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Law Early Admission

The Nelson Wolff Law Early Admission Program

The Nelson Wolff Law Early Admission Program offers advantages to motivated, talented undergraduate students who plan to attend law school. The program allows qualified St. Mary’s undergraduate students in all degree programs (with some exceptions) to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from St. Mary’s School of Law in less time.

To be eligible, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or better, earn at least a 154 on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and complete a minimum of 91 hours before starting law classes.

Students who complete the first year of law school will apply those credit hours to complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree and can continue to earn a law degree with two additional years (61 credit hours) of study in the law school.

In the event that the student does not successfully complete at least one year of law school, any law school credit hours earned will be applied to the remaining hours needed to obtain the bachelor’s degree.

Students desiring to enter the program may decide at any time of their undergraduate study, although making the decision early is likely to ensure more efficient course planning in the undergraduate degree. The student should work closely with their faculty adviser for their major and the Pre-Law Adviser. All students are also required to notify the Pre-Law Adviser in the semester when they apply to the St. Mary’s law school.

If an applicant takes the LSAT more than one time, the LSAT score used for the Early Admission purposes shall be an average of all LSAT scores received by the applicant.

The student must meet the criteria stated above and make a timely application to the St. Mary’s Law School in the semester prior to or during when they anticipate completing all major and St. Mary’s Core requirements. Please consult the J.D. admissions page for more details about the St. Mary’s Law School admission procedures and requirements, including the character and fitness requirements for admission to the bar of the State of Texas. Sample Degree Plans for relevant majors can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Students admitted through this program enter law school after completing their third year of undergraduate study. Students’ first year of law school will complete the remaining requirements of their undergraduate program so that students complete both degrees in six years.

Students who do not qualify for early admission to the St. Mary’s School of Law may continue the regular course of study for their undergraduate degree and may be eligible for the St. Mary’s guaranteed admissions program or regular admissions to the St. Mary’s School of Law.

For more information, visit the School of Law Admissions.

Any deviation from the written requirements is invalid unless approved in writing by the Dean and/or Provost.

Financial Aid

Students are advised to consult with the Office of Financial Aid prior to applying to law school because the early admission to law school will affect the student’s eligibility for financial aid available to undergraduate students. In some cases, however, this may be replaced by financial aid and scholarships available to law students.

Pre-Law Program

The Pre-Law Program at St. Mary’s University provides undergraduate students with information and opportunities to enhance their chances for admission to law school and prepare them for successful legal careers.