Assembly Letter of Recommendation Service. A good reference choice is a college professor who has firsthand knowledge of the applicant's scholastic abilities and work habits and is, therefore, able to write a meaningful recommendation. Applicants who have been out of college for several years or who find it difficult to reach professors can obtain references from employers, supervisors, or attorneys who have firsthand knowledge of the applicant's qualifications for law study.
Applicants for admission are required to register for LSAC's Credential Assembly Service. The applicant is responsible for sending official transcripts to LSAC for each undergraduate or graduate college or university attended. The Credential Assembly Service will analyze the applicant's transcripts, verify letters of recommendation, and send a Credential Assembly Service Law School Report to the College of Law.
To be considered for admission, a candidate must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university by the date of anticipated enrollment. A notice of acceptance may be issued before the undergraduate degree has been obtained, but such acceptance is conditional upon the applicant's receipt of the degree.
6. Personal Statement
A well-written personal statement is the most effective means of communication with the Admissions Committee. Applicants may use the personal statement to provide insight into the general background and motivation the applicant can bring to the College of Law. The personal statement also serves as a sample of the applicant's writing ability.
Please choose one of the following topics below:
- The University of Cincinnati College of Law has many unique programs and attributes. Given there are many law schools throughout the country, please discuss why you want to attend law school and, more specifically, why you have applied to the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
- The Admissions Committee will have your LSAT score, academic transcripts, and résumé to review during the admission process. However, the committee recognizes that students can bring other intellectual and academic contributions to the College of Law community. Please discuss any topic that is of interest to you or has stimulated your intellect. Examples might include the discussion of an issue of local, national, or international concern and its importance to you; a person who has had significant influence on you; or a character in fiction, a historical figure or a creative work that has impacted you.
- Given your personal background, please discuss how you would add to the diversity of the community at the College of Law.
- Discuss a topic of your choice.
7. Character and Fitness Disclosures
It is important to note that the information released on the application related to character and fitness may become part of a future state bar application. An application will not be considered complete untilall Character and Fitness questions have been answered and an explanation detailing any responses checked "yes" have been received.
Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners: www.ncbex.org.
All applicants must submit a current resume with their application
9. Prior Law School Information (if applicable)
If you have ever enrolled in any law school, you are required to attach an addendum indicating what school, when you attended, and your reasons for leaving. In addition, a letter of good standing and a transcript from the law school must be included with your completed application.
Statement on Applicants with International Degrees
The University of Cincinnati College of Law requires international transcripts be submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service. If applicants completed any postsecondary work outside the US (including its territories) or Canada, they must use this service for the evaluation of international transcripts. The one exception to this requirement is if applicants completed the international 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 Credential Assembly Service registration fee. An International Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into the applicant's Credential Assembly Service report. To use the Credential Assembly Service, log in to your online account and follow the instructions for registering for the service. Be sure to print out a Transcript Request Form for each institution and send it promptly to them. More time is usually required to receive international transcripts. Questions about the Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at 215.968.1001 or to LSACinfo@LSAC.org.
All applicants, whose first language is not English, are required to take the TOEFL and must contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and request that their TOEFL score be sent to LSAC or to the College of Law directly. LSAC’s TOEFL code for the Credential Assembly Service is 0058. The applicant’s score will be included in the International Credential Evaluation document that will be included in the Credential Assembly Service Law School Report.
If admitted, any degree earned outside of the United States must have its transcript evaluated by World Education Services, Inc. Visit www.wes.org/students to initiate a transcript evaluation report which must be sent from WES to the College of Law at the above address by July 15. Candidates must have WES send both a degree equivalency analysis and a course-by-course analysis.
The following exams and minimum scores are accepted as proof of English proficiency:
- TOEFL: minimum score of 80 iBT
- In-person and at-home (online) exam scores accepted. TOEFL Essentials and My Best Test scores are not accepted.
- IELTS: minimum score of 6.5 overall band
- In-person and at-home (online) exam scores accepted
- Duolingo (DET): minimum score of 110
- PTE: minimum score of 54
The College of Law offers the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree through two enrollment options:
First-year students who enter the College through either option may enroll only during the fall semester which begins in August each year. The first-year class is limited to approximately 135 students. The admission application process should be started in the fall of the year prior to that in which admission is sought.
Joint Degree Programs—Our three joint-degree programs allow students to complete their JDs while earning a Master’s Degree—in just 4 years. Learn more about each program at the links below.
