Entering 1L J.D. Procedures
The College of Law seeks to admit and enroll students who, together, bring to the law school a varied set of backgrounds, interests, personal and professional experiences and perspectives, who also have a record of academic success and a competitive LSAT score. Other factors considered include exceptional personal talents, interesting or demanding work experience, rigorousness of undergraduate course study, leadership potential, graduate study, maturity and the ability to communicate effectively. An applicant's responses to the character and fitness questions in the application is also a significant factor in the decision-making process. Although a holistic approach is taken when reviewing applications, most admission decisions are based on the combination of LSAT/GRE score and undergraduate performance.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, or will have earned a bachelor's degree prior to the commencement of fall classes in order to be eligible for consideration. Applicants that have previously attended law school are not eligible to apply as an entering 1L and must apply as a transfer. Please see the transfer application for details if you have previously attended law school.
Applicants applying through one of our formal 3+3 programs must have at minimum 90 credit hours and have met all other requirements set forth within the 3+3 program in order to be eligible for consideration.
Florida State University encourages applications for admission from qualified students regardless of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran or marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other protected group status in accordance with all pertinent federal, state, and local laws on non-discrimination and equal opportunity.
The College of Law begins accepting applications for fall 2019 entry on September 1, 2018. Applications are evaluated from October through June by the admissions committee. Decisions are made on a rolling basis and priority consideration is given to the strongest applications submitted by the priority deadline of March 15, 2019. Applications completed after March 15, 2019 but by the final deadline of July 31, 2019 may not receive a timely decision and limit the opportunity for scholarship consideration.
Florida State University College of Law is a full-time, three-year program. First-year students start in the fall semester.
Use this checklist to make sure you've completed every step of the J.D. application process:
- Application Fee (Non-Refundable)
- $30 paid online through LSAC. LSAC fee waivers are accepted. Applicants may request a fee waiver.
- Online Application Form
- Standardized Admissions Test Requirement
- Florida State University College of Law will accept either the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) as part of the application to meet the standardized test score requirement.
- LSAC automatically reports all LSAT test scores from the past five years as part of the Credential Assembly Service report. Scores older than five years are not valid and are not reported by LSAC.
- Applicants who elect to submit their GRE score(s) (instead of or in addition to the LSAT as part of their law school application) must instruct the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send Florida State University College of Law test scores from the prior 5-year period. Applicants who are submitting their GRE scores should select Florida State University (school code 5219, department LAW), from within their ETS account for score reporting.
- Applicants need only take the LSAT or the GRE. However, if an applicant has taken both the LSAT and the GRE and wishes to submit GRE scores with the application, all scores from both tests in the past five years are required with the application. For example, if an applicant has taken the LSAT two times and the GRE three times in the last five years, Florida State University College of Law requires that the test results from all five tests be submitted with the application. Applicants may not select which results they share.
- Credential Assembly Service Report
- All applicants must register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) through LSAC.
- Applicants are responsible for ensuring that files are complete and current with the Credential Assembly Service.
- The CAS report will include all valid LSAT scores within the past five years. The CAS report will not include GRE score information. GRE test results must be submitted to the College of Law through Educational Testing Service (ETS). See the Standardized Admission Test Requirement section above for additional information.
- The CAS report will include all official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
- Applicants must be in good standing at the bachelor's degree granting institution to be eligible for consideration.
- Personal Statement
- Each year, the Admissions Committee receives applications from many more qualified individuals than the law school is able to admit. In making admissions decisions among applicants with comparable LSAT and/or GRE scores and GPAs, the Committee considers a number of other factors. These include: interesting or demanding work or service experience; leadership potential; rigorousness of undergraduate course of study; graduate study; economic need requiring significant employment during college; social or cultural disadvantages; and extraordinary family or personal responsibilities. Your personal statement should discuss any of these factors that you would like the Committee to consider. The personal statement is typically 2-3 pages, typed and double-spaced.
- A detailed resume should accompany the application and must be submitted through LSAC.
- Residency Form
- Florida residents must complete and submit the Florida Residency Affidavit and non-Florida residents must complete and submit the Non-Florida Resident Affidavit. The forms are found in the Attachments section of the online application.
