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Frequently Asked Questions: JD Program

Questions

  1. What is the application fee?
  2. When is the application deadline?
  3. Who makes admissions decisions and what do they look for in a successful candidate?
  4. Is an admissions interview required?
  5. Is there an Early Decision program at the School of Law?
  6. What if I have a rising, falling, or erratic undergraduate record?
  7. How do you evaluate graduate work?
  8. When are most admissions decisions made?
  9. Are Indiana residents given priority over non-residents in admissions decisions?
  10. How much is the seat deposit?
  11. How much is tuition?
  12. What are my chances of receiving financial aid?
  13. If I am a foreign applicant, do I need to do anything differently?
  14. Can I begin my coursework in January?
  15. Does IU have a part-time law program?
  16. What is your Summer Start Program?
  17. What is the size of a typical entering class?
  18. How large is your faculty?
  19. How many students are in a typical class?
  20. When should I take the LSAT?
  21. Should I retake the LSAT if I am unhappy with my first score?
  22. Should I choose a law school in the state where I intend to practice?
  23. Do I need to subscribe to the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS)?
  24. What about housing?
  25. Whom can I contact if I have additional questions?

Answers

1. What is the application fee?
$50.

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2. When is the application deadline?
In our effort to attract the very best students, we adhere to a rolling admissions policy meaning there is no true application deadline. Applications may be submitted after September 1, and for a variety of reasons, we recommend that you apply as early as possible.

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3. Who makes admissions decisions and what do they look for in a successful candidate?
All applicants seeking admission to the Indiana University Maurer School of Law must have received a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent degree from an approved college or university. Applicants must also take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). We do not require applicants to take any particular subjects or to pursue any special course of study in college as a prerequisite for admission. However, at least 90 credit hours of an applicant’s undergraduate course work must be in academic courses rather than in skills-training courses. Applicants are encouraged to acquire a broad academic background and precision in written and oral expression.

In recent years, the number of applicants has exceeded the number of available spaces by as many as 15 to 1. Admission, therefore, is highly selective. The median LSAT score of enrolled students has been at or above 164, and the median undergraduate grade point average (GPA) has been in the 3.8 range for the past several years. The selective admissions process has historically resulted in a very low academic attrition rate.

An Admissions Committee, composed of the dean of admissions, the director of admissions, faculty members and students, selects the members of the entering class. The quality and size of the applicant pool forces the Admissions Committee to rely heavily on the undergraduate grade point average and the LSAT score. However, numerical indicators are not the only considerations used in evaluating applications. The committee considers the quality of the applicant’s undergraduate institution; the level and rigor of course work; letters of recommendation (particularly those from faculty); graduate work; employment before, during, or after college; extracurricular activities; potential for service to the profession; educational, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity; and the applicant’s personal statement. Applicants who have the potential for exceptional performance and who will substantially enrich the educational program of the Law School are considered the strongest candidates for admission.

Applicants are encouraged to explain, in the form of an addendum, matters that may have adversely affected their undergraduate performance (e.g., necessary employment that took time from studies, initial selection of a course of study for which the applicant was not suited, illness, etc.), as well as factors indicating their potential for law study that might not be elicited by the questions on the application form. Applicants who feel they have been disadvantaged because of economic, educational, racial, or cultural factors are urged to bring this to the attention of the Admissions Committee.

 

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4. Is an admissions interview required?
The large number of applications generally prohibits us from granting personal interviews. However, we strongly encourage you to contact the Admissions Office to schedule a visit. You can sit in on a class, meet current students, tour the school, and meet with an admissions officer to discuss your situation.

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5. Is there an Early Decision program at the School of Law?
Yes, the School of Law does offer an early decision program for those applicants who are already aware that the Indiana University Maurer School of Law is their first choice. To be eligible for the program, you are required to submit a Request for Early Decision form along with the application materials and must have a completed application on record (including all materials from LSAC) by November 15. Decisions will be made and communicated by December 15. If you are not offered admission at the early decision review, your application will be considered again through our regular review process.

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6. What if I have a rising, falling, or erratic undergraduate record?
The Admissions Committee does look at grade trends. Clearly, we are more impressed by a rising undergraduate GPA than a falling one. If there are circumstances that negatively impacted your GPA (such as illness, work schedule, etc.), please feel free to bring it to the committee's attention in an addendum to your application or in your personal statement.

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7. How do you evaluate graduate work?
We look for superior achievement in graduate studies.

