Frequently Asked Questions
- Prerequisites & Requirements
- The LSAT
- Applying (for Regular Admission, Transfers, Summer Program Admission, and Financial Aid)
- International Students
- Time it Takes to Graduate
- Part-Time Students
- Joint Degrees
- Acceptance/Being Admitted
- LL.M. Program
Prerequisites & Requirements
Q: What are the prerequisites for law school?
To be eligible for admission to our Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants must also take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) through the Law School Admissions Council (http://www.lsac.org/jd/apply/cas.asp).
Q: What undergraduate major should I choose?
No particular areas of undergraduate study are required or recommended. Rather, applicants should select a major that interests them because students are more likely to earn better grades in such a program. We recommend that applicants take courses which develop research and writing skills, analytical thinking, critical reading and problem solving.
Q: Do you ever admit students without an undergraduate degree?
Under exceptional circumstances, applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree may be admitted as candidates for the Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) degree. Applicants may be considered for admission to the LL.B. program if they meet ALL of the following criteria:
- The applicant is at least 30 years old.
- The applicant has completed at least three-fourths of the credit hours required for a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.3 or higher.
- The applicant has not been enrolled in an academic program for at least five years.
- The applicant scored in the 75th percentile or higher on the LSAT.
Q: How important are undergraduate grades and LSAT scores?
The Admissions Committee looks first at an applicant's undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) and LSAT score, but considers other factors. Undergraduate GPA and LSAT scores also weigh heavily in awarding merit-based fee remissions.
Q: What factors besides undergraduate grades and LSAT scores do you take into consideration?
Most admissions decisions are based on a combination of factors, including the quality and strength of the applicant's undergraduate program, worthwhile community and extracurricular activities, employment during and after college, graduate work, and letters of recommendation (particularly those from faculty). The Admissions Committee recognizes that motivation and a willingness to work are also significant factors contributing to the applicant's success in law school and in the legal profession. Although these factors are difficult to assess, letters of recommendation from persons in a position to make candid evaluations of an applicant’s motivation and drive may be helpful.
Q: How can I bring other relevant information to the Admission Committee's attention?
Applicants are encouraged to include in writing any additional relevant information you wish the Admissions Committee to consider in making its decision. Some applicants show motivation by demonstrating a specific purpose for seeking a law degree or by showing through past actions a devotion to community causes that could be served more effectively by a lawyer. Some applicants show that their UGPA does not reflect their real academic ability because they were employed during college or were engaged in worthwhile extracurricular activities that took time away from college studies. Others who have excelled in some relevant field of endeavor show that their postgraduate achievement better represents their abilities than does their undergraduate performance. Applicants who have been disadvantaged because of economic, educational, racial, or cultural circumstances are advised to bring this to the attention of the Admissions Committee.
Q: When should I take the LSAT?
The LSAT is given four times each year. Specific dates and locations are available on the Law School Admission Council's Website: http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/test-dates-deadlines.asp. We strongly advise applicants to take the LSAT in the summer of the year preceding the year in which they plan to apply for admission, and not later than December. If you wish to apply through our Early Decision Program, you must take the LSAT no later than October.
Q: How do I register for the LSAT?
Applicants may register for the LSAT and the CAS as well as obtain forms online at the Law School Admission Council's Website: https://os.lsac.org/release/startup.aspx?appl=1325A1.
Q: How long is my LSAT score valid?
An LSAT score is valid for three years for purposes of applying to Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
Q: If I take the LSAT more than once, which score do you use?
We use your best score.
Applying for Admission
Q: How do I apply for admission to the Law School?
In order to apply, you must register with the Law School Admission Council’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS): https://os.lsac.org/release/startup.aspx?appl=1325A1.
Applications are only accepted via the CAS electronic application service. Applicants may register online at the Law School Admission Council's Website: https://os.lsac.org/Release/Logon/Access.aspx to set up an account. Applicants must include a personal statement with the application.
A nonrefundable application fee of $50.00 ($60.00 for International Students) must be paid when you submit your application. The application fee must be paid with a credit/debit card. If you do not have a credit/debit card you can pay the application fee by purchasing a Visa gift card for the application fee amount. Visa gift cards will be accepted as a credit/debit card transaction.
Applicants are also required to register with the CAS to have their LSAT score reported law school report sent to us. Your CAS report will consist of all your undergraduate transcripts, graduate and law/professional transcripts if applicable, your LSAT score(s), LSAT writing sample(s), letters of recommendation, and evaluations.
Q: When should I apply?