While a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university is required prior to enrolling in the College of Law, no specific major or particular course is prescribed. The college follows the statement of the Association of American Law Schools, which describes those capacities to be developed in preparing for law study but recognizes that they may be acquired through different pre-law courses. The basic skills and insights that should be developed are comprehension and expression in words, critical understanding of the human institutions and values with which the law deals, and creative power in thinking. For admission purposes, the undergraduate major is less important than the quality of instruction and the level of academic achievement attained. The student preparing for law should take courses sufficiently difficult to assist in the development of the rigorous intellectual discipline essential to law school success. Although political science is the traditional pre-law major, English, history, economics, business, science, and philosophy are also common choices. In developing the skills of a lawyer, the student should place special emphasis on oral and written communication skills. In general, the student should obtain the best available education that develops analytic ability and broadens general knowledge. For additional information, prospective law students should consult the current ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, which is prepared by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and the American Bar Association (ABA). The Official Guide includes material on pre-law preparation and applying to law schools, together with helpful descriptions of most American law schools.
JD Admission Policies & Procedures
Below you'll find a summary of our guiding admission policies, procedures, and recommendations for applicants. Please review this information carefully to ensure a thorough understanding of what to expect during UC Law's admission process.
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
Admission to the college is based upon a careful evaluation of each individual's application file. Although the Admissions Committee, composed of faculty, students, and administrators, relies heavily on the undergraduate grade point average and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score to determine the applicant's academic potential, other non-quantitative factors believed to be relevant to success in law school are considered. These factors include the quality of the applicant's previous education, trend of academic performance, participation in community service or significant extracurricular activities, employment experience, graduate work, and thoughtful letters of recommendation.
The educational philosophy of the college reflects a belief that a quality legal education is enhanced by having a heterogeneous student body. The committee, therefore also considers factors such as cultural background, unique personal circumstances, and age. The college encourages applications from persons who wish to return to school after an interruption for family responsibilities and from individuals considering a career change. To be considered for admission, a candidate must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university by the date of anticipated enrollment. A notice of acceptance may be issued before the undergraduate degree has been obtained, but such acceptance is conditional upon the applicant's receipt of the degree.
Students admitted under one of our various 3+3 programs will receive their bachelor’s degree after completing the first year of law school. In lieu of the final, official transcript, a signed certificate must be on file with the College of Law Admissions Office before the first day of classes.
The College of Law has long held that a diverse and heterogeneous student body leads to stimulating and exciting classroom discussion. To achieve this goal, the College of Law seeks to attract students from a variety of experiences, including students who have been educationally and economically disadvantaged, students who may be from particularly urban or rural backgrounds, and students from a wide and varied intellectual background. By maintaining and enhancing diversity in the student body, all students have the opportunity to learn from several different perspectives and, in the long run, improve their own capabilities as attorneys and upholders of the law. The best manner in which to discuss one's uniqueness and diversity with the Admissions Committee is through a well-written personal statement or through the diversity section of the application.
Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis by the Admissions Committee starting in October. The Admissions Committee continues to evaluate application files until the class is filled. Every applicant will receive a decision communication (e.g. accept, waitlist, deny) within two to four weeks, on average, of being notified that the applicant's file is complete. A waiting list is established to fill any openings that may occur during the spring and summer. Decisions on waitlisted applicants will begin in May and can continue through August.
Upon receiving notice of acceptance, the applicant is required to make two non-refundable enrollment seat deposits of $250 by the dates listed in the letter of acceptance. Payment of the deposit when due assures the applicant a place in the class and is considered as evidence of good faith that they will matriculate. Deposit payments are credited to a student's first semester tuition bill.
Students should not be employed in excess of what is compatible with a full-time commitment to the study of law. To that end, the Faculty of the College of Law strongly recommends that first-year law students not engage in any employment during the academic year, other than over breaks of one week or more, in order to have sufficient time to focus on the rigors of the first-year curriculum. The Faculty further recommends that second and third-year law students not be employed for more than twenty hours per week during the academic year.
An applicant who has submitted the first required $250 acceptance deposit may request a deferred acceptance to the following year. All deferral requests should be made in writing as soon as possible after acceptance. If the deferment is granted, the student is assured of a place in the next year's entering class. The second acceptance deposit of $250 will be required the following year by April 15. The deposits will be credited to the student's account upon entrance into the College of Law. If the student fails to enroll, all deposits are forfeited. Only admission can be deferred. You will be re-reviewed for scholarship the following year.
No application will be considered without a valid LSAT score unless you are a UC student applying through the Direct Admission program. If an applicant has registered to re-take the LSAT at a date subsequent to receipt of their application, a decision may be reserved until the pending score has been reported. If an applicant desires to proceed with the formal review process prior to the availability of a pending LSAT score, he or she must submit a written request to the Office of Admissions directly.