Admissions Policies and Procedures (J.D. Program)
Preparation for law study
The Law School has no requirements with respect to the content of an applicant's undergraduate education, but the Admissions Committee will take into account the nature of college work completed as well as the grades achieved. Proficiency in the English language, both written and spoken, and in analytical skills is essential to the study of law. The suggestions for pre-law preparation in the ABALSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools are excellent. The book may be ordered from the Law School Admission Council and is available in most bookstores and libraries.
The Law School enrolls one class per year. Each class begins in August. Applications are accepted from Oct. 1 through July 1. Admission to Wayne Law is selective, and there is a great deal of competition to be a member of an entering class.
The Admissions Office uses rolling admissions. As applications become complete they are evaluated for a decision. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early as the class fills rapidly as the deadline approaches.
An applicant for admission to the J.D. program must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or pursuant to an articulation agreement with an undergraduate institution that grants the degree upon successful completion of all required first year courses in the Law School. A final official transcript must be sent to the Law School before enrolling.
Each applicant also must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and register with the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS). The Law School requires that students educated in a foreign country submit their transcripts through the Law School Admission Council J.D. Credential Assembly Service. Applicants who completed any post-secondary work outside of the United States, its territories or Canada must use this service for the evaluation of foreign transcripts. The one exception to this requirement is any foreign work completed through a study abroad, consortium or exchange program sponsored by a U.S. or Canadian institution where the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript.
Applicants must take the LSAT no later than June of the year in which they intend to enroll. The Admissions Office will accept LSAT test scores that are up to five years old.
At Wayne Law, we use a holistic approach in evaluating applicants. Every application is thoroughly read by an admissions professional and members of the Faculty Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee considers positively the following factors in reaching admissions decisions:
- an applicant’s academic achievement and potential, as shown by his/her LSAT score and Grade Point Average;
- an applicant’s demonstrated capacity to overcome or persevere against:
- socioeconomic disadvantage, whether the applicant would be the first generation of his/her family to attend or graduate from college or professional program and whether he/she was employed or raising a family while attending school; or
- substantial obstacles such as family or personal adversity, attendance at an under-performing school (elementary, middle or high school), and prejudice or discrimination;
- any special circumstances suggesting that the applicant’s LSAT score or academic record doesn't accurately reflect his/her current academic potential, such as the age of the applicant’s GPA; a marked improvement in grades shown in the later years of college; or other special circumstances the candidate conveys in his or he personal statement or elsewhere in the application; and
- other factors that foster a diverse and engaged law school environment, such as geographic residence (including in the city of Detroit), work and volunteer experience, leadership qualities, commitment to community and public service, communication skills, multilingual proficiency, and experience of life in a foreign country or on a Native American tribal reservation.
The Law School does not defer admissions except for persons called to military service. Any admittee who withdraws from the class must submit a new application and fee for the next year for which he or she seeks admission.
The first-year day program curriculum is mandatory, but day students who have child care responsibilities or significant health care concerns may be permitted to take a slightly reduced course load. The applicant must submit a written request to the assistant dean of admissions prior to registration setting forth the personal circumstance justifying the request for admission as a reduced load student.
An applicant may request reconsideration of an adverse admissions decision by writing a letter to the assistant dean of admissions stating the specific reasons why reconsideration is merited. The application then will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. In the past, applicants who have successfully petitioned for reconsideration are those who have submitted updated information, such as improved test scores or additional grades.
Application procedures (J.D. applicants)
Admission to the J.D. program at Wayne Law is highly competitive. Wayne Law receives a large number of applications. Every application receives careful, individualized attention by the Wayne Law Admissions Office and our faculty Admissions Committee. A variety of factors are taken into consideration. Typically, only about 40 percent of applicants are offered admission.
Note: Wayne Law will accept the June 2016 LSAT score for the class entering in fall 2016.
Application requirements for those seeking admission as first-year students are as follows:
- Complete the online application form with an electronic signature. The deadline for application is July 1. To receive priority consideration for scholarships, your application must be complete by Jan. 15.
- Include with your application a brief personal statement, written by you in your own words. You can use this statement to convey to the Admissions Committee any experiences, interests, unusual circumstances or other information you believe may help the committee evaluate your potential for success at the Law School. Because we don't conduct individual interviews, your personal statement is the best way for you to tell us what you would most like us to know about you.
- Have the Law School Admission Council submit a copy of your JD-CAS report (which includes copies of transcripts from all U.S. undergraduate schools) to the Law School. If you earned your bachelor's (or equivalent) degree from a college or university outside the United States, its territories or Canada, you must use a credential evaluation service. We prefer use of the JD-CAS, but we also will accept evaluations from organizations that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or Association of International Credentials Evaluators.
- Arrange for the submission of two letters of recommendation. The letters should be from individuals such as college professors or others who can comment on your intellectual abilities and academic performance. If you have been out of school for a number of years, you may submit letters of recommendation from an employer. Letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Law School Admission Council. Additionally, two Law School Admission Council evaluations are recommended but not required.
A transfer applicant must have completed all of the first-year day or evening courses required by his or her ABA-accredited law school. Transfer students are admitted to the fall term only. The application deadline for transfer applicants is July 1.
A transfer applicant's file will be ready for review when the Admissions Office has received all of the following:
- The Law School application with an electronic signature for online applications or a paper application that is signed and dated.
- An official transcript sent directly from the applicant's law school with all grades posted for the academic year.
- A letter of good standing from the applicant's law school.
- A JD-CAS report.
Guest student applicants for fall and/or winter terms
The transfer applicant requirements and procedures outlined above apply to a law student who wishes to enroll at Wayne Law for one or two terms as a guest student. Application deadline is July 1 for fall term and Nov. 1 for winter term.
In the case of a guest student, the letter of good standing also should include a statement granting permission for the applicant to attend Wayne Law for the semester(s) indicated and an agreement to accept credits earned at the Law School and any other requirements or limitations from the "home" law school.
The application deadline for fall is July 1. The application deadline for winter is Nov. 1.
Guest student for summer term
A student from another ABA-accredited law school may take one or two summer courses at Wayne Law provided the student is in good standing and receives permission from his or her "home" law school. Application should be made by submitting the Law School summer guest application form. Application deadline is May 15 for summer term.