We begin accepting applications on September 1. Applications should be complete with the CAS law school report by March 1 to be assured of consideration for regular admission. (February 1 if applying for the special summer program). Because admissions decisions are made as early as January, applications received close to or after March 1 may be at a disadvantage, as a substantial number of seats in the entering class will have been filled before the applicant's report is received. Applicants who wish to apply through the Early Decision Program must have their applications complete by November 15.
Q: How do I apply for the special summer program?
There is no special application procedure for the summer program. Applicants who are not regularly admitted are considered for summer admission. However, applicants should submit their Law School application form by February 1 to be considered for this program. Students selected for summer admission include applicants the Admissions Committee determines can benefit from a rigorous, individualized summer course. We highly advise applicants who are interested in the summer class to take the LSAT no later than December.
Q: Can I transfer to your law school from another law school?
An applicant who would have been eligible for admission as a beginning student and who has compiled a superior record at an ABA approved law school may be admitted with advanced standing. The amount of transfer credit accepted (up to 31 credit hours) depends upon the quality of the applicant's record and similarity of the course work completed at the other school to the program at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. For more information, see the instructions for Admission with Advanced Standing.
Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
The majority of law students finance their legal education, entirely or in part, by some combination of federal and private loans. To be eligible for federal loan assistance, applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at http://fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA is available online effective January 1st and should be submitted prior to March 10th. The University’s federal school code is 001813 and should be included under “school choices”.
Q: How do I apply for scholarships?
Merit Based Fee Remissions: The law school awards merit-based fee remissions to entering first-year students each year. All entering students are considered for these awards. No separate application is necessary to be considered for the merit-based fee remissions.
Donor Funded Scholarships: There are a small number of donor-funded scholarships available. If an entering student would like to be considered for one of these awards, an application must be completed. It is advised to submit the application for these awards as early as possible. You may find the application here: http://indylaw.indiana.edu/admissions/app/1Lscholarship.cfm.
Q: When are scholarship decisions made?
Generally, a potential merit award is not decided at the time the admissions decision is made. If an award notice is not included in the admissions packet, the admitted student may still be awarded a scholarship at a later date. As funds become available, we will continue to offer awards up to the first day of orientation.
Q: How do I apply if I am a foreign student?
International applicants should use the online application through LSAC at https://os.lsac.org/release/startup.aspx?appl=1325A1. Foreign transcripts are required to be submitted through the LSAC JD Credential Assembly Service. This service is included in the CAS subscription fee. If you completed postsecondary work outside the US (including its territories) or Canada, you must use this service for the evaluation of your foreign transcripts. Questions about this service can be directed to LSAC at 215-968-1001, LSACINFO@LSAC.org or visit the website at http://www.lsac.org/jd/apply/cas.asp for additional information. International applicants are also required to complete the Indiana University Graduate Application which can be found under Apply Now at http://iapply.iupui.edu/. TOEFL scores should preferably be sent to LSAC to be included in your CAS report, but may be sent directly to law school (code 1325).
Q: What is the application fee for foreign students?
The international application fee is $60.00. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to accept checks or money orders drawn from financial institutions outside of the U.S. Foreign students are encouraged to pay the application fee with a credit card when submitting the application electronically through the CAS.
Time it Takes to Graduate
Q: How long does it take to graduate from law school?
Full-time students can graduate in three years by taking an average of 15 credit hours per semester. Part-time students usually graduate in four years by taking 9 - 10 credit hours each semester and 3 - 5 credit hours during summer. Students must complete the 90 credit hours required for graduation within a maxiumum period of 84 months.
Q: Can I graduate in less time?
Full-time students can graduate in 2 1/2 years by taking 15 - 16 credit hours each semester and 7 - 8 credit hours during each summer session. Part-time students can also accelerate by taking more credit hours each term, but not in excess of 11 credit hours per semester if employed full-time.
Q: Can I start law school in January or summer?
We do not allow students to start in January. The Admissions Committee selects approximately 30 students each year from the entire pool of applicants for admission through a special summer program. These are the only students who can start in the summer.
Q: How are classes scheduled for part-time students?
Classes for part-time students are scheduled in the evening, Monday through Friday, from approximately 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays).
Q: How many credit hours do part-time students take each semester?
Part-time students are required to take 10 credit hours each semester during their first year (two hours of class each evening, Monday through Friday), as well as a 3-credit hour summer class, which meets four evenings each week, Monday through Thursday, from mid May to mid July. Students can take fewer credit hours after their first year, but must complete the 90 credit hours required for graduation within a period of 84 months.
Q: How much time should part-time students expect to devote to attending classes and studying?
As a general rule, students study about three hours for every hour of class. Thus, part-time students attending class for two hours each evening can count on approximately six hours of study time for each evening's class.
