PLEASE NOTE: UCI Law has instituted policy of telecommuting for the entire law school community. The best way to reach a member of the Admissions Team is to e-mail admissions@law.uci.edu. If you have any financial aid or scholarship questions, e-mail finaid@law.uci.edu. Please allow 48-72 hours for response.

Application Instructions

All JD applicants should follow the below procedures.  If you have questions about UCI Law's admissions process, please contact us by phone at (949) 824-4545 or by email at admissions@law.uci.edu.

General Information

Thank you for considering UCI Law for your legal education. All of the following information is important; you should read the entirety prior to beginning the application for admission. In particular, in choosing whether to apply for Binding Early Decision or Regular Decision.

To promote access to a legal education at UCI, there is no application fee. A fee waiver is not necessary. Due to our limited resources, we are unable to grant CAS report fee waivers.

You will receive an e-mail confirmation of our receipt of your Fall 2021 1L application that contains your log-in credentials for the Applicant Status Online system within 72 business hours of submission (3 business days). Please check all your folders and/or tabs for this e-mail, if you did not receive it please contact us via admissions@law.uci.edu and include your full LSAC account number (including the L).

Dates & Deadlines

September 1, 2020 JD First-Year Application opens through the LSAC portal.
November 15, 2020 Binding Early Decision Applications due & complete.
January 15, 2021
  • Binding Early Decision SIR and non-refundable first seat deposit due
  • Fall 2020 Deferral SIR and non-refundable first seat deposit due
March 15, 2021 Fall 2021 JD First-Year Application is due (you may submit your Credentials Assembly Service report and scores after this deadline).
April 15, 2021
  • Regular Decision SIR and non-refundable first seat deposit begins to be due (this will become rolling for later admits; refer to the dates provided with your admission)
  • Binding Early Decision non-refundable second seat deposit due
  • Fall 2020 Deferral non-refundable second seat deposit due
May 1, 2021 Housing Application due by 4PM PT for incoming 1Ls to access the housing guarantee (must have submitted affirmative SIR and seat deposit no less than 72 hours prior to access the application).
June 1, 2021 Regular Decision non-refundable second seat deposit due

Application Information Applicable to All Applicants

UCI Law Application for Admission: The application is available through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website beginning on September 1.

  • Binding Early Decision applicants must have a complete file by the November 15 deadline (see more information, below).
  • Regular Decision applicants need only have their application submitted by the March 15 deadline. We will accept your CAS report after the deadline.

When submitting your application for admission, please strictly adhere to all application instructions. In addition to completing the application form itself, we require additional essays or statements. Additional instructions regarding the following statements are included with the application:

  • Personal Statement (750-word limit)
  • “Why UCI Law” Statement (750-word limit)
  • Current Resumé
  • Character and Fitness/Conduct information, if applicable
  • Optional Statements may be a Diversity Statement, LSAT Addendum, and/or GPA Addendum. (While you may write about multiple topics, the total word limit among the optional statements is 750 words.)

Please ensure the correct documents are submitted with your application; updates or revisions of documents are not accepted. Please follow formatting instructions and be sure to indicate your name, LSAC Account number, and the type of document (Personal Statement, Diversity Statement, etc.) in the header of each document. Conduct Information Statements do not have a word limit.

Credentials Assembly Service: All applicants must register for and utilize the LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The CAS will house your transcripts, letters of recommendation, and, as applicable, your LSAT score and LSAT writing.

If you are applying through Regular Decision, your CAS may be received after the application deadline. Please submit your CAS Report when your standardized testing is complete; the Admissions Committee will not hold your file for a future exam if it is otherwise complete unless the upcoming test will be your first.

Education: In order to apply for admission, you must possess your bachelor’s degree or have completed the equivalent of six semesters (nine quarters) and are on track to have your degree conferred prior to the beginning of your first law school semester. Your bachelor’s degree must be from an accredited institution of higher education. (The accredited institution must be listed on the U.S. Department of Education’s database.)

All applicants are under a continuing obligation to provide updated transcripts at all times. If you apply while currently an undergraduate student, you must update your transcript with the LSAC following each semester or quarter, including after receipt of your admissions decision. Upon conferral of your bachelor’s degree, send your final transcripts to the LSAC as well.

Transcripts from every college or university attended (except study abroad transcripts from foreign universities) must be submitted for inclusion in your CAS Report. Failing to include a transcript will result in your file being marked as incomplete (and may also delay delivery of a CAS report) and delay review by the Admissions Committee.

Standardized Tests:

UCI Law requires a standardized test as a part of the JD application. Applicants seeking admission for Fall 2021 may take either the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The Admissions Committee has authorized accepting both the LSAT and LSAT-flex for Fall 2021 admission, they will be treated as the same. UCI Law utilizes the term LSAT to refer to both the traditional LSAT and the LSAT-flex.

For Fall 2021 admission, the last LSAT score accepted will be from the April administration, and the last GRE must be taken no later than May 1, 2021.

