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FAQ

What is the size of the entering class?

We enroll approximately 225 first-year law students every fall.

What are your median LSAT and GPA and the 25%-75% ranges for the enrolled class?

For the class that entered in fall 2015:

  • The median LSAT was 148 and the median GPA was 3.06
  • The 75th percentile LSAT was 151 and the 75th percentile GPA was 3.29

How many applicants apply?

In the 2014-15 application year, we received more than 1,200 applications.

Where may I find more information about last year's entering class?

Class of 2017 Profile

What is the cost of attendance?

Tuition and Fees

The Application Process

What are the basic requirements for admission?

To be eligible for consideration for admission to the J.D. program, you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution by August of the year you intend to enroll. To apply for admission, candidates should submit a completed application; the $40 application fee; a transcript of undergraduate and any graduate work; at least one but no more than four letters of recommendation; a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score; a personal statement; and a resume. All materials must be submitted through Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).An application file must be complete before it is referred to our Admissions Committee. See J.D. Application Requirements

What factors does the Admissions Committee consider?

Each year, many highly qualified college students and graduates apply for a seat in the first-year J.D. class. The admissions process aims to select from the applicant pool an entering class of students who will contribute to the Law School initially and later to the global legal community. The objective indicators of success presented by each applicant, namely undergraduate cumulative grade point average and LSAT score, are important factors in our selection process. However, no one is admitted or denied admission solely on the basis of any purely numerical indicator. Rather, all of the information in each application file is reviewed personally by at least three members of the Admissions Committee.

The Committee review involves assessment of personal characteristics and achievements, as well as letters of recommendation, the strength of an applicant's curriculum, the nature and quality of any work experience an applicant may have, the nature and quality of any graduate study that the applicant may have undertaken, the personal qualities displayed by the applicant, writing ability as illustrated in the personal statement and LSAT writing sample, and any hardships or difficulties that the applicant may have overcome. Diversity, in its broadest sense, also figures in this assessment.

Every application is evaluated individually in an effort to meet the goal of admitting a class of able and talented students.

When are the application deadlines? Do you offer an early decision option?

St. Thomas Law has rolling admissions. As a result, there is no absolute deadline. However, applicants should ensure that we have received a completed application by May 1st for priority consideration. Most decisions will be mailed by April 15.

St. Thomas Law does not offer an early decision option.

Do you accept applications after the May 1 completion deadline?

Late applications will be accepted and reviewed.

How much is the application fee and how may I pay it?

The application fee is $40, which must be paid by credit card via LSAC. Tuition Application Fee Waivers are available upon request to the Admissions office. admitme@stu.edu

How may I obtain an application fee waiver?

If you received a waiver for the LSAT or LSAC fees, you automatically qualify for an application fee waiver from St. Thomas Law. When you apply electronically through LSAC, the waiver will apply automatically.

We are happy to waive the application fee for any applicant for whom payment of the fee will prevent them from applying or would pose a hardship. E-mail us at admitme@stu.edu for a fee waiver.

We cannot under any circumstances refund a fee already paid via LSAC.

When are applicants notified of admission decisions?

Applicants are usually notified of the admission decision within six weeks of applying. In most cases, applicants will be notified by April 15.

How will the Office of Admissions communicate decisions?

You can monitor the status of your application online (click here) using the ID/password you received from the Admissions Office via email shortly after submitting your application. All decisions are communicated by an official letter via regular mail.

May I defer my enrollment?

An applicant may postpone entry into the School of Law. Applicants have two options for deferral.

If you are reasonably certain that you will enroll at St. Thomas Law the following year, you may request to defer your admission by making all required acceptance deposits, confirming your intention to accept your place in the class, and requesting a deferral at that time. Deferred applicants agree not to hold a place in another law school's entering class, or to apply to other law schools, during the deferral term. We will ask you to reconfirm your intention to enroll in January of the enrollment year. Merit-based assistance may be deferred on a case-by-case basis. All deferral requests must be received by the second deposit deadline.

If you do not wish to make a commitment to attend St. Thomas Law, you may elect simply to decline your offer of admission and reapply for the next academic year. While we cannot guarantee your admission, we do give substantial weight to a commitment made in a previous year. Having declined an offer of admission will not be a disadvantage in the process. Candidates reapplying for admission will be asked to complete a new application, submit an updated personal statement, and, in the case of applicants who had not completed undergraduate school at the time of the initial application, submit a new LSAC CAS report that includes grades earned in the final year of study.

What are your requirements for transfer students?

St. Thomas Law accepts transfer students from other law schools. Students must submit a completed application, pay the application fee of $40.00, update the personal statement from the previous institution, and submit a letter of recommendation; preferably from a law school professor. For more information, see our Transfer Student page for application information.

May I apply to St. Thomas Law if I was academically dismissed from another law school?

Students who have been academically dismissed from another law school may apply as a first year JD student.  Students who have been previously dismissed from law school will not receive any transfer credits for credits achieved at the prior institution. Students must explain in an addendum or personal statement the facts and circumstances surrounding the dismissal, and any information that will assist the Admissions Committee in assessing the student's ability to succeed in law school.

