Admission to the J.D. program at Texas Law is competitive. For the class entering in fall 2013, approximately 4,200 applicants competed for the 320 seats in the entering class. In addition, the Texas Legislature has limited nonresident enrollment to 35 percent of the student body.
To be considered for admission, applicants must take the LSAT and have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.2 as calculated by Law School Admission Council. In the event an applicant does not receive a baccalaureate degree prior to enrollment but is within six semester hours of completing all requirements for a baccalaureate degree by the time of enrollment in law school, the applicant may be eligible for admission upon the condition that the applicant earns the baccalaureate degree before beginning the last year of law school. Candidates must also complete the application forms and submit all mandatory attachments as described in the application.
The Texas Law Admissions Committee provides a full-file review of all completed applications to identify students:
Strong LSAT scores and GPAs in challenging undergraduate programs certainly help a committee assess a student's ability to succeed at Texas Law. These quantitative factors, while important, are not exhaustive. Arbitrary weight is not attributed to any one of the factors considered and the Admissions Committee does not use an index.
The Admissions Committee considers rigor of the undergraduate course of study as reflected by the applicant's college transcripts, graduate study, demonstrated commitment to public service, work experience, leadership experience, extracurricular or community activities, history of overcoming economic or other disadvantage, personal experiences with discrimination, overcoming disability, geographic diversity (particularly underrepresented regions of Texas), diversity of experience and background (including race and ethnicity), maturity, ability to communicate, foreign language proficiency, honors and awards, service in the Armed Forces, publications, exceptional personal talents and other pertinent information.
Specific attention is given to an applicant's socioeconomic background. Applicants are encouraged to include information concerning their socioeconomic background in their personal statements and/or in the optional statement on economic, social or personal disadvantage. Such disadvantage might take a number of different forms, e.g., an applicant who is a first-generation college graduate; an applicant's dealing with a serious physical or mental disability; an applicant's encounter with discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin; or an applicant's limited educational opportunities due to geographical or other restrictions.
The students entering Texas Law classes resulting from this admissions process have been motivated, engaged, energetic, and successful. We have achieved a graduation rate of 97 percent. This system is not always perfect, but it is careful, respectful and reflective.
To be considered for Early Decision admission, applicants must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) no later than September's test administration, register with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) no later than early October, and submit their application no later than Nov. 1. Applications submitted after Nov. 1 will be considered for Regular Decision admission. All Early Decision applicants receive a decision by the end of December. Applicants held for review with the pool of Regular Decision applicants are no longer bound by the Early Decision requirements. If denied admission under the Early Decision program, an applicant will be ineligible for further review under the Regular Decision program.
Admitted nonresident students will receive a nonresident tuition exemption, pay tuition at the resident tuition rate for their three years at Texas Law, and receive an annual $1,000 Early Decision stipend. Texas residents admitted under Early Decision will receive a $10,000 stipend annually for three years. Both resident and nonresident students must remain in good academic standing to receive their Early Decision financial incentives. Early Decision students will not receive additional merit scholarship consideration but will remain eligible for need-based financial aid. Financial aid awards are released during late spring.
To be considered for Regular Decision admission, applicants must take the LSAT no later than February's test administration, register with CAS no later than early February of the year of desired entry, and submit their application no later than March 1. Final decisions for completed applications filed in a timely manner under Regular Decision admission, and those Early Decision applications held for review through the Regular Decision process, will be made by the end of April. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
The first-year class is admitted only in the fall semester, which begins during the last week of August.
Applicants are urged to register with CAS and take the LSAT as soon as possible. It normally takes four to six weeks for the LSAT score to be reported.
Please note that information and materials will not be retrieved from previous applications to be considered as part of the current year's application.
Given the number of applications Texas Law receives, we regret that we cannot verify receipt of materials or application status by telephone or e-mail. Once the Admissions Office enters your application into our system, an e-mail will be sent to verify receipt.
Admitted students will receive an official offer of admission by written letter from the Assistant Dean for Admission. The offer may be accepted by following the instructions and conditions outlined in the admit letter.
A $70 nonrefundable application fee must be submitted along with the completed application by certified check, cashier's check, or money order made payable to The University of Texas at Austin. The check or money order must be in U.S. dollars and personal checks or cash will not be accepted. The application fee may also be paid electronically when applying online.
We offer two types of fee waivers that can be requested. Need-based requests for waiver of the application fee will only be considered if (a) financial need is demonstrated, (b) the applicant presents a competitive academic record, (c) the Law School has a clear interest in admitting the student, and (d) the limit on fee waivers has not been reached. To apply for this type of fee waiver, an applicant must submit an Application for Fee Waiver.
The completed Application for Fee Waiver form must be submitted along with a completed application for admission no later than March 1. If a fee waiver is denied, the applicant will be given an opportunity to submit the required fee.
The second type of fee waiver is available for current corps members and alumni of the Teach for America (TFA) program only. These applicants must e-mail the Admissions Office with their request and provide a scanned copy of their TFA verification letter and their LSAC account number so that we may waive the application fee electronically through LSAC.
All applicants must submit a detailed resumé not to exceed three typed pages. The applicant should take advantage of this opportunity to provide specific information about education, work history, military service, honors and awards, extracurricular or community activities, publications, etc. The applicant should also include details on any foreign language proficiencies, including the level of ability with regard to speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing.
Personal statements are required and limited to two, double-spaced, typed pages. A personal statement is an opportunity to describe important experiences and aspects of yourself not otherwise apparent in the application.
Applicants also can submit optional addenda to explain unusual circumstances, such as a period of poor academic performance, academic sanctions, history of problems with standardized tests, history of overcoming disadvantage, prior law school matriculation, criminal matters, etc.
Letters of recommendation are not required; however, candidates are strongly encouraged to submit at least one letter but no more than three. Letters should be submitted to the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) through their letter of recommendation service.
Experience has shown that letters of recommendation are most useful when they provide insights and information about the candidate that are not reflected in the application. The most useful letters are from professors and/or employers with whom the candidate has had a close working relationship. Letters from judges, politicians, and family friends tend not to be useful except in those instances where the letters are based on a working or supervisory relationship.
Applicants are urged to send letters of recommendation to LSAC as early as possible in the admissions process. Applications will not be held for optional materials not received with the completed application.