The goal of our admissions process is to identify applicants who will flourish in law school and who will gain a distinct lifelong advantage by having attained a Dedman law degree. The application process is our opportunity to look at you as a whole person. We want to know about you and your accomplishments.
Throughout the admissions process, the Admissions Office will make every effort to give you prompt and individualized attention. Every application is read in its entirety; no decisions are made on the "numbers" alone. When evaluating an application, we look for well-rounded students who have proven evidence of academic success and who will enrich our overall educational community. Work and life experiences are also valuable components of an application, but they will be weighted more heavily in applications to the part-time evening program.
You are welcome to apply to our full-time day program, our part-time evening program, or both programs with only one application and one application fee. Please note, however, that an accepted applicant is only offered admission to one program. For this reason, please state a program preference in your application. If you are interested in learning more about our part-time evening program, please attend one of our information sessions.
Register to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Registration materials and test dates may be obtained at www.LSAC.org.
Register with the LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Registration for the CAS can be accomplished at the same time you register for the LSAT. Please note that LSAC will not send any law school a report until they have received transcripts from every undergraduate institution you have attended, including summer sessions and semesters abroad. You also must pay any necessary fees. SMU's LSAC code is 6660.
Although exceptions may be made in special circumstances, an entering student is required to have received a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university prior to enrollment in the School of Law. The School of Law does not prescribe a fixed course of pre-legal study, but does examine the record of each applicant to determine whether the undergraduate courses taken reflect adequate preparation for the study of law. The student should pursue a well-rounded course of study, with particular attention devoted to the development of analytical skills, and facility and style in the use of the English language.
Qualifications for Admission to the Bar: 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.
J.D. Application Requirements
J.D. applicants must submit the following:
an electronic application via the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), available here. This application process is fully-accessible to the visually impaired.
motivation for attending SMU Dedman School of Law
$75 nonrefundable application fee, payable to SMU Dedman School of Law
Your file will not be reviewed until all required materials have been received.
Letters of recommendation are optional. If you choose to submit letters of recommendation, we will accept up to three (3). Submit your letters of recommendation through the CAS Letter of Recommendation Service.
J.D. Application Deadlines
Applications are processed on a continuous basis beginning in early November. It is in your best interest to submit your application as early as possible.
Early Decision* Regular Decision Late Decision
LSAT Exam June or October December or February** Any
Due date November 15 February 15 After February 15
Notification End of January End of April After file completion,
on a rolling basis
*Our early decision program is non-binding. Any application that is complete by the early decision deadline will be evaluated as part of our early decision program. Early decision applications may be accepted, denied, or held for further review. If your application is held for further review, it will be reconsidered with regular decision applications.
**We will accept the February LSAT for regular decision, even if the score is not posted by February 15.
Our early decision program is non-binding. Applications and all supporting documentation, including your CAS report, must be submitted by November 15. By the end of January, we will inform you that your application has been accepted, denied, or held for further review. If your application is held for further review, it will be reconsidered with regular decision applications. If you are applying for the Hatton W. Sumners Scholarship or the Sarah T. Hughes Scholarship (both as described here), it is strongly recommended that you submit your application and supporting documentation by the early decision deadline.
Applications and all supporting documentation, including your CAS report, must be submitted by February 15. We will accept the February LSAT for regular decision, even if the scores are posted after February 15. We will inform you that your application has been accepted, denied, or placed on a waiting list by the end of April.
Late decision applications are considered on a space-available basis. Applications will be reviewed upon completion, and decisions will be made shortly thereafter. Late decision applications generally will not be considered for scholarship assistance.
Waiver of Minimum Hour Requirement (Reduced Load Option)
A limited number of well-qualified J.D. applicants may request a waiver of the minimum hour requirement. Applicants seeking admission under the reduced-load option should submit a written statement explaining why they are interested in this option.
How to Contact Us
SMU Dedman School of Law
Office of Admissions
PO Box 750110
Dallas, TX 75275-0110
SMU Dedman School of Law
Office of Admissions
3300 University Blvd., Carr Collins Bldg. Suite 331
Dallas, TX 75205
Web Site: www.law.smu.edu