Applying to Law School

Here’s what you need to know about applying to our academic programs.

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Admission to the Advanced Standing Two-Year J.D. Program

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2-Year J.D.

Applicants to our Advanced Standing Two-Year J.D. Program are from all over the world, but those we accept have several things in common: they demonstrate superior achievement in law school and/or the legal profession, they possess excellent communication skills, and most importantly, they have a very clear sense of how a J.D. degree from the University at Buffalo School of Law is going to help them achieve their professional goals.
Our admission process is selective and based on both quantitative and qualitative criteria. In addition to your law school grade point average (GPA) and language proficiency test score (if necessary), the Admissions Committee considers other non-numerical factors in reaching decisions. These factors include:

  • Achievement or activities that indicate a high level of probability of scholastic excellence and intellectual contributions while in law school;
  • Achievements or activities emanating from work, life experience or community service that indicate a potential for contributing to the enrichment of the law school;
  • Special factors in your academic background that may have affected your academic career, including discrimination based on race, creed, gender, disability or national origin, and economic or social impediments.

The School of Law is committed to a nondiscriminatory admission policy and philosophy. We welcome applications from all people without regard to race, age, gender, disability, religion, national origin, family status or sexual orientation.

Eligibility to Apply

You are eligible to apply to our Advanced Standing Two-Year J.D. Program if you have a first degree in law from a regionally accredited college or university by the date of intended enrollment. The LSAT is not required.

Note

Students must have completed their law study primarily in the classroom with professors, not online.

How to Apply

You must apply via the Law School Admission Council's LLM Credential Assembly Service. All supporting documents, including transcripts, recommendation letters and language proficiency test scores, are mailed or transmitted to LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Learn more about the LLM Application Process.

The Application Review Process

The Admissions Committee uses a rolling admission process. Applications are put into review with the Admissions Committee as they become complete, and decisions are usually made within four weeks. It is essential to make sure you have submitted all required documents. Incomplete applications will not go into review with the Admissions Committee.

Application Requirements

Transcripts
The Admissions Committee takes a broad view of law school performance. We evaluate your transcript based on courses taken, increasing level of difficulty and academic rigor of the course of study. While the academic reputation of the institution is considered, it is not weighed as heavily as the student’s academic performance. The Admissions Committee will accept addenda to your application that explain any anomalies in your academic performance. If you experienced an unexpected event that resulted in an inconsistent academic performance, consider providing a one-page explanation to the Admissions Committee. 

NEED TO KNOW

Applicants with non-U.S. academic documents must have them evaluated and, if necessary, translated by LSAC’s International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service (ITAES).

English Language Proficiency
Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum TOEFL score of 90 is required. The IELTS overall score band must be at least 7.0. Test scores must be dated within two years of prospective enrollment at the School of Law. Applicants with scores below 90 (TOEFL)/7.0 (IELTS) are welcome to apply and may be considered for conditional admission. Note: If your native language is not English, but you have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an English-speaking country, a waiver may be submitted to the University's Office of International Admissions. There is no guarantee that waiver requests will be approved. Please contact the Office of Admissions at law-admissions@buffalo.edu for more information about English proficiency waivers.

Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation help to complete the academic profile of each applicant. We highly encourage applicants ask faculty members to write these letters. Recommendations should stress your ability to think and write critically, analyze large volumes of text, and address your level of responsibility in the classroom. The Admissions Committee highly values letters from faculty members, former employers or colleagues who know you well.  

If you are returning to the academic environment after some time away, letters of recommendation from employers are acceptable. Encourage them to stress your academic ability as much as possible.

NEED TO KNOW

Two letters are required. Your application will not be completed or go into review until two letters have been received.

Your Personal Statement
The Admissions Committee uses the personal statement to learn about each applicant. We are particularly interested in knowing what motivates you to pursue the Advanced Standing Two-Year J.D. We are also interested in learning about your life experiences, family background, academic experiences and academic accomplishments that make you especially qualified to pursue a degree at the School of Law. The personal statement should also demonstrate your ability to write well.

It is recommended that you have your personal statement proofread prior to submission. Ideally, your personal statement should be tailored to the School of Law. It should be at most 750 words.

Résumé
All applicants are required to submit a résumé listing employment, extracurricular and/or public-service activities, honors, awards, and special interests related to your academic career to date.

Character and Fitness
Pursuant to policy established by the State University of New York (SUNY), the University at Buffalo School of Law does not make inquiries into the criminal records of applicants for purposes of admission.

Important Note

Admission to the University at Buffalo School of Law is based on our judgment of your ability to successfully complete a course of legal study. However, neither admission to nor graduation from UB School of Law constitutes a judgment that you are eligible for admission to practice law; that is a decision for state bar authorities, not law schools. A criminal record can be an obstacle for bar admission. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are eligible for admission to the bar, and we encourage you to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which you intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Post-Admission: Successful applicants may be asked to declare their criminal history, including any prior felony conviction(s), post-admission, if and when they seek campus housing or apply to participate in certain other activities that require such checks (i.e. study abroad programs and experiential courses that involve working at outside organizations or in settings that require criminal background checks). Certain responses could, but not necessarily, impact ones' ability to pursue the aforementioned opportunities.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $75 is required. Applicants who are economically disadvantaged may request an application fee waiver. Please submit the request to law-admissions@buffalo.edu prior to completing the application. If you have been granted an LSAC fee waiver, UB School of Law's application fee is automatically waived.