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8. When are most admissions decisions made?
Most offers of admission are extended between mid-December and May. However, with our rolling admissions policy, we have accepted students as late as July or August. Some applicants may be placed on a wait list. Decisions to admit an applicant from the wait list can be made at anytime.

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9. Are Indiana residents given priority over non-residents in admissions decisions?
No. Historically, more than half our entering class comes from out-of-state. Residence classification are set forth by the IU Office of the Registrar. All determinations are also made by that office. A good rule of thumb for residency classification is that a person must not have moved to Indiana for education purposes (to attend school) and a new resident must have lived in the state for at least 12 months.

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10. How much is the seat deposit?
We do not require a seat deposit. As law school is the first step in your quest to become an attorney, we believe that your word is your bond. The candid responses of admitted students are used to determine the availability of positions for other applicants.

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11. How much is tuition?
We have instituted a flat-fee arrangement. For the 2012-2013 academic year, in-state tuition/fees total $28,663 per year and out-of-state tuition/fees total $46,757 per year.

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12. What are my chances of receiving financial aid?
Nearly 75 percent of our entering class receives a scholarship. These awards range from five thousand dollars per year up to full tuition and are awarded to students who show the greatest promise for the study of law. Awards are made with initial admission offers and cover three academic years. No additional awards will be given after matriculation. In addition to scholarships awarded by the law school, IU participates in most federal loan programs. By adding loans into the law school's financial aid mix, we can say that 85 percent of our students receive some sort of assistance.

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14. If I am a foreign applicant, do I need to do anything differently?
If English is not your first language and your undergraduate degree was obtained outside of the United States, you must include results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with your application materials. You must also file an international application form.

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15. Can I begin my coursework in January?
No. Matriculants can begin only in our Summer Start program (July) or the fall semester (August).

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16. Does IU have a part-time law program?
No. The Indiana University Maurer School of Law has only a full-time program.

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17. What is the Summer Start Program?
Maurer is one of the few law schools in the country to offer students the opportunity to begin their legal education in the summer. Students who take advantage of this option take one first-year class—typically Torts—from early July through early August. Summer Start students are merely starting before their counterparts who enter in the fall. They acquire learning skills and knowledge that those who enter in the fall have yet to gain. By the end of the summer program, these students are familiar with the basics of legal analysis, the school, and the community. Students who start in the summer will take a full load in the fall.

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18. What is the size of a typical entering class?
We are a mid-sized to small law school with approximately 200 J.D. students in each entering class. We also enroll approximately 80 LL.M./S.J.D. students each year.

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19. How large is your faculty?
We have 53 full-time faculty, 5 clinical faculty, and 27 adjunct faculty members. This means we can offer one of the lowest student-to-faculty ratios in the Big Ten at 9.4:1.

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20. How many students are in a typical class?
Traditional first-year courses like Torts and Criminal Law may have as many as 100 students in a class. There is a wide range of class size in second- and third-year courses and seminars and some average 10 to 20 students in a class.

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21. When should I take the LSAT?
The LSAT is offered in October, December, February, and June. We recommend that you take the test either the summer before your senior year or during the fall of your senior year.

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22. Should I retake the LSAT if I am unhappy with my first score?
We cannot answer this question with a definitive yes or no. You will find that most law schools look at the higher or highest LSAT test score for applicants with multiple scores. However, applicants should keep in mind that Admissions Committee members will see all scores and may be negatively influenced by a large number of tests or a downward trend in scores. If an applicant is certain that a poor LSAT performance was caused by an illness, unavoidable mishap, or other stress, a retake may be advisable.

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23. Should I choose a law school in the state where I intend to practice?
This is one of the many myths about law school. It is simply not necessary, for bar admission or placement purposes, for a student to attend law school in the state where he or she intends to practice. Good law schools prepare students to practice in any state by providing a solid theoretical framework for understanding the law and the legal system. Historically, more than half of our graduates leave to practice outside of Indiana; we have alumni practicing in all 50 states and 31 foreign countries.

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24. Do I need to subscribe to the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS)?
Yes. Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work must be submitted directly to LSDAS.

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25. What about housing?
A listing of off-campus housing and roommate information is available from the Admissions Office. The earlier you search for housing, the better your selection and opportunities. Housing typically preferred by law students begins to fill in May (for an August lease start).

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27. Whom can I contact if I have additional questions?
Please feel free to contact the School of Law Admissions Office at (812) 855-4765 or lawadmis@indiana.edu. For questions about financial aid (excluding scholarships), please contact our Financial Aid Office at (812) 855-7746 or iulawfa@indiana.edu.

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