LSAT and Grade Point Averages

Where do I find out about LSAC and the LSAT?

Find out more about both by going to www.lsac.org

Is there a minimum LSAT score or grade point average applicants must present?

No. We read every application carefully, and take all factors into account. At no point in our deliberations are numbers employed in a way that would trigger an automatic decision to offer or deny admission. For additional information about the current class profile please see our Admissions Data

Will St. Thomas Law accept the February/June LSAT?

While applications with February scores will be accepted and reviewed, you should understand that we will already have made a substantial portion of our offers by the time your February results are received. This may reduce your chances for admission. If, after submitting your application with an earlier LSAT score, you decide to retake the LSAT in June, please send us a note to that effect and ask that we hold your file for consideration until those scores have arrived.

What if I am registered for a future LSAT?

If you are registered to take a future LSAT, it is still in your best interest to submit the rest of your application so that it will be complete and ready for review as soon as LSAC reports your score to us. If your CAS report already includes at least one LSAT score, but you would prefer no final decision be made before we receive a future LSAT score, simply include with your application a one-line addendum stating: "I will be taking the [October/December/February] LSAT and request that a final decision on my application be postponed until this most recent LSAT score is reported."

What is your policy on multiple LSAT scores?

The ABA requires law schools to report LSAT information using an admitted student's highest score, so that is the score to which we give the most weight. We evaluate all information submitted as part of the application for admission, however, including all scores earned on the LSAT within the past five years. We encourage applicants with a significant difference in LSAT scores to include with their application any information that may be relevant to the interpretation of test results, such as illness, testing conditions, or other circumstances that may have affected LSAT performance.

Do Admissions Committee members examine transcripts? Do they take into account such factors as a heavy work schedule, significant extra-curricular activities, and changes in majors when evaluating grade point averages?

Admissions Committee members review every transcript and take into consideration factors that may have had an impact on an applicant's grade point average. We also consider trends in applicants' grades, grading curves at that college or university, and the rigor of the courses undertaken.

Do you take into account grades received in graduate school?

While grades received in graduate studies are not counted as part of your grade point average, we do review graduate school transcripts and take note of grades received.

Letters of Recommendation

Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendations?

Applicants must provide one letter of recommendation. Letters should evaluate your potential as a law student. Consequently, letters of recommendation from members of your college or graduate school faculty who can discuss your academic performance are particularly helpful. If you have been out of school for a number of years and have difficulty securing an academic reference, you may substitute letters from employers or others who have worked closely with you. In any event, letters should address the skills necessary for rigorous, advanced academic work: the ability to read complex textual material closely, to analyze it carefully, and to present reasoned conclusions in writing and orally; maturity; self-discipline; commitment; and professionalism.

How many letters are required? May I submit more?

One letter is required. We accept a maximum of four letters of recommendation.

Can I have those writing letters of recommendations send them directly to you?

No. All letters of recommendation should be sent via LSAC.

Personal Statement

What sort of information do you like to see in a personal statement?

Include with your application a personal statement that will give the Admissions Committee any information you believe relevant to the admissions decision that is not elicited elsewhere in the application. The statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself; it may address your intellectual interests, significant accomplishments, obstacles overcome, personal or professional goals, educational achievements, or any way in which your perspective, viewpoint, or experiences will add to the richness of the educational environment of St. Thomas Law.

Do you put a word limit on the length of personal statements?

No, we invite applicants to write essays that are long enough to express whatever they think the Admissions Committee should know. That said, applicants should remember that succinctness is a virtue. Admissions Committee members look favorably upon personal statements that illustrate one's ability to convey his or her message in a concise fashion.

Financial Aid

Is financial aid available?

Admission to the School of Law is need-blind. Our goal is to ensure that every student who wishes to attend St. Thomas Law has access to the financial resources to make that possible. A law degree is a substantial investment. Nearly 90 percent of our students receive some form of financial assistance, either through scholarship assistance from St. Thomas Law, participation in federal direct student loan programs, through private educational loans, or from outside sources of scholarship assistance.

For more information about the different types of financial aid and the aid application process, visit the Financial Aid website.

Does St. Thomas Law offer merit-based scholarships?

All applicants accepted for admission are considered for merit-based scholarship assistance. Scholarships are available to qualified students based on scholastic achievement and the availability of funds. For entering first-year students, eligibility is based on the LSAT and undergraduate G.P.A. Eligibility for second-and third-year students is based on class rank and law school G.P.A. Consideration for merit scholarships is automatically given to all students; no formal application is required. All awards are made on a yearly basis and renewable upon superior academic performance. After a student matriculates, there are numerous scholarship opportunities.

Are students eligible for scholarship after their first year of law school?

St. Thomas Law has a generous upper-level scholarship program. Eligibility for second-and third-year students is based on class rank. Students in the Top 5% through the Top 25% are eligible to receive upper-level merit scholarships, which range from $30,000 to $10,000. Consideration for merit scholarships is automatically given to all students; no formal application is required. There are also numerous other scholarship opportunities available to students.

Other Questions

Do you offer interviews and tours of the school?

