Rolling admissions at UC Davis means the Admissions Committee reads files and makes decisions on a continual basis. Applicants are urged to apply and complete their files as early as possible although individual decisions are not based on the date the application was received. Applicants are informed of decisions beginning in December and continuing through the month of April. Applicants applying on or near the deadline are competing for significantly fewer seats.
A complete file includes the application, $75.00 non-refundable fee, personal statement, LSDAS or JD CAS report, and 2 letters of recommendation. International applicants are required to provide a TOEFL score. Applications are accepted beginning October 1 and the deadline for receipt of all documents required to complete the file is February 1. Applications are evaluated only after the file is considered complete.
Our preference is for recommendations written by professors or others who can provide insight into the applicant's preparation for law study and past performance in an academic situation. If you cannot get a professor to write a recommendation you might ask an employer or another person who knows you and your academic capabilities.
The Admission Committee has access to and will consider all scores submitted. In most cases when there is little or no difference between scores, the average may be the best indicator. In exceptional cases where it is apparent that a significant difference exists between scores, the Admission Committee will consider carefully the explanation provided by the applicant. A change of five points or more is considered significant. Applicants should provide an explanation of any significant change in LSAT score. If warranted, the highest score will be used to reach a decision on the file. This is in keeping with past practice of the UC Davis Admission Committee. The highest score will be the recorded score in all reports and publications.
All applicants must take and submit a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score. For admission in Fall 2013, scores earned prior to June 2007 or after December 2012 are not valid. Applicants who take the test in December are not at a disadvantage but are encouraged to submit the application and complete all other requirements of the LSDAS or CAS so that when the score becomes available it is the last item required to complete the file. Applicants may submit a score from the February 2013 LSAT administration ONLY if a valid score meeting the requirements detailed above has been submitted. The February 2013 score would then be considered a timely retake. February scores generally become available in March, toward the end of the admission evaluation process. Applicants planning to retake in February should notify the Admission Office in writing of their intention to do so if they do not want the application file evaluated prior to receipt of the February score.
A bachelor's degree or an equivalent degree from a college or university of approved standing is required and must have been earned prior to the time the applicant begins studies at the School of Law.
UC Davis Law School requires applicants to submit two recommendations as part of the application for admission. Applicants are required to use the LSAC recommendation service.
Although evaluations do not replace the requirement for 2 letters of recommendations, UC Davis Law School will ACCEPT up to 2 evaluations in addition to the required recommendations. Evaluations are not required.
Though it is not required, most applicants choose to include a resume with the admission application. A section of the application form asks for work experience and should not be omitted even if a resume is submitted.
A personal statement is required of all applicants. The statement is usually 2-4 pages in length, double-spaced, normal margins and 12 point font. There is no required format or content specifications for the personal statement, but applicants should assume that this is the only information the Admission Committee will have about them beyond the information provided on the application, the LSDAS or CAS report and in the letters of recommendation. Because interviews are not part of the admission process at UC Davis, the personal statement should be viewed as your opportunity to communicate directly with the Admission Committee. Applicants interested in providing additional statements or addenda should strive to keep everything within the 4 page maximum.
In addition to the LSAT and GPA, the Committee will consider rigor of undergraduate major, school at which degree was earned, significant work experience, community involvement, graduate study, and economic or educational disadvantage. All information in the personal statement and letters of recommendation are given very careful consideration.
Deferrals of admissions are not granted, regardless of circumstances. The applicant pool is large and the entering class is very small; therefore, it is important to maintain the availability of all seats for each admission cycle.
Applicants who have earned their undergraduate degree at UC Davis are not given any advantage, nor do they face a disadvantage in the admission process. Davis graduates are considered exactly the same as graduates of any other undergraduate school although UC Davis is one of our major feeder schools. View our student profile page for a listing of undergraduate institutions for the currently enrolled student body.
Although UC Davis is a public institution, residency is not a factor in the J.D. Admissions evaluation process. Non-residents are not required to submit higher GPA/LSAT credentials in order to receive serious consideration.
Because UC Davis is a public institution, residency is a factor in the assessment of tuition and fees. Any indication of residency status for tuition purposes you receive during admission is provisional until a determination is made by a campus Residence Deputy.
California Residence Status, determined after your admission for purposes of tuition and fees, may result in a change in your Financial Aid package.
If you have not been living in California with intent to make it your permanent home for more than one year immediately before the residence determination date for each term in which you propose to attend the University, you must pay a nonresident tuition fee in addition to all other fees. The residence determination date is the first day of instruction for the term.
If you currently attend UC Davis, paying non-resident tuition, and you think you qualify now as a resident for tuition purposes, you should submit a Petition for Classification to Resident Status to the Office of the University Registrar for the term you think you qualify as a resident. See Petition for Classification to Resident Status on the Office of the University Registrar’s website under Residency.
