FAQs

Applying to the School of Law

Please see the current class profile for an exact number.

In a typical year, UCI Law will make offers of admission to approximately 1 out of 5 applicants.

A bachelor’s degree earned prior to the beginning of the law school semester from an accredited institution of higher education and a valid standardized test score (LSAT or GRE). Please refer to the Application Instructions for more information about the specific components of the application process.

No. International students must complete their bachelor’s degree, submit their transcripts to the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), and have a valid standardized test score (LSAT or GRE) to apply. We do not require a TOEFL score or any other language proficiency test.

Applicants educated outside of the United States and Canada must have their degree evaluated through the LSAC as equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree, please see the Application Instructions for more information.

Yes. Please see the relevant page regarding applying as a Transfer Student or Visiting Student for more information about those processes and timelines.

The secure application form, available through the LSAC Electronic Application System, and instructions will be available after September 1. Applications may be submitted up until March 15, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. (PST). Please review the Application Instructions for details. Apply earlier, rather than later!

Students are admitted only for fall entry to the law school. There is no mid-year admission to the 1L program.

Early Decision applicants are reviewed first and will receive a decision by the end of the calendar year. Regular decision applications should not expect a decision until after January 1 regardless of when the application is submitted or marked as complete.

To a certain extent, yes. Early Decision applications must be complete by November 15 and are reviewed first. Regular decision applications are reviewed on a generally rolling basis afterwards. This means that the committee reviews applications and makes admission decisions once applications arrive and are determined to be complete. While each application is reviewed on its merits regardless of when it is submitted, the reality is that the class begins to take shape and fill up as the application deadline (March 15) approaches. Thus, once your application is complete and in the best version possible, it is best to submit earlier rather than later.

UCI Law does not charge an application fee so a fee waiver is unnecessary.

Yes, we have a binding Early Decision program. The deadline for submitting a complete Early Decision application, including CAS Report and ED Certification is November 15. Please see the Application Instructions for more information.

No. While the committee recognizes the excellent education that students receive at UCI and other UC campuses, there is no preferential treatment offered to graduates of UCI or other UC campuses in the application review process.

We believe that the best time to start law school is whenever you are ready to start law school! Some people are ready to start law school as soon as they graduate college. Others may wish or need to take a gap year (or more). Other applicants may be ready to start law school after several years (sometimes decades) in the workplace. The committee has no preference between applicants applying after taking time off or for those who apply right out of college. The most important factor is that you apply when you are ready to start law school.

We strive to admit a diverse group of people to join the vibrant exchange of ideas and viewpoints in our classrooms. Our admission policy gives equal consideration to a variety of factors in addition to numerical indicators. These include graduate work, special academic distinctions, life experiences, difficulty of the academic program, work experience, history of overcoming educational or socioeconomic disadvantage, and significant achievement in nonacademic activities or public service.

Please see the current class profile for the most recent LSAT and GPA quartiles.

LSAT and GRE

Yes. As part of a three-year pilot program, UCI Law will accept either the LSAT or the GRE beginning the fall 2019-2020 application cycle.

Applicants are encouraged to select one exam or the other for their application.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) automatically reports all LSAT scores from the past five years as part of the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report sent with your application for admission. If a LSAT Score appears on your application, the LSAT score will govern consideration of your application as it is what the law school reports to accrediting and assessment agencies.

Applicants applying with only the GRE must submit all GRE scores, including the writing section, from the past five years through ETS and cannot withhold any scores.

Applicants who have taken both the GRE and LSAT are not required to submit their GRE scores. If you wish to have us consider a GRE score in addition to the LSAT, you must submit all GRE scores from the past five years through ETS.

Applicants submitting a GRE score in lieu of a LSAT score are evaluated in the same manner as those applying with a LSAT score. Our review process is holistic and takes into account standardized test scores, undergraduate academic performance (including but not limited to GPA), rigor of study, work experience, graduate study, economic or educational disadvantage, community involvement as well as all other components of the admission application. If an applicant has a LSAT score, the LSAT score will govern consideration of the application. Whether an applicant submits only one of these test scores or both, the scores will be assessed in the context of these other factors.

The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) automatically reports all LSAT test scores from the past five years in the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report it provides to the law school. To maintain parity in the requirements between the LSAT and GRE results, applicants must also submit all valid GRE test results from the last five years via ETS. Applicants may not choose which results they will share. A failure to comply with this policy may result in a withdrawal of an offer of admission.

The Committee will use the highest score for purposes of a final decision, and this will be the recorded score for all reports and publications. However, the Committee will have access to all scores and will consider them in their evaluation (applicants submitting GRE scores must have all of their scores from the last five years sent to the law school by ETS). For the GRE, the Committee will look at each exam individually in determining the highest score and will not SuperScore the GRE. Applicants are encouraged to address any discrepancies in scores or extenuating circumstances in an addendum.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to re-review any application that was granted admission with a GRE score and subsequently presents with a LSAT score at any time during the application cycle.

