J.D. Admission Requirements: UH Law Center
The Law Center enrolls first-year full-time (day) and part-time (evening) students beginning in August. The application deadline for part-time is May 15, and for full-time February 15. Full-time applicants are encouraged to take the LSAT no later than the December preceding the deadline to ensure timely receipt of test results. Full-time applicants who take the February LSAT will be considered on a space available basis. Applicants to the part-time program are encouraged to take the LSAT by the February administration, but June LSAT scores will be considered on a space-available basis. Part-time applicants are encouraged to take the LSAT no later than February; however, the June test will be accepted on a space-available basis. All applicants who will need a student visa must take the LSAT no later than December. To ensure your file receives consideration, files should be complete by June 15 for part-time and March 15 for full-time. Since a rolling admission process is used, there is more availability earlier in the process. Decisions will be mailed by mid-May for full-time and early July for part-time.
If you are applying for early decision, the application deadline is November 1. You must take the LSAT no later than October. Your file must be complete by December 1. Decisions will be mailed by mid-February for those applicants whose files were completed by December 1. If your file is completed after December 1, you will be considered during regular admission.
It is the University policy, consistent with State of Texas statutes, that no single criterion can be utilized as the sole determiner of admission status nor can fixed weights be applied to any one criterion. Demonstrated academic ability and strong LSAT scores are not the only criteria for admission. Consideration is also given to your background, race and ethnicity, achievements, honors, extracurricular activities, service to others, unique abilities, hardships overcome, advanced degrees, employment, and leadership. These and other elements may be addressed in a personal statement of up to three pages double-spaced. For more information contact:
Requirements for Admission
To be eligible for admission, you must have completed a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university prior to enrollment. You must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), which is administered four times a year throughout the country. The Law Center requires each applicant to register for the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS). Information and registration materials for the LSAT and LSDAS are available at the Law Center or by contacting the following:
Law School Admission Council
661 Penn St, Box 2000
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply electronically, using the application available at the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) or at the Law Center Admissions page. A complete application package submitted to the UH Law Center must contain:
completed application form
non-refundable application fee of $70, payable by credit card if applying electronically or by check or money order if applying by mail
Two letters of recommendation submitted through the LSDAS.
Applicants who apply electronically are asked not to submit an additional application package by mail. Only one application is accepted per year.
State law limits nonresident enrollment to 35 percent of our student body. If you have resided and been gainfully employed in the state of Texas for 12 months prior to the time of enrollment, you may be considered a Texas resident for tuition purposes.
Foreign nationals who hold F-1 or any other temporary visas are considered nonresidents and are required to pay the nonresident/foreign tuition charges. Students accepted as nonresidents will usually be classified as such for the duration of their study at the Law Center. Any questions on residency classification should be directed to the Office of Admissions (713)743-2280 or visit the Texas Higher Education Board and the UH Academic Forms page
Applicants with Undergraduate Degrees Earned Outside the U.S.
The University of Houston Law Center requires foreign educated applicants to the JD program to submit their foreign transcripts through the Law School Admissions Council Credential Assembly Service (CAS). This service is included in the LSDAS subscription fee. If you completed any postsecondary work outside the U.S. (including its territories) or Canada, you must use this service for the evaluation of your foreign transcripts. A Foreign Credential Evaluaion will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into your LSDAS report. TOEFL scores should alsow be submitted to the CAS by the Educational Testing Service (ETS); LSAC's TOEFL code for the CAS is 0058. Your score will be included in your LSDAS law school report.
To use the LSAC Credential Assembly Service, log into your LSAC online account and follow the instructions for registering for the service. Be sure to print out a Transcript Request form for each institution and send it promptly to them. More time is usually required to receive foreign transcripts. Questions about the CAS should be directed to LSAC at 215.968.1001, or LSACINFO@LSAC.ORG.
Students who received their undergraduate degree from a country where English is not the official language must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants from Canada and other countries where English is the official language are exempt from the TOEFL.
Any student who is not a U.S. citizen and holds a temporary visa is classified as an international student by the UH Law Center. In addition to meeting standard admissions requirements, these applicants must submit the following:
Official TOEFL report of a score of at least 600 or higher on the paper-based test, or 100 on the Internet-based test, for students whose native language is not English.
non-U.S. citizen must include a copy of immigration documents when submitting an application
Letter of Financial Backing *(U.S. citizens and permanent residents are exempt)
Statement of Understanding *
Non-refundable $75 processing fee made payable to the University of Houston
*Available via the Law Center Admissions page
Applicants with a foreign law degree may petition for credit toward their J.D. after they have completed the first-year curriculum. The dean for student affairs has the sole discretion to credit up to 30 semester hours.
Tuition and Fees
The University of Houston is a state-assisted institution. For Texas residents, tuition for the 2008-2009 school year is $451.25 per semester hour. The course load for the first year of law school is 30 semester hours full-time and 26 semester hours part-time.
The 2008-2009 tuition for nonresidents is $702.25 per semester hour. Approximately $2184 in fees is required each semester for full-time students. Fees for part-time students are contingent on the number of semester hours for which the student is enrolled. Tuition and fee charges are set by the Texas legislature and the University of Houston System Board of Regents and are subject to change without notice.
The state legislature has provided two options for payment of fees during regular semesters. You may pay the balance in full or in three installments. You may pay in cash, credit card, or by check or money order payable to the University of Houston.
Advanced Standing, Transfer and Visiting Applicants
If you have attended another ABA-accredited law school, you may apply for admission with advanced standing. Factors used in the evaluation include available space in the student body, academic performance at the current law school, pre-law school academic performance and compelling circumstances.
Admission to the upper division is very competitive and first consideration is given to applicants who have performed extremely well in their law school careers.
A complete application package submitted for consideration must contain:
Completed application form
Non-refundable application fee of $70
Official law school transcript (reflecting entire first-year grades)
LSDAS report (sent directly from LSAC)
Letter from your law school attesting to your good standing and class rank (reflecting entire first-year grades)
Statement of reasons for transfer/visit
Letter of Permission (visiting applicants only)
Applications should be received by the following dates:
Visiting: July 15 for Fall; November 15 for Spring; and April 15 for Summer.
Transfer: June 26 for early decision, July 15 for regular decision.
Transfers are only accepted for fall. Application deadlines are subject to change. You should visit the Law Center Admissions page for the most up-to-date transfer deadlines.
Transfer applicants must have completed the equivalent of the first year of law school and all or most of the Law Center's first-year required courses (Torts, Property, Contracts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Statutory Elective and Legal Research and Legal Writing). Transfer applicants may have a maximum of 30 graded semester hours of law credit with a 'C' or better, transferable only from a school accredited by the ABA. Only those credits that contribute to J.D. degree requirements at the Law Center will be transferable, regardless of the grade earned. Only the hours and not the grades will be noted on the UH transcript.
Students in good standing at another ABA-accredited law school may apply to the Law Center with the intention of applying the earned credits toward degree requirements at the home school. In addition to the requirements listed above, visiting candidates must submit a letter from the home school stating that credits earned at the Law Center will be accepted toward degree requirements and stating any other conditions, if applicable.
Visiting students are not allowed to register for first year courses and are allowed to register only after all Law Center students have completed their registration. Therefore, when requesting course approval from the home school, you should always include alternate selections. Visiting students must arrange their financial aid through their home school via a consortium agreement.
Catalog Publish Date: January 14, 2013
This Page Last Updated: December 19, 2012