J.D. Frequently Asked Questions

Preparing for Law School 

Do I need to have a particular major or course of study to apply to the University of Alabama School of Law?
The Law School does not require that you have a particular major to apply. However, you should choose a course of study in which you are interested and in which you do well. The admissions committee considers the demands of the undergraduate course of study when evaluating an application.

Will having certain activities or even legal experience on my resume give me a better chance of being admitted to the University of Alabama School of Law?
We want you to pursue activities and jobs that are of interest to you. Do not pursue an activity solely because you think it will look good on your law school application. We are not looking for certain experiences on your resume. Instead, show us your passions. Of course, you are welcome to join pre-law groups in college or even take jobs and internships in the legal field, but you are not required to pursue these things to be admitted to law school. Many students apply and are admitted each year without ever having been involved in law-related activities.

What if my employment during college did not allow me to become involved in a lot of student organizations?
Employment while in school is an activity in itself. It is not about the number of activities you have on your resume, but rather, it is about your level of involvement with each of these activities. You can highlight points about your work while in school on your resume, including the number of hours you typically worked each week.

Is there anything I can do now to ensure I can receive the best letters of recommendation when I am applying to law school?
Building strong relationships with faculty, work supervisors and student organization advisors is a great place to start on the path to receiving the best letters of recommendation possible. Do not be afraid to introduce yourself to professors and engage them in conversation during their office hours. Work hard in your classes, jobs, and activities so these people can see your contributions. You will want to ask those who know your work best to write your letters of recommendations.

What does the Law School consider when reviewing a file for admission?
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and cumulative undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) are the two most significant factors in the admissions process. See the Admissions Test section of the FAQs for information on submitting Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores for consideration. The Law School also considers your personal statement, résumé, and your letters of recommendation. Your file will be reviewed for other factors such as unique work experience or community service; leadership roles; history of overcoming adversity; diverse backgrounds; travel experience; demonstrated concern for the disadvantaged; exceptional talents; career achievements; writing abilities; graduate school performance; and other aspects from your background.

Applying to Alabama Law

Admissions Test

What admissions test scores will Alabama Law accept?

We will accept Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores.

Also, some undergraduate students at The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) may apply to the Law School using the ACT or SAT. See the 503 Alternative Admissions Program.

How does the Law School consider multiple test scores?

The Law School considers your highest score.

What is the oldest test score I can submit?

We accept LSAT or GRE scores that are up to five years old.  

Is the LSAT or the GRE given the most weight in the admissions decision?  

The LSAT will remain the primary admission test, but the Law School will consider a GRE score if the applicant does not have an LSAT score. 

If I have taken the LSAT and the GRE, am I required to submit all valid scores on all of the tests?

No. You do not need to submit GRE scores. However, if you have taken the LSAT or plan to take the LSAT, your valid LSAT scores must be submitted. If you submit both LSAT and GRE scores, a valid LSAT score will be the principal score used in the admissions decision. 

LSAT

When should I take the LSAT?
The Law School recommends that you take the LSAT early (in or prior to September). However, the Law School also will consider the June LSAT for fall admission. For LSAT dates, please review the LSAC website at www.lsac.org/.

Where do I take the LSAT?
The LSAT is given at test centers all over the United States and in Canada and other international locations. Please contact the LSAC at www.lsac.org or (215) 968-1001 for more information.

What is a competitive LSAT score?
The LSAT is significant in the admissions process. The median LSAT score for the class enrolling in the Fall of 2019 was 164.  

GRE

Can I submit a GRE score in place of my LSAT score if I already have a valid LSAT score?

No. If you have a valid LSAT score or plan to have a valid LSAT score, a score on the GRE will only be considered in addition to the LSAT score, not in place of a score. All valid LSAT scores are required to be submitted.

How do I apply using my GRE scores for consideration?

See the Application section of the FAQs. 

How should I submit my GRE scores to Alabama Law?

You must request an official GRE score report from Educational Testing Services (ETS) that includes all GRE scores from the last five years. Please mark the University of Alabama School of Law as a recipient of your test scores. Our GRE school code is 4627.

