Fsu Law School Personal Statement

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Application Deadlines

Thanks for your interest in University of Florida Levin College of Law. The UF Law application is available September 1 and you can apply via the Levin College of Law LSAC online application at www.lsac.org.

While we recommend you submit your application by March 15, all applications will receive careful and thorough consideration.  We will accept the June LSAT, though earlier exams may increase admission and scholarship consideration.  We review files on a modified rolling admissions basis and applicants could be notified of a decision as early as October, with notifications continuing through early August.  Thank you for applying!

Application Fee Waivers

The Levin College of Law will waive the $30 application fee for candidates who received an LSAC Fee Waiver. The $30 application fee will automatically be waived for LSAC fee-waived candidates upon submission of the LSAC online application.

UF Law offers merit-based application fee waivers by invitation only to candidates who are registered for LSAC’s Candidate Referral Service (CRS) and whose profiles meet our criteria. Invitations are sent to those candidates whose credentials have been verified through LSAC after the scores of each LSAT administration have been released beginning with the June administration.

Application fees are non-refundable. The $30 application fee cannot be refunded to candidates who might qualify for a waiver, but apply before receiving the invitation. Also, please note that the fee waiver process begins anew each application cycle and the information above is effective at the beginning of each cycle. A fee waiver is only valid for that particular application cycle.

Required Documents

LSAT and CAS Report

All applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). LSAT scores are valid for five years. In the absence of documentation that a candidate was ill, or that some other unusual condition occurred during one of the tests, all LSAT scores are considered. Applicants should discuss score differentiation in an addendum. While all scores are considered, the Admissions Committee will note the highest LSAT score.

Applicants are required to register with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS), which centralizes and standardizes undergraduate academic records and provides them to the law schools to which candidates apply. Registration is valid for five years from the date that the LSAT/CAS registration form is processed. Applicants must ensure that undergraduate transcripts from each college, university or high school/university dual enrollment program attended are on file with the CAS, and that they have selected the University of Florida Levin College of Law as one of the law schools to which the CAS Law School Report should be sent. Sending a transcript from only one institution attended is not sufficient even if the transcript contains grades from previous institutions. The law school code for the University of Florida Levin College of Law is 5812.

Upon submission of the online application, the CAS report will be requested automatically and will become available to the Levin College of Law as soon as the CAS file is complete. The CAS report contains the LSAT score(s) and transcript information.

Applicants should send updated transcripts to the CAS well in advance of the Levin College of Law’s March 15th completion deadline. The Credential Assembly Service requires two to three weeks to process transcripts.

Important Note for Foreign-Educated Applicants: The University of Florida Levin College of Law requires that foreign transcripts be submitted through LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) which will authenticate and evaluate your transcripts.

Foreign-educated applicants must take the LSAT; the Levin College of Law does not require the TOEFL for the JD program.

Applicants who completed any postsecondary work outside the U.S. (including its territories) or Canada, must use the CAS for the evaluation of foreign transcripts. The one exception to this requirement is foreign work completed through a study abroad, consortium, or exchange program sponsored by a U.S. or Canadian institution, and where the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript.

Please see www.LSAC.org for more details about the CAS.

Personal Statement

The Levin College of Law seeks to enroll a class with varied backgrounds and academic skills. Such diversity contributes to the learning environment of the law school, and historically has produced graduates who have served all segments of society and who have become leaders in many fields of law. To better assess such qualities, the Levin College of Law requires each applicant to submit a Personal Statement.

Candidates are welcome to address any topic.

The Levin College of Law strongly encourages applicants to upload the Personal Statement via the LSAC online application web site.

Résumé

All applicants are required to submit a professional résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) which should include specific factual information about education, honors and awards, extracurricular or community activities, publications, work history, military service and/or foreign language proficiencies. Time frames should be clearly defined and descriptions should be detailed.

The Levin College of Law strongly encourages applicants to upload résumés or CV’s via the LSAC online application web site.