The last LSAT administration eligible to make your file complete is March 2022. The GRE must be taken by March 31, 2022. Applicants must still submit the application by the close of the application period regardless of the date of the standardized test or when the score will be reported. Applications that become complete with later exams may be excluded from consideration.

We will accept any past LSAT score on record with LSAC. Generally, LSAC keeps LSAT scores for five years. We will also accept any past GRE score on record with ETS. Similarly, ETS keeps GRE scores for five years.

Yes. All applicants, regardless of whether they are taking the LSAT or the GRE, must register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) and submit their transcripts this way. Applicants must also submit letters of recommendation through the CAS.

Law school applicants should take the general GRE test.

For information on LSAC’s fee waiver, please visit the LSAC website. For the GRE fee reduction program, please visit the ETS website.

UCI Law is unable to offer fee waivers for CAS, LSAT, and/or GRE.

Yes, but keep in mind that if you have a valid LSAT score on file and your application is otherwise complete, this score will be included on your CAS report and your file will be sent forward to the admissions committee for review.  Similarly, if ETS has already sent us a valid GRE score, your file will be complete and will be forwarded to the committee. Thus, you should submit your application when it is ready to be reviewed. Your application will only be held if you are a first-time LSAT or GRE test taker that is registered for a future exam, with no other score on file.

The GRE must be taken by March 31, 2022. Applicants must still submit the application by the close of the application period. Applications that become complete with exams after March 31, 2022 may be excluded from consideration.

After You Apply

Early Decision applicants will receive a decision by the end of December. Regular decision applicants who have a complete file by February 15 will receive a decision by April 1.

 

Applicants can expect to receive a response via e-mail. Please make sure to adjust your spam filters to ensure you receive messages from UCI Law. Dispositions will also be available on the Online Status Checker. You are responsible for all information and deadlines conveyed via email and for having an accurate email address on file.

One-year deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis. Historically, the Committee has granted a deferral to an admitted student for compelling reasons, such as unforeseen hardships or extraordinary opportunities. The admitted student must (1) pay their initial seat deposit that holds their seat in the entering class to which they have been admitted and (2) submit a written request stating the reasons a deferral is necessary. Please note that any merit scholarship awarded will not carry over. If the Admissions Committee grants the deferral, the admitted student is required to submit an updated CAS report before being reevaluated for scholarship funds consistent with that incoming class. They may then be required to submit an additional seat deposit on the dates outlined in their scholarship notification letter. All deposits are non-refundable and applied towards the first tuition bill. In the event that the deferred student withdraws, the deposits are forfeited. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to set a deadline for the receipt of deferral requests.

The landscape of law school applications changes from year to year, making it hard to predict how the application review process will play out. However, in the last several years there has been a waitlist every year. Admission offers to the waitlist have varied from year to year based on enrollment needs. More information about waitlist process will be communicated to those placed on a waitlist.

Yes. The review process begins fresh every year and re-applicants will be reviewed without prejudice.

Tuition, Aid, and Housing

The most current breakdown of J.D. Cost of Attendance for both California residents and non-California residents, including tuition, fees, and estimated living expenses, is located under Tuition & Aid on our Admissions pages.

A variety of information about financial aid resources, including merit-based scholarships, targeted fellowships, federal and private loans, need-based grants, and educational benefits for Veterans are available in our Types of Aid section.

Yes, on-campus housing is available at UCI Law. Most students live in either the Palo Verde or Verano housing complexes, which are unfurnished and close to the law school. Privately-managed apartment complexes are also available on-campus and offer additional amenities in the unit.

Obtaining on-campus housing is subject to meeting fee payment and housing application deadlines.

Getting Here

UCI Law is located in coastal Southern California, about 40 miles south of Los Angeles and 80 miles north of San Diego. You can find the best route to get here on our Maps & Directions page. We are also conveniently located just 2 miles from John Wayne Airport, a full-service, international airport serving Orange County.

Located on the 4th Floor (Room 410) of the Multi-Purpose Academic & Administrative Building (MPAA), the Office of Admissions and Student Financial Services normally welcomes visitors; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are unable to welcome you to visit the campus at this time. Information on how to Experience UCI Law virtually is available, and we will also post information regarding campus visits as soon as we have further guidance.

Miscellaneous

Ranked among the top research universities in the country, UC Irvine stretches across 1,500 acres along the coastal foothills of Orange County and five miles from pristine Pacific Ocean beaches. With engaging public lectures, captivating theater performances and exciting athletic events taking place year-round, there is always something interesting going on at UCI.
No. Our J.D. program is a full-time day program.
Yes, the School of Law offers students the opportunity to pursue concurrent graduate degrees, for example an MBA through the Paul Merage School of Business.