Q: Can I switch from part-time to full-time or vice versa?
First year students must stay in either full-time day classes or part-time evening classes for the entire first year. Part-time students also have to complete two required basic level courses after their first yearin the evening. Otherwise, students may switch between full-time and part-time status after the first year.
Q: Do you have any joint degree programs?
We offer eight joint degrees:
- JD/MBA (Master of Business Administration)
- JD/MHA (Master of Science in Health Administration)
- JD/MPA (Master of Public Affairs)
- JD/MPH (Master of Public Health)
- JD/MLS (Master of Library Science)
- JD/MSW (Master of Social Work)
- JD/MA (Master of Arts in Philosophy)
- JD/MD (Doctor of Medicine)
It normally takes four years of full-time study to obtain joint degrees. Students usually spend the first year in law school and then take law courses and graduate courses in the other discipline concurrently for the remainder of the program.
Q: How do I apply for a joint degree program?
Applicants must apply to both the Law School and the school offering the other degree. Applicants will need to take both the LSAT and the GRE, GMAT, or MCAT. Please visit http://indylaw.indiana.edu/courses/jointdeg.htm for further information.
Q: What is the application deadline?
We will accept applications for Fall 2013 through July 31st, 2013. However, March 1 is our priority deadline and applications complete with CAS report by this date will receive a decision by the beginning of May. Applications completed after March 1 will be considered throughout the summer until the first day of orientation. June LSAT scores will be accepted.
Q: When can I expect a decision on my application?
Early Decision Program applicants are notified of a decision by the end of December. All other applications are reviewed starting in January and all decisions will be made by the end of April for applications received by March 1.
Q: How will I receive correspondence from the law school?
Most correspondence between the Office of Admissions and applicants is done via email and mail. It is essential that applicants keep their address, email address and telephone numbers up to date with the Office of Admissions to avoid missing important correspondence.
Q: If I have been accepted to several law schools and made multiple seat deposits, when should I notify the schools I decide not to attend?
If you make seat deposits at more than one law school, you should contact the schools you decide not to attend as soon as possible so they can release the seat to another applicant.
Q: On the “Character and Fitness” section of the application, how much detail do I need to give if I have answered “Yes” to any of the questions?
You must attach a statement of explanation, giving full details including the facts and disposition regarding ALL civil and criminal matters – juvenile and/or adult, that you have been involved with or a party to. Any incident relating to your character, ethics or integrity should be addressed. This explanation must also include details of incidents that have been expunged from your record. If you were advised by counsel to not disclose information on an employment application, it must be disclosed on your law school application.
Please be advised that you will have a continuing obligation to maintain the accuracy of these statements throughout the admissions cycle. If you are offered admission, your obligation will continue after your admission and during your enrollment as a student of our school. Failure to disclose may result in the revocation of your admission and/or your law degree as well as exclude you from taking the Bar exam.
If there are any updates, please submit a statement of explanation to immediately to the Office of Admissions. Such an update may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Disclosure of all arrests, convictions, accusations, felonies, misdemeanors, infractions, speeding tickets and traffic offenses, as a juvenile or adult, including incidents that have been expunged. It is strongly recommended that you include a copy of your Department of Motor Vehicles record with your application.
- Disclosure of all small claims, divorce, landlord/tenant, protective orders, guardianship, or bankruptcy proceedings.
- Disclosure of any suspensions, warnings, expulsions, disciplinary proceedings, academic probation from a college, university, law school, or professional organization.
Q. Will I be able to sit for the Bar exam if I have Character and Fitness issues?
A condition for admission to the Bar is proof of good moral character. Prior to being certified to sit for the Bar, Bar Examiners may review the information that is contained in your application during their character and fitness investigation. You are advised to check with the board of examiners or Supreme Court in the state(s) in which you intend to practice law to determine whether any incidents you may have had will preclude your admission to the Bar. Please be aware that Admission to law school and/or graduation from law school does not guarantee that you will be approved by the board of law examiners to sit for the Bar.
Q: Do you offer an LL.M. degree?
We offer a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree with the following tracks: American Law for Foreign Lawyers; International & Comparative Law; Health Law, Policy & Bioethics; and Intellectual Property Law. This degree allows foreign law graduates to take the bar examination in some American jurisdictions. For more information regarding the LL.M. degree, please visit the LL.M. Program Website at www.indylaw.indiana.edu/llm.
Q: How do I apply for the LL.M. program?
Application forms, as well as additional information about these programs, are available at www.indylaw.indiana.edu/llm/.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us by e-mail at email@example.com, or call us at 317-274-2459.