Your California Residency is determined for tuition purposes by a Residence Deputy in the Office of the University Registrar after your admission. Statements of Legal Residence are required of all newly admitted students.
The Residence Deputies apply UC Regents Standing Order 110.2 - Matters Relating to Residency, under the authority of the UC Office of the General Counsel, to the facts and information provided under penalty of perjury on the Statement of Legal Residence and any additional information requested by the Residence Deputy.
Prospective applicants can read the requirements for resident status and criteria for exemptions from non-resident tuition established by the Standing Order and obtain the Statement of Legal Residence form and instructions at the Office of the University Registrar's webpage.
All questions about this information should be referred to the contact address below, as the Residence Deputy is the only University personnel authorized to provide information related to residence requirements or your residency status for tuition purposes.
Telephone: (530) 752-5029 or (530) 752-4749
Address:Residence Deputy Office of the University Registrar 12 Mrak Hall One Shields Ave Davis, CA 95616-8692
Generally a reply to your inquiry can be expected within 5 business days; however, during peak processing periods a response from the Residence Deputy may take two to three weeks.
Two forms are required of applicants seeking financial aid from UC Davis School of Law. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be obtained from any college or university. It is available in December and can be filed after January 1st. The FAFSA must be received by the processor before March 2, each year. Failure to meet the deadline WILL affect the type of aid received. The Need Access Application is required of all financial aid applicants. The Need Access Application must be completed and filed by March 2, of each year.
Interviews are not part of the evaluation process. Your personal statement should include all information you want the Admission Committee to consider.
Office of Admission
School of Law - King Hall
University of California, Davis
400 Mrak Hall Drive
Davis, CA 95616-5201
Combined degree programs are available. Applicants apply to the UC Davis Graduate School of Management for the MBA and to the Department of Graduate Studies for the master of arts or master of science. Combining the JD with PhD studies is not an available option. Separate applications should be submitted to each department because the evaluation and decision process are performed independently. If admitted to both programs, the applicant is required to enroll at the School of Law for the first year. For this reason, many combined degree program applicants apply for the masters program during the first year of law study. The first year is completed exclusively at the law school, the second year exclusively at the other program, the third and fourth years are completed simultaneously. The law school is the only UC Davis department that follows a semester schedule. Prospective combined degree candidates are advised to take all standardized exams prior to beginning law school.
UC Davis Law School offers a full-time day program only, no evening and no part-time. Applicants are admitted to the Juris Doctor degree program for Fall enrollment only.
Applications for admission to the Juris Doctor degree program are due by midnight, February 1st, Pacific Standard Time. Disregard any information that states a deadline other than February 1st.
Applicants educated outside the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico are required to register with LSAC's CAS service. This service will provide the School of Law with a credential evaluation report making it unnecessary to register with other foreign credential evaluation services. Information about CAS can be found at http://www.LSAC.org . International applicants educated outside the United States and for whom English was not the primary language of instruction, should provide a TOEFL score as part of the required admission materials. The TOEFL score should be reported to the Law School Admission Council so that it can be included with the CAS report sent to the law school.
If a Certificate of Eligibility is required for a student visa issued by UC Davis, the student will be asked to complete a Certification of Finances form showing the availability of sufficient funding to cover all living and educational expenses.
Financial aid is available to US citizens and permanent residents of the United States. The School does not provide merit scholarships or TA positions for international applicants.
Every applicant to the 3-year full-time Juris Doctor degree program should expect to fulfill the same requirements. Credit is not given for similar coursework completed as part of an LLM program.
Prior law school grade point average is the primary factor considered. Applicants performing in the top 5%-10% of their 1st year class receive serious consideration. In exceptional cases, and based on the law school attended, applicants performing slightly lower in the class may be admitted. The LSAT score is considered but does not carry the same weight it does in the 1st year admission process.
Transfers are admitted based on space-available. Offers are typically extended to 20 or 30 students. The size of the transfer applicant pool usually ranges from about 75 to 100.
Applicants must have completed at least 30 semester units in order to receive serious consideration for transfer, unless the unit total for full-time first-year attendance at the prior law school is less than 30.
If, by the time you submit the transfer application, you have completed the same number of units required to move to 2nd year status at your prior law school, you may apply for admission as a transfer.
Only students who have completed the equivalent of a first-year full-time program at a law school approved by the American Bar Association may apply for transfer.
Only students who have completed the traditional first year of a Juris Doctor degree program at an American Bar Association approved law school may apply to transfer. No credits earned in an LLM program will be credited toward a Juris Doctor degree at the UC Davis Law School.
You may call the admission office and make an appointment to speak with a staff member, attend one of our 'drop-in' group information sessions, or get on-line answers to questions by sending an e-mail message to email@example.com. You may also write or telephone the Admission Office (see School Directory)