J.D. Program Application Requirements

J.D. Application Requirements

J.D. applicants must submit the following

  1. An electronic application via the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), available here. This application process is fully accessible to the visually impaired.
  2. CAS report

Your file will not be reviewed until all required materials have been received. Letters of recommendation are optional. If you choose to submit letters of recommendation, we will accept up to three (3). Submit your letters of recommendation through the CAS Letter of Recommendation Service. 

J.D. Application Deadlines

Applications are processed on a continuous basis beginning in early November. It is in your best interest to submit your application as early as possible.

Regular Decision Late Decision
Application and Supporting Materials Due
April 1 After April 1
Decision Notification
End of May After file completion, on a rolling basis

Regular Decision

Applications and supporting materials, including your CAS report, must be received by April 1. We will accept the February LSAT for regular decision, even if the scores are posted after Apri1, as long as your application and all other supporting materials are received by April 1. We will inform you that your application has been accepted, denied, or placed on a waiting list by the end of May.

Late Decision

Late decision applications are considered on a space-available basis. Applications will be reviewed upon completion, and decisions will be made shortly thereafter.

Waiver of Minimum Hour Requirement (Reduced Load Option)

A limited number of well-qualified J.D. applicants may request a waiver of the minimum hour requirement. Applicants seeking admission under the reduced-load option should submit a written statement explaining why they are interested in this option.

Qualifications for Admission to the Bar

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners. You can find each state’s requirements here.

The Admissions Process

The goal of our admissions process is to identify applicants who will flourish in law school and who will gain a distinct lifelong advantage by having attained a Dedman law degree. The application process is our opportunity to look at you as a whole person. We want to know about you and your accomplishments.

Throughout the admissions process, the Admissions Office will make every effort to give you prompt and individualized attention. Every application is read in its entirety; no decisions are made on the "numbers" alone. When evaluating an application, we look for well-rounded students who have proven evidence of academic success and who will enrich our overall educational community. Work and life experiences are also valuable components of an application. View SMU Dedman School of Law's Admissions Policy.

Before you apply

Register to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Registration materials and test dates may be obtained at www.LSAC.org.

Register with the LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Registration for the CAS can be accomplished at the same time you register for the LSAT. Please note that LSAC will not send any law school a report until they have received transcripts from every undergraduate institution you have attended, including summer sessions and semesters abroad. You also must pay any necessary fees. SMU's LSAC code is 6660.

Although exceptions may be made in special circumstances, an entering student is required to have received a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university prior to enrollment in the School of Law. The School of Law does not prescribe a fixed course of pre-legal study, but does examine the record of each applicant to determine whether the undergraduate courses taken reflect adequate preparation for the study of law. The student should pursue a well-rounded course of study, with particular attention devoted to the development of analytical skills, and facility and style in the use of the English language.

Southern Methodist University (SMU) will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, education activity, or admissions on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status.  SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.  The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX1 Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies, including the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title IX.  The Executive Director/Title IX Coordinator may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, accessequity@smu.edu.  Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX may also be directed to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.




1 Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688.