Letter(s) of Recommendation

Candidates are required to submit one (1)* letter of recommendation, and we will accept up to four (4).  Recommenders should evaluate in detail the applicant’s academic performance and skills, academic activities, community service, and/or employment.

Candidates have two options for submitting letters of recommendation:

  • LSAC Letter of Recommendation (LOR) Service: The Levin College of Law strongly prefers that letters be submitted through the LSAC LOR Service included with the CAS registration.
  • Submit letters directly to the Levin College of Law: Letters submitted directly to the Levin College of Law should be on letterhead and accompanied by the cover form available in the “Forms” tab of the LSAC online application web site.

While the Levin College of Law is unable to acknowledge receipt of letters, candidates may verify receipt of documents using the Application Status Online (ASO).

Residency Declaration and Other Required Supplemental Data

The Residency Declaration for tuition purposes is collected for the University of Florida as a required portion of the UF Law online application through LSAC.  Please note, however, the University of Florida Graduate Admissions Office processes all residency information, and UF Levin College of Law does not have jurisdiction over residency matters. Final decisions on residency matters are determined by the UF Graduate Admissions Office in accordance with Florida State Statute, 222.17. Please be advised that the UF Graduate Admissions Office may request additional supporting documentation to verify residency classification for tuition purposes. Applicants may contact UF Graduate Admissions directly with concerns or questions at 352-392-1365. For more information, visit UF’s residency qualifying page.

Additionally, certain materials, i.e., transcripts and character and fitness documents, may be required by both offices. In addition, applicants with character and fitness disclosures may also need to provide further documentation to the UF Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution for its review in order to finalize admission to the University of Florida.

Optional Documents

Why UF Law?

We would like to know why you have chosen to apply. Please let us know if you are directly connected to UF or UF Law through alumni, professorsors, or other ways. Most candidates can communicate these interests in one or two short paragraphs.

The Levin College of Law strongly encourages applicants to upload the “Why UF Law” statement via the LSAC online application web site.

Diversity Statement

Lawyers serve critical roles in our society. As our society becomes increasingly diverse, the Levin College of Law requires a broadly diverse student body to achieve its mission of excellence in education, research and service. Broad diversity encompasses life experiences, socioeconomic background, ethnicity and race, gender and other attributes and provides multi-cultural learning opportunities.

Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit a statement describing the diverse skills that they have developed, including relevant specific life experiences, and how such skills and experiences would foster diversity at the Levin College of Law. Applicants should focus on their interests, unique abilities, and personal background (including, but not limited, to information about socioeconomic background, first generation status, gender, ethnicity and race and other relevant attributes).

The Diversity Statement should not exceed two double-spaced pages and should be in a font no smaller than 12 pt. Text from the Personal Statement should not be repeated in the Diversity Statement.

The Levin College of Law strongly encourages applicants to upload the Diversity statement via the LSAC online application web site.

Addenda and Other Materials

Applicants who wish to discuss any unique issue may submit a separate one-page addendum with their application. This document may include, but need not be limited to, information about poor grade progression, history of standardized testing, linguistic barriers, or a personal or family history of educational or socioeconomic disadvantage.

The Levin College of Law strongly prefers that applicants upload any addenda, including Character and Fitness explanations/documentation, via the LSAC online application web site.

The following should not be included with the application: writing samples, newspaper/magazine articles, photographs, CDs, DVDs, audio cassettes or videotapes. These items will not be evaluated as part of the application and will not be returned to the applicant.

It is strongly recommended that applicants keep copies of their applications for their reference.

Admissions
Admissions

Florida State University Law School reviews all factors relevant to an applicant's potential ability to meet the demanding academic standards of the Juris Doctor program.

The traditional criteria, undergraduate academic performance and Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) scores, are both employed in admission evaluations. However, there are no magic numbers. The Faculty Admissions Committee also considers an applicant's resum, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

Application Procedures
Applicants should submit the following to the Office of Admissions:

  • completed and signed application forms
  • a $50 application fee
  • a personal statement
  • LSAT score
  • two (2) letters of recommendation
  • transcripts of all academic work (LSDAS subscription required)

We also accept applications that have been prepared using the Law School Admission Council's LSACD on the Web. This product allows you to use your computer to efficiently fill out applications for all ABA-approved law schools. You can print out your completed application and send it directly to Florida State University Law School at the address indicated, or you can use the LSACD on the Web to electronically transmit your law school application to LSAC. LSAC will then send both printed and electronic versions of your application to our office.