Is more consideration placed on a particular section of the GRE?

Each section of the GRE will be considered in the admissions decision.  

Undergraduate Grade Point Average (UGPA)

May I apply before I receive a bachelor’s degree?
The Law School requires that an applicant have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution before enrolling at Alabama Law. You may apply before you receive the degree.

What is a competitive UGPA?
The median UGPA for the class enrolling in the Fall of 2019 was 3.92. The cumulative GPA considered in the admission process is from the undergraduate courses as determined by the CAS report. Although the cumulative UPGA is the primary GPA considered, a graduate GPA may also be a factor in the admissions process. An upward trend in undergraduate grades and a challenging course of study are two additional factors that are considered. If there were circumstances that impacted your UGPA, you may explain the circumstances in an application addendum or in your essay.

LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report 

Are all applicants required to register with CAS through LSAC?  

All applicants must register with CAS through LSAC. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that files are complete and current with CAS.

What does the CAS Report include?

The CAS Report will include all valid LSAT scores within the past five years. The CAS Report will not include GRE score information. GRE test results must be submitted to the Law School through ETS. See the Admissions Test section above for additional information. 

The CAS report will also include all official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions attended and letters of recommendation.

Am I required to subscribe to and use the LSAC CAS if I do not have an LSAT score?  

Yes. Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended, including international institutions, and letters of recommendation must be submitted to include in the CAS report. If an applicant does not have an LSAT and is submitting GRE scores for consideration, the applicant still must register for CAS, send in all transcripts to LSAC, and request a CAS report be sent to the Law School. We will request your CAS report from LSAC once we receive your application.    

If I attended an undergraduate school outside the United States, am I required to register for the CAS?
Yes, you must use the JD Credential Assembly Service (JD CAS) through the LSAC. Your transcripts and TOEFL score must be sent to the JD CAS.

Application

When does Alabama begin accepting applications?
The Law School generally begins accepting applications in September of each year.

Is there an application fee?
Yes, the fee is $40 and may be paid by check, money order, or credit card. Alabama Law honors fee waivers granted by LSAC. If LSAC has granted a fee waiver to you, please provide a copy of an email or a letter granting the waiver.

We also waive the application fee for veterans and current members of the United States military. To request this waiver, send an email to admissions@law.ua.edu and provide a copy of your DD 214 or current assignment orders.

In addition, as part of our continued commitment to public service, Alabama Law will waive the $40 application fee for current or former Teach For America and AmeriCorps members and for current and former Peace Corps volunteers. To request this waiver, send an email to admissions@law.ua.edu. Please attach a letter from your supervisor confirming your participation, dates of participation, and location of service. The Law School also will accept a direct email from your supervisor with these details.

May I apply before I take or retake the LSAT?
Yes. However, the committee cannot review your application until your file, which includes your final LSAT score, is complete. If the Law School is aware that you are registered to retake the LSAT, your file will be considered incomplete until your final LSAT is received unless you request in writing that the Law School proceed with the review of your file.    

After I apply, may I retake the LSAT?
Yes. Please inform the Admissions Office staff if you are retaking the test.

How do I apply if I wish to submit a GRE score for consideration?  

If you wish to apply and have a GRE score considered, you must complete the JD First-Year Application through LSAC and mark that you took the GRE. You also must submit your GRE score(s) for consideration. See GRE above.    

After I apply, when should I expect a decision?
Alabama has a rolling admissions policy, which means that applications are considered continuously throughout the admissions season. Applications are initially reviewed in roughly the order in which they are completed. Some applications receive an immediate final decision; others are held for further review or are waitlisted. We make our decisions as quickly as possible, but the time necessary varies from case to case. There may be applications that are completed in the Fall that do not receive a final decision until late in the admissions cycle. We evaluate each application thoroughly, considering the entirety of the application. This holistic approach, coupled with our rolling admissions process, allows us to ensure that each application receives attention. It also allows us to make careful comparisons between applications completed at different times. There is no application deadline for Fall 2020. However, the committee begins admitting applicants before December and seats are filled as the season progresses.

