» Standards for Admission

Applicants to Fowler School of Law are selected for admission on the basis of demonstrated intellectual ability and capacity for the study of law, evidence of integrity, moral character and fitness necessary for admission to the legal profession, and potential contribution to the law school community, legal community and the legal professional as a whole. The Admission Application Review Committee takes a holistic approach to reviewing applications for admission. Each application is read and reviewed fully by the Committee and are considered both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Chapman University does not discriminate in any manner contrary to law or justice on the basis of an individual's race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law in its educational programs or activities, including admission.

+ - Undergraduate History and LSAT

While LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA are important elements of the application, other factors can also be significant in the admission decision. The Committee considers such additional factors as trends in grades, academic performance over the course of the entire degree, the strength of the major and the difficulty of courses that students take. The Committee will also take into account an applicant’s commitments outside of school related to employment, family or personal obligations and responsibilities. Applicants who have a graduate/professional degree prior to applying to law school or who are currently enrolled in such a program are encouraged to submit graduate level transcripts, as previous success in another graduate/professional program can be an additional factor for the Committee to consider. Applicants are encouraged to submit GPA addenda if there are unusual trends in grades, multiple withdrawals from courses or any other circumstances that benefit from additional explanation.

The LSAT provides a standard measure of an applicant’s skill in reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others. The Committee uses the LSAT as one of the several factors in assessing applicants. If an applicant takes the LSAT multiple times, the Committee will receive a Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report for the applicant that discloses all LSAT scores and the average of those scores. The Committee will rely primarily on the highest LSAT score when evaluating an application. Applicants are also encouraged to submit LSAT addenda to their applications if a lower LSAT score should be considered irregular and detail the reasons and evidence for such irregularity. The Committee will take these written addenda into account when reviewing the application.

+ - Personal Statement, Resume, Letters of Recommendation and Addenda

Each application is considered in its entirety, including the personal statement, resume highlighting work experience and extracurricular activities, up to three letters of recommendation, the LSAT writing sample and additional addenda that the candidate submits.

These components of the application allow the Committee to assess an applicant’s qualitative measures, including but not limited to, their writing ability, judgment and maturity. The Committee will consider personal accomplishments, obstacles overcome, unique skills and characteristics that contribute to the diversity of the Law School community, the legal community and the legal profession as a whole.

The Fowler School of Law recognizes that students from different cultural, educational and professional backgrounds enrich the law school classroom and educational environment for the entire student body. The Committee encourages members of historically disadvantaged groups, members of groups that have been underrepresented in the legal profession, and first generation college and/or law students to apply. The Law School supports its commitment to diversity through academic and social support, and through the implementation of pipelines to law school programs.

+ - Rolling Admission

The Fowler School of Law begins accepting applications to the J.D. program on September 1st. The Law School follows a modified rolling admission process. Applications are reviewed by the Committee as they become complete; typically, the review process begins in mid-November.

For applicants who choose to participate, the Law School has a binding early decision application process with a deadline of November 30th. Decisions for the early binding program are made in December.

All decisions are emailed and official letters of admission are mailed throughout the winter, spring and summer. Some candidates will be put on the “wait-list” or “hold” for consideration and comparison with the larger applicant pool. While the deadline for applications is generally April 15th (or the following Monday if the 15th falls on a weekend), candidates are encouraged to apply earlier in the process.

+ - Notification of Decisions

The Admission Application Review Committee notifies all applicants of its decision via email. Admitted students also receive a phone call and an official letter of admission via regular U.S. mail or international airmail. All admitted students who are offered scholarships receive conditional scholarship information along with their official letter of admission.