Applying to Law School

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

Admission to the J.D. Program

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What does our ideal J.D. candidate look like?

Our admission process is selective and based on both quantitative and qualitative criteria. In addition to your LSAT score and your undergraduate grade point average (GPA), 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.

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 to six weeks. It is essential to make sure you have submitted all required documents. Incomplete applications will not go into review with the Admissions Committee.

Applying Early Decision

If you have identified UB School of Law as a definite first choice, you may consider applying via our Early Decision process. If you apply Early Decision, you are committing to enrolling if admitted.

Applicants interested in Early Decision must submit a complete application by Nov. 15. The School of Law will complete the review process and render decisions by Dec. 15.

Successful Early Decision candidates must submit a seat deposit by the date noted within their offer letter.  Additionally, they may not initiate any new law school applications, must decline any other law school acceptance(s), and must immediately withdraw any pending law school applications. Failure to honor these commitments will result in the UB School of Law revoking its offer of admission.

Applying Regular Decision

Our priority application deadline is March 1. Taking the February LSAT will not delay the processing of your application. In addition, applications will continue to be accepted after March 1 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Admitted applicants must notify the Office of Admissions of their intention to accept the offer by the deadline indicated in their acceptance letter or email except in the case of applicants who apply for Early Decision.

Admissions Requirements

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
The LSAT is administered by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). The School of Law does not have a minimum score. We typically admit students within the same range from year to year, with some variation. However, it is important for you to perform to the best of your ability, and we encourage you to prepare at least three months prior to taking the LSAT. To prepare, it is important to simulate the testing conditions you will have on the day of the exam.  Learn about our LSAT Prep Workshops and Practice Test events.

NEED TO KNOW

The June LSAT is the latest score that can be considered for fall admission. However, we strongly encourage you to take the LSAT early in the cycle. The School of Law will accept LSAT scores from tests taken within the preceding five years.

Transcripts
The Admissions Committee takes a broad view of undergraduate 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

Transcripts from ALL undergraduate and graduate institutions attended must be submitted to LSAC. Your application will not be released to us without all required transcripts. Failure to submit all of the transcripts will delay application processing.

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 waiver.

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 your professional skills.

NEED TO KNOW

Two letters are recommended, but only one letter is required to complete your file.

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 a law degree. We are also interested in learning about your life experiences, family background, academic experiences and academic accomplishments that make you uniquely qualified to pursue a J.D. The personal statement should also be an excellent example of your writing skills. Ideally, your personal statement should be tailored to the School of Law.  It should be 2 – 2 1/2 pages, 12-point font.

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.

Application fee
The nonrefundable application fee is $85. 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.

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.