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, competitive, and selective.  Marquette University does not discriminate in any manner contrary to law or justice on the basis of an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristic, or military status in its educational programs or activities, including admissions. 

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 their 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; in most cases, the Admissions Committee will likely consider a candidate's undergraduate record more important than a graduate/professional school record in its review of the application. Having stated that, a graduate/professional school record may provide the Committee with additional contextual information that may help the Committee come to an informed judgment on the candidate's ability to succeed in a rigorous academic environment. 

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.

Qualitative Factors

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 experiences that would help a student contribute to the Law School, the legal community, and the profession.

The Law School community recognizes that students from different 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 or law students to apply. The Law School supports its commitment to our students through academic and social support, and through financial assistance as determined by our scholarship resources.

Rolling Admissions

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 mid-October. 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.

Notification of Decisions

The Admissions Committee will notify all applicants of their decisions via U.S. Mail. Decisions are not released via telephone. 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.