Applications submitted to LSAC for transmission to Florida State University Law School will be considered postmarked on the day they are electronically submitted. Subscriptions to the LSACD on the Web are available at lsac.org.

Florida State University Law School requires the submission of two letters of recommendation. We prefer that these letters be from college professors who can attest to your ability to enter a competitive professional program. If you have been out of school for some time, letters from a work situation can be helpful. Although you are not restricted to two letters, your file will be considered complete when two letters have been received.

Admissions:
Application Procedures
Admission Evaluation
Admission Decisions
Bar Admissions
Commitment Deposits
Interviews
Law School Tours
Tuition and Fees
Tuition Refund Policy
Deferral Policy
Special Admissions

Florida State University Law School strongly recommends that your letters be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service that serves all member schools. This service is included in your LSDAS subscription. Your letters will be copied and sent to us along with your LSDAS Report, or as received with any update. To use this service, follow the directions for submitting letters outlined in the 2005-2006 LSAT/LSDAS Registration and Information Book. Be sure to fill out and give each reference a letter of recommendation form, found in the LSAT/LSDAS Registration and Information Book or on the LSAC website at lsac.org.

Information and application forms for the LSAT and LSDAS subscription may be obtained by writing: Law School Admission Council, P.O. Box 2000, Newtown, PA 18940, or by calling (215) 968-1001.

Applicants with a bachelor's degree from a foreign institution should register for the LSDAS subscription and submit all official transcripts to LSAC.

Foreign educated applicants must also take the TOEFL and submit the scores to LSAC. Exceptions are allowed if the applicant is a resident of an English speaking country or was educated at an institution where English is the primary language.

Applicants for admission must have earned (by the date of intended matriculation) a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution of higher learning. The Office of Admissions requires receipt of confirmation of the official transcript confirming the bachelor's degree prior to registration.

Applicants interested in applying to the Center for Children's Rights, Center for Intellectual Property Law, and Center for International and Comparative Law Fellowship and Legal Writing Section must complete the application process for admission to the Juris Doctor Program and the separate application for the Centers. Only applicants who have completed both applications will be considered for admission to the Centers.

Admission Evaluation
The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants primarily on academic merit. The Committee considers a student's year-to-year progress in college, completed courses, demonstrated ability within the major, amount of time spent in college, and graduate work. Other factors impacting a student's study habits and time such as employment, student organizations' memberships, etc. are taken into account.

The Committee also recognizes an applicant's maturity, capacity for self-discipline, work record, and other attributes relevant in determining potential success in law school. For these reasons, applicants are encouraged to submit information that would be helpful in considering their academic potential. Letters of recommendation, the personal statement, and prior graduate school experience, if any, will be carefully considered.

The Law School is committed to providing a quality legal education to a diverse student body. Therefore, the Admissions Committee also considers ethnicity and cultural background, age, and unusual personal circumstances.

Admission Decisions
The Admissions Committee begins the evaluation process in December for the fall semester and September for the spring semester. The Law School does not adhere to a formal application deadline. However, priority in admission decisions will be given to applicants who apply by March 15 for the fall semester and by October 1 for the spring semester. For those applicants interested in receiving scholarship consideration, priority will be given to applications completed by Feb. 1 for the fall semester and by Sept. 15 for the spring semester.

Applicants seeking admission within two months of the scheduled registration date may find that the entering class is enrolled to capacity. In this case, applicants will compete with others for the occasional vacancy created by the withdrawal of an applicant previously admitted. Thus, it is not advisable for applicants to wait for LSAT results before applying, as this will delay the admission decision.