The applicant may choose between the LSAT and the GRE, but please be mindful of the following guidelines:

  1. We encourage you to select either the LSAT or the GRE at the outset.
  2. If you have a LSAT score, that score will control for Admissions Committee evaluation.
  3. Applicants who have taken both the LSAT and GRE are required to submit LSAT scores; and may submit GRE scores if they choose. In this scenario, GRE scores are optional.
  4. Applicants who have only taken the GRE, and not the LSAT, must submit all GRE scores from the last five (5) years. Applicants must not use the ScoreSelect option offered by ETS. Failure to submit all GRE scores and/or use of ScoreSelect may result in a withdrawal of an admission offer.
    1. GRE scores should be submitted directly to UCI Law from ETS using UC Irvine Graduate School’s ETS school code 4859.
    2. Applicants applying with only GRE scores are still required to subscribe to, and utilize, the CAS for submission of transcripts and letters of recommendation.
    3. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to re-review an application admitted with solely a GRE score where the LSAT is subsequently taken and reported to their file.
    4. Regardless of which exam, scores are valid only if they have been earned within the last five (5) years.

Letters of Recommendation: UCI Law requires a minimum of two (2) but no more than three (3) letters of recommendation.

Letters of recommendation must be on file with LSAC and assigned to UCI Irvine School of Law. We will not receive your CAS Report until at least two (2) letters are assigned to UCI Law and on file with LSAC.

Letters of recommendation from academic sources are preferred; however, letters from professional references are acceptable. We do not suggest solely personal references.

Binding Early Decision Information

Fall 2021 is the first year UCI Law allows applicants to apply as Binding Early Decision. In addition to the general application information above, please adhere to this information as well if applying Early Decision. For Early Decision applicants, if there is a conflict between Early Decision information and general information, Early Decision information supersedes.

When considering whether to apply for Early Decision, UCI Law should be your first choice. You may only apply to one law school as an Early Decision applicant. If you are admitted as an Early Decision applicant, you are required to withdraw your application from all other programs, not initiate any new applications, and attend UCI Law.

In order to apply for the UCI Law Early Decision program, you must have a complete file prior to November 15, 2020. Therefore, you must:

  1. Complete the JD Application through the LSAC portal, indicating your desire to be considered for Binding Early Decision (question 1) and submit all written materials.
  2. Sit for the LSAT or LSAT-flex no later than the October 2020 administration (GRE scores are not accepted for Early Decision consideration). If your LSAT is close to five (5) years old, please confirm with LSAC it is still reportable.
  3. Complete your LSAT writing to ensure that it will be in your CAS Report prior to the November 15 deadline.
  4. Confirm that your all transcripts have been received by LSAC and processed for inclusion in your CAS Report. Missing any transcript for any reason renders your file incomplete.
  5. Confirm that you have two (2) letters of recommendation in your CAS Report and those letters are assigned to UCI Law.
  6. Complete the Early Decision Certification. If your Early Decision Certification is not received by the Admissions Office (in-hand) by the deadline, your file will be moved to Regular Decision. You have three options to submit the Early Decision Certification.
    1. You may electronically sign and e-mail the Early Decision Certification to admissions@law.uci.edu. To electronically sign, you must download the Early Decision Certification and open it in Adobe (not your browser). Your electronic signature must be the electronic signature as populated by Adobe. The singature cannot just be a script version of your name, a printed version with "/s/" before it, or another facsimile.
    2. You may print the Early Decision Certification, sign it in ink, scan it back as a PDF and e-mail it to admissions@law.uci.edu.
    3. You may print the Early Decision Certification, sign it in ink, and mail it back to the Office of Admissions. If you choose this third option, the Early Decision Certification must be physically in hand (not postmarked or at the University) by November 15. If you are pursuing this option, please mail it to:

                              Office of Admissions and Student Financial Services
                              University of California, Irvine School of Law
                              401 E. Peltason Drive, Suite 1000
                              Irvine, CA 92697-8000

Please utilize the application status checker to confirm that your file is complete by the deadline. The status checker is manually updated and will show as either Complete or “In Review” by November 19.

Early Decision applicants will receive either a decision of “Admit” or “Hold for Regular Decision”.

  • If you receive a decision of Admit, your Early Decision contract becomes active and you must immediately withdraw all applications to other schools. UCI Law reserves the right to contact other schools to inform them of your Early Decision admission if necessary.
  • If you receive a decision of “Hold for Regular Decision” you are free to apply to any other program and your Early Decision contract is no longer binding.

Scholarships

More information about scholarships, financial aid, and paying for law school is available on the Student Financial Services page.

Early Decision Scholarships

  • Those who receive a decision of Admit as Early Decision are guaranteed a scholarship of $30,000/year renewable for the duration of your law school education (six (6) semesters) at UCI provided you maintain good academic standing.
  • Those who receive a decision of “Hold for Regular Decision” and subsequently receive an offer of admission will be evaluated by the Scholarship Committee for merit scholarship funds. These scholarships may be higher or lower than those granted in the Early Decision process.

Regular Decision Scholarships

  • UCI law evaluates applicants admitted through Regular Decision for merit-based scholarships shortly after the Admissions Committee renders their favorable decision.
  • While timing is not dispositive regarding scholarships, since our scholarship budget is finite, awards may become limited as we move through the application cycle.

JD Admission Decisions

Binding Early Decision:

  • The Admissions Committee’s goal is to have all decisions to Early Decision applicants by the end of December.

Regular Decision:

  • After completing Early Decision review, the Admissions Committee’s goal is to have all Regular Decision files receive an outcome approximately 10 weeks of the files moving to “In Review”, excluding any UCI or UCI Law vacations or holidays.
  • Any Early Decision applicants who are being held over to Regular Decision will receive an updated decision between February 15, 2021 and March 15, 2021.