Application Criteria & Review
Applicants are selected for admission on the basis of demonstrated intellectual capacity for the study of law, evidence of integrity and moral character necessary for admission to the legal profession, and potential contribution to the Law School community and the legal profession. The combination of undergraduate grade point average and LSAT score provides no guarantee in the Marquette University Law School admissions process. Grades and examination scores, while important, are not the only factors on which the Admissions Committee bases its decisions. Each application is read and reviewed fully by the Admissions Committee and candidates are considered both quantitatively and qualitatively. The admissions process is comparative and competitive.
Quantitative Factors: The Academic Record and the LSAT
The Admissions Committee considers not only the raw numerical undergraduate GPA but also such factors as trends in grades, performance across semesters and academic years, the nature, strength, and rigor of the academic program, the ratio of pass/fail to graded courses, variety and depth of coursework, and more. Where relevant, the Committee will take into account an applicant's time commitments because of employment, family, or personal obligations. Academic credentials of the non-traditional applicant are considered in the context of his or her personal and professional circumstances.
For applicants who already hold a graduate/professional degree or are currently enrolled in graduate/professional school, previous proven success in another graduate/professional program can be an important factor for the Committee to consider and candidates are encouraged to submit graduate/professional transcripts. However, a graduate/professional record does not replace an undergraduate record; the Admissions Committee will consider a candidate's undergraduate record more important than a graduate/professional school record in its review of the application.
The Law School Admission Test provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that the Admissions Committee may use as one of several factors in assessing applicants. In the case of multiple LSAT scores, the Committee will receive an examination score report for the applicant that discloses all LSAT scores and the average of those scores. Applicants should be informed that the Committee will rely primarily on the highest score when evaluating an application. If an applicant can provide specific evidence why a lower LSAT score should be considered aberrant, the applicant may attach a brief addendum to the application detailing that evidence. The Committee will take such written statements into account when reviewing the application.
Each application is considered in its entirety, including work experience, extracurricular and community activities, letters of recommendation, the LSAT writing sample, the required personal statement, and any additional written statements that the candidate wishes to submit. The Committee will consider personal accomplishments and characteristics that contribute to the diversity of the Law School, the legal community, and the profession.
The Law School community recognizes that students from different cultural, educational, and experiential backgrounds enrich the educational environment of the entire student body. The Admissions Committee encourages members of historically disadvantaged groups, members of groups that have been underrepresented in the legal profession, and first generation college and/or law students to apply. The Law School supports its commitment to diversity through academic and social support, and through financial assistance as determined by our scholarship resources.
The Law School begins accepting applications for first-year J.D. admission on September 1. The Law School follows a modified rolling admissions process. Applications are placed before the Committee as they become complete although, typically, the Admissions Committee does not begin meeting until early November. Decisions are mailed throughout the winter, spring, and summer. Some candidates may receive decisions comparatively quickly based upon the overall and relative strength of their applications. Some candidates' applications will be “wait-listed” or "held" for consideration and comparison with the larger applicant pool.
While the deadlines are April 1 for full-time admission and June 1 for part-time admission, respectively, candidates are encouraged to apply earlier in the process rather than later if possible. While it is impossible to quantify the effect of applying earlier in the process on a particular application, as with most things in life, applying earlier is better than applying later.
Notification of Decisions
The Admissions Committee notifies applicants of their decisions via regular U.S. mail or international airmail only. Decisions are not released via e-mail, telephone, or facsimile. The members of the Admissions Committee and the staff of the Office of Admissions adhere to this policy in order to protect the confidentiality of each applicant.