- Educational Institution Discipline or Violations of Law
- You must include in the application a written explanation that includes a description as well as the final disposition of the incident(s), IN ADDITION TO copies of the official documents pertaining to the incident(s). Official documents include, but are not limited to, court documents, copies of the citation, letter of good standing from the university, letter from the university regarding academic or disciplinary sanctions and their completion, etc. Official documentation must include the final disposition of the incident to be valid.
- Refer to question number five and question number six of the application for additional details.
- Letter of Recommendation (optional)
- No letters of recommendation are required, although they are encouraged. If you choose to submit letters of recommendation to support your application, FSU requires they be submitted through LSAC using the Credential Assembly Services (CAS).
- Academic Addendum (optional)
- You may include an academic addendum, explaining any circumstances that you believe may have negatively affected your undergraduate GPA or performance on the LSAT. If included it must be submitted through LSAC.
- Diversity Statement (optional)
- You may include a diversity statement if desired. It is recommended that applicants utilize the optional diversity statement to enhance their application and provide additional information to the admissions committee. If included, it can be 1-3 pages in length and it must be submitted through LSAC.
Addendums to the application due to changes in information after the application is submitted, such as updated employment, LSAT score, academic or law violation documents, etc., must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Documents not submitted electronically must be mailed to:
Florida State University College of Law
Attention: Office of Admissions
425 West Jefferson Street
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1601
Please note, documents submitted to the College of Law with no application on file will be discarded after 60 days.
Character and Fitness
Each jurisdiction establishes bar registration and admission standards for individuals who wish to practice within the jurisdiction. One important aspect of admission to practice is an evaluation of an applicant's character and fitness to practice law. Applicants should take care to respond fully and accurately to each question on the law school application. Applicants should be aware that, in conducting character and fitness investigations, bar examiners frequently request copies of candidates' applications for admission to law school to determine whether they have supplied erroneous, misleading, or incomplete information in the admission process. If discrepancies are found, bar examiners may conclude that such discrepancies demonstrate a lack of honesty, trustworthiness, diligence, or reliability so as to call into question the applicant's fitness 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.
International students and others who have completed undergraduate education outside of the United States should submit their transcripts to LSAC through CAS for evaluation. A minimum educational equivalency of a bachelor's degree must be met for eligibility. Students are required to file the law school application and the Florida State University International Certificate of Financial Responsibility. International students whose native language is not English, and who did not receive a bachelor's degree from an undergraduate institution within the United States, are required to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS and have official scores submitted through LSAC as part of the application.
Minimum scores of 100 on the Internet-based, 250 on the computer-based, and 600 on the paper-based TOEFL test are required. Information on the TOEFL can be obtained by writing to TOEFL, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, or by visiting toefl.com.
Minimum score of 7.5 on the IELTS test is required. Information on the IELTS can be obtained by visiting ielts.org.
Application Status Notification
You will receive an e-mail notifying you when we receive your application, which will include a username and password to the online status checker. Applicants are responsible for ensuring all required documentation is received by the College of Law in order to complete the application for review. Applicants will NOT be notified of missing documents other than through the online status checker.
Applications are evaluated from October through August by the admissions committee. Decisions are made on a rolling basis and priority consideration is given to the strongest applications submitted by the priority deadline of March 15, 2019. Applications completed after March 15, 2019 but by the final deadline of July 31, 2019 may not receive a timely decision and limit the opportunity for scholarship consideration. Applications completed after the priority deadline will receive a decision by August 9, 2019 at the latest.
To determine whether or not your application is complete, you should regularly check your online status checker. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application is complete by the posted deadline.
Petitioning for Reconsideration
Applicants who have been denied admission can request reconsideration only in situations where the applicant has new, significant information that was not available at the time of the original application or during the timeframe in which your application was under review by the Admissions Committee. Examples of significant information include: a new LSAT score, new grade point average or an award or accomplishment that occurred after the original application file was submitted. Reconsiderations will not be granted based on existing application information; applicants must submit new information.
A written request must include an explanation of the new information as well as valid reasons warranting reconsideration. The request must be e-mailed within 30 days of the date of denial to email@example.com with “Request for Reconsideration” in the subject line.
The Admissions Committee's decision on a petition for reconsideration is final. Further petitions will not be accepted.