By the end of May, the Law School typically will have made final decisions and completed its waitlist.  If an applicant has questions about the status of his or her application, he or she should feel free to contact the Admissions Office at (205) 348-5440 or admissions@law.ua.edu.

May I reapply if I was denied admission in the previous year?
Of course you may reapply. You will need to complete a new application and submit an application fee. You also will need to make certain that your Credential Assembly Service (CAS) file is updated and complete and that you submit any new coursework to the service. You should consider submitting new essays and recommendations. The committee, however, will consider any material from a file from the previous year. We recommend that you improve your application in some manner and not submit the same material as you did for the year you were denied admission.

Is an essay required with the application?
The Law School requires one essay with the application. The essay should be a two-page personal statement. This essay might describe why you want to go to law school or the University of Alabama School of Law in particular. Or, it might describe how your experiences will enrich the class. You are encouraged to describe any adversity you have overcome. The personal statement should provide insight that the Committee may not otherwise glean from your resume and transcripts. This essay is your writing sample for the committee, and the committee will consider your writing style and form, including grammar.

Is a résumé required?
Yes. Please submit a résumé that includes at least your last three positions of full-time employment, including summer employment.

How many letters of recommendation are required?
Alabama Law requires one letter of recommendation. The Law School requests that at least one letter go through CAS. The best letters are specific and describe your abilities and accomplishments. The committee often considers letters from undergraduate professors to be most useful. An academic letter of recommendation particularly would be helpful if your UGPA is significantly below the median.

Other Questions

May I visit the Law School?

The University of Alabama School of Law encourages prospective students to visit the Law School to tour the facilities, attend an admissions information session, and observe a class. Please click here to schedule a visit

Are interviews required?
The admissions committee does not interview candidates for admission. However, the Admissions Office may call or contact you if there is a problem with or questions about information in your application. As a prospective student interested in studying law at Alabama, you should feel free to visit the law school and ask questions from an Admissions staff member.

If I am an international student applying for the J.D. Program, is a TOEFL score required?
A TOEFL score is required if English is not your primary language.

Is Alabama residency considered in admissions and may I change my residency status after my first year of law school?
Alabama residency is one of many factors in admissions. Thus, it is useful for nonresidents in particular to describe their ties to the State and/or their interest in the University of Alabama School of Law.

It is possible to obtain Alabama residency after your first year. Please review the residency guidelines at http://registrar.ua.edu/residency.html. Residency petitions should be mailed to the Law School Admissions Office, Box 870382, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

How may I be considered for scholarships?
Applicants applying as incoming first-year students are considered automatically for scholarships. If you are awarded a scholarship, you are notified by the Admissions Office.

How do I apply for financial aid (loans)? 
To be considered for loans, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The form may be completed online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. More information can be found at www.financialaid.ua.edu. Students with questions regarding financial aid also may contact Cheryl Rollins at crollins@law.ua.edu or (205) 348-1123. Students with questions regarding merit scholarship awards may contact the Admissions office at admissions@law.ua.edu or (205) 348-5440.

Does Alabama Law require a seat deposit?
Alabama Law requires admitted students to pay a one-time non-refundable seat deposit. If you enroll at Alabama, the deposit amount will be applied toward your tuition in the fall. Seat deposits may be mailed to the Law School Admissions Office or paid online at myBama.ua.edu.

Are professors accessible to students?
The professors at the University of Alabama School of Law are accessible and enjoy working with students. Our students feel comfortable approaching professors with questions. Our low student-to-faculty ratio shows our commitment to a student-centered education.

Does Alabama Law offer night-time or part-time study of law for the JD program?
No, we only offer full-time study of the law. While some second and third-year classes meet in the evenings, these are only available to full-time students.

What if I have additional questions?
Please contact the Law School Admissions Office with questions. Our mailing address is Box 870382, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. Our physical address is 101 Paul Bryant Drive East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401. The Admissions phone number is (205) 348-5440 and the email address is admissions@law.ua.edu.