The overwhelming number of requests makes it logistically impossible for personal interviews to be offered as part of the admissions process. We do, however, sponsor tours every weekday while classes are in session. Moreover, we offer several programs, including Snapshots and Open Houses that include an opportunity for applicants to meet with students, presentations by the Admissions team, and/or classroom visit. See Visiting the School.

Does the School of Law offer concurrent or dual-degree programs?

The School of Law offers five joint degree programs. All of our joint degree programs allow students to complete their dual degree in three years, instead of the four years that would be required if the degrees were earned sequentially. St. Thomas Law offers the following Joint Degree programs: JD/M.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling; JD/M.S. or JD/M.B.A. in Sports Administration; JD/M.B.A. in Legal Accounting; and JD/M.B.A. in International Business.

What is the best pre-law curriculum? How does one prepare for law school?

There is no right answer to this question, and every year we admit applicants who majored in virtually any conceivable discipline. That said, the law deals with every facet of human activity, and a lawyer should be a person with a broad base of knowledge and a range of intellectual interests. A reasonable degree of exposure to history, literature, English composition, philosophy, political science, and economics will provide a good background for a full appreciation of the law. Whatever the courses selected, one should look for classes that require reading complex primary source material, analyzing it closely, and presenting well-reasoned conclusions in writing. One can find that preparation in almost any of the rigorous academic disciplines in a college or university. In most cases, law courses that are offered at the undergraduate level are less analytical and less comprehensive than those you will encounter in law school, and while they may give you some familiarity with important cases or development of doctrine, they will not be a significant advantage in law school.

May I start the J.D. program in the spring semester?

St. Thomas Law only offers fall matriculation for first year law students.

Does St. Thomas Law offer on-campus housing?

St. Thomas University offers on-campus housing for law students. For more information about on-campus housing.

In what areas do students living off campus live?

Miami Lakes — 10 minutes
North Miami — 15 minutes
Miramar — 18 minutes
Aventura — 20 minutes
Hialeah — 20 minutes
Hallandale/Hallandale Beach — 20 minutes
Hollywood /Hollywood Beach — 20 minutes
Midtown — 20 minutes
Sunny Isles — 20 minutes
Brickell — 25 minutes
Pembroke Pines — 25 minutes
Ft. Lauderdale — 28 minutes

Do you offer any summer programs or conditional admit programs?

Students who are not offered a seat in our upcoming fall class are automatically considered for the Introduction to Legal Studies Conditional Program and may be invited to participate in the program. The program is by invitation only.

Applicants accepted to this competitive program take three one-week courses over a three-week period. Student is in the top 20% of the program will be invited to join the upcoming fall entering class. We do not have published minimum LSAT or GPA for our summer conditional program. However, students who are offered a seat in this competitive program typically have a very high undergraduate GPA but LSAT scores that fall below the typical LSAT score in our most recent class profile.

May I work while attending law school?

First–year students and any student taking more than 9 credits are strongly discouraged from any outside employment during the academic year. As such, first-year students are not authorized for work study or other university sponsored employment.

Information for International or Foreign-Educated Students

How do I submit transcripts from a college or university outside the United States or Canada?

Transcripts of postsecondary work completed at a college or university outside the United States or Canada must be submitted through the LSAC JD Credential Assembly Service (JD CAS). The one exception to this requirement is for work completed outside the United States or Canada through a study abroad, consortium, or exchange program sponsored by a U.S. or Canadian institution, where the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript. A Foreign Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and incorporated into your CAS report.

To use the JD CAS, log in to your online account and follow the instructions for registering for the service. Be sure to print and mail a Transcript Request Form for each institution attended.

Questions about the JD Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC.

Do you require TOEFL from international students?

We do require TOEFL scores from J.D. applicants. (For information about TOEFL score requirements go to www.TOEFL.org .) Applicants should be aware that competency in English is critical to success in the study of law, and that demonstrated fluency in English is an important consideration in evaluating applications. Should you choose to submit a TOEFL score, you must contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and request that your TOEFL score be sent to LSAC. LSAC's TOEFL code for the JD CAS is 0058. Your score will be included in the Foreign Credential Evaluation document that will be included in your CAS school report.

Questions about the JD Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at (215) 968-1001, or lsacinfo@lsac.org.

For information on St. Thomas Law TOEFL score requirements, please direct your inquiries to:

Tatiana Pullen
Testing Center Manager
Academic Enhancement Center
(302) 628-6797

Where may I find complete information about basic international student requirements?

For information, go to International Student Admissions on the St. Thomas University web site.

Do you give advanced credit for law courses taken in other countries? If I have a law degree earned in a foreign country must I start over to earn a J.D.?

St. Thomas Law, in most cases, will accept up to 30 credits from a candidate's prior law studies if the candidate completed the foreign law degree.

Is financial aid available for international students?

International students are fully eligible for merit-based scholarship assistance from the School of Law. International students should understand, however, that scholarship assistance from the University typically will cover only a portion of the total costs of education, so additional personal or family resources, financial assistance from the applicant's employer or home country, or other sources of financing will be required. Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not eligible to borrow under the Stafford Student Loan Program. Private loan funds may be available to international students with a U.S. citizen as co-signer.