Commitment Deposits
Upon notice of acceptance, applicants are required to pay a $150 non-refundable commitment deposit to the Law School irregardless of scholarship awards and/or grants. Applicants admitted prior to April 1 must deposit $150 by April 15, and applicants admitted after April 1 must deposit $150 within three weeks of acceptance. Failure to submit the deposit will result in cancellation of acceptance and forfeiture of the seat.

In addition, all accepted applicants are required to pay a second commitment deposit of $250 by July 1. Both deposits are credited to the matriculating semester's tuition. All deposits are non-refundable.

Interviews
Interviews are not part of the admission process. The Office of Admissions will counsel applicants for general information only. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to include all supporting documentation with the application.

Law School Tours
Applicants are encouraged to tour the Law School during the regular academic year. The visit, coordinated by the Office of Admissions, will include a brief introduction to the admission process by an admissions counselor, along with a visit to a class. The tour can be scheduled by contacting the Office of Admissions, (800) 808-8188, ext 123, or email info@law.Florida State University.edu.

Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees must be paid in full at the beginning of each semester. Tuition is set annually by the Florida State University College Board of Trustees.

The following tuition and fee payments apply to the 2006-07 academic year:
Day Division (annual) $30,750
Evening Division (annual) $20,500
Flexible Day Division (annual) $20,500
Application fee (non-refundable) $50
Student Bar Association fee (annual) $40

A student who has successfully completed one year of study may arrange through the Business Office to make tuition payments in installments.

Tuition Refund Policy
Refunds are available only upon written notice of discontinuance. Application for a refund must be submitted to the Assistant Dean of Student Advising. The amount of the refund is determined by the date of receipt of the written notice and is not dependent upon the student's attendance in class.

No refunds will be made after the end of the fourth week of the fall or spring semesters. If a student withdraws during the first two weeks of summer session, half of the tuition will be refunded.

Deferral Policy
Florida State University Law School does not grant deferrals. In exceptional circumstances such as military activation or life threatening medical emergencies, the Law School may grant deferrals. Decisions are made on an individual basis at the discretion of the Director of Admissions.

Special Admissions
Each year the Admissions Committee considers applications for admission from individuals with atypical circumstances and backgrounds. Special admission applies to the following:

Applicants Who Do Not Have A Bachelor's Degree
This category is reserved for exceptional cases. To qualify for this status, an applicant must be at least 35 years old, demonstrate a promising ability to complete the Law School curriculum successfully, and meet all other qualifications for admission. Applicants in this category, typically, have scored in the 70th percentile or higher on the LSAT. Admission under this category is strictly limited to a few applicants each academic year.

Applicants who do not have the required college work (60 college units) may otherwise meet the pre-legal education requirement by taking and passing such examinations as directed by the Committee of Bar Examiners.

Applicants are required to take and achieve minimum scores on examinations administered by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). A score of at least 50 for the English Composition or English Composition with Essay examination administered by CLEP is required. In addition, applicants must have a score of at least 60 on each of two of the following tests administered by CLEP: Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and History. Applicants must register with CLEP to take the examinations with the request that the score reports be submitted to Florida State University Law School and the Office of Admissions of The State Bar of California (Code Number 7165). Prospective students must have taken and passed all required examinations before beginning their law study.

CLEP informational brochures and registration forms are available at local colleges and universities, or by contacting:
College Level Examination Program
Gateway Place, Suite 480
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 452-1400

Applicants Who Belong to an Ethnic or Cultural Minority, and Whose Life Circumstances Have Led to Diminished Opportunity. Applicants in this category should indicate in their personal statement the circumstances that warrant admission.

Applicants Who Have Attended Another Law School
Applicants who have previously attended another law school are eligible for admission to Florida State University Law School. For applicants who are in good academic standing, unconditionally eligible for readmission at their original school, and the original school is an ABA accredited law school, applicants may apply as a transfer student. If the original aw school is not an ABA accredited law school, applicants can apply as a first year law student.

For applicants who have been academically disqualified or dismissed from another law school, applicants cannot apply as a first year law student until two years from the date of disqualification has passed.

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