St. Mary’s University students who hope to pursue a career in law can gain a head-start during their undergraduate education.

With Pre-law Advising, LSAT preparation, relevant course offerings from various disciplines, and admissions opportunities at the law school, our students are provided with the skills and opportunities to succeed in law school.

Pre-Law Advising

Two law students shaking hands in a classroom

Pre-law Advising provides undergraduate students at St. Mary’s University with information and opportunities to enhance their chances for admission to law school and prepare them for successful legal careers.

For more information, contact the Pre-Law Adviser, Sonia Garcia, Ph.D.

Pre-Law Advising provides:

• Assistance with designing a Pre-Law academic plan
• Advice on undergraduate curriculum
• Guidance on law school application timetables
• Help with letters of recommendation and personal statements

• Law school selection assistance
• Information about taking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
• Information about law school forums
• Faculty interaction and mentoring on legal career opportunities

LSAT Preparation Course

LSAT courses are held on campus and aim to prepare students for their law school entrance exam. For more information about the prep-course, contact a Pre-Law adviser.

What are the benefits of taking the LSAT course at St. Mary’s?

The main benefit of taking the course is that it is typically offered on-campus once a week, and provides students with a more structured approach to preparing for the LSAT. Note: since 2020, the course is offered virtually.

Is this course like other courses offered at St. Mary’s?

No, this is an intensive 10-week course that meets weekly, typically from 6 to 9:30 p.m. It is offered only in the fall semester. It begins at the start of the semester and ends typically in early November. It is designed to prepare students who want to take the LSAT in that same fall semester, typically in November.

Can students other than St. Mary’s students take the course?

The course is offered only to students attending (or matriculated) at St. Mary’s.

Who teaches the course?

The course is offered on campus and taught by an instructor from Kaplan (a reputable organization on test preparation). The pre-law adviser is the Instructor on Record, a professor from St. Mary’s.

Will I receive course credit?

The course is offered as an HU (Humanities course) but students will not receive course credit hours towards their major, the Core or as an elective.

Will I receive a grade for the course?

Students receive a PASS/NO PASS for the course.

Will the course appear on my transcript?

Yes, once students have completed the course, it will appear on their transcript.

What can I expect from the course?

Students will initially take a diagnostic test (a pre-test) to assess strengths and weaknesses. Period tests will be administered to measure student’s improvement. The Kaplan instructor will introduce students to the types of questions one can expect on the LSAT, providing strategies and exercises, and covering various aspects of the LSAT test.

Can I expect to see improvement in my LSAT score if I take the course?

Yes, typically student’s score will show improvement.

When should I take the course?

Students should plan to take the course in the year they plan to take the LSAT. Typically, students will take the course in the fall semester, if they plan to apply to law school for the following year.

What is the fee for the course?

Typically the cost $1,050 and is subject to change every year. The cost is set by Kaplan.

What does the fee include?

The fee includes the books/manuals and access to online materials by Kaplan.

Can I get a refund on the course?

The student must drop the course before the first day of class to not be charged the course fee. Once the student receives the course materials on the first day of class, the course fee will be nonrefundable.

If I don’t complete the course, can I be reimbursed?

No, the course is nonrefundable.

Does my financial aid cover the fee?

Students must check with the Financial Office to inquire whether financial aid (including aid covered by scholarships, the military, etc). Typically, financial aid does not cover the fee. Students must make arrangements with financial aid to pay for the fee when the student registers for the course.

If I want to register for the course, whom do I contact?

Students must contact the Instructor on Record Sonia Garcia, Ph.D., Pre-Law Adviser, to get instructor approval at

Where do I register for the LSAT? Where do I find more information regarding LSAT, such as test dates?

Students must visit the LSAC website to create an account at


Students interested in receiving Pre-Law Advising may also be interested in the Nelson Wolff Law Early Admission Program through which students receive guaranteed admission to St. Mary’s School of Law, or Guaranteed Admission to St. Mary’s School of Law through which a student can earn an undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s University and a law degree from St. Mary’s School of Law in six years.

For information regarding admission to the St. Mary’s School of Law, please contact Law School Admissions.

Nelson Wolff Law Early Admissions Program

The Nelson Wolff Law Early Admission Program offers advantages to motivated, talented undergraduate students who plan to attend law school. The program allows qualified St. Mary’s undergraduate students in all degree programs (with some exceptions) to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from St. Mary’s School of Law in less time.

What are the benefits of the Early Admissions Program?

The program allows qualified St. Mary’s undergraduate students in all degree programs (as of Fall 2020), with some exceptions, to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from St. Mary’s School of Law in less time. Students who complete the first year of law school will apply those credit hours to complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree and can continue to earn a law degree with two additional years (61 credit hours) of study in the law school.

What are the eligibility requirements for the program?

1) a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or better; 2) earn at least a 154 on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and 3) complete a minimum of 91 or more hours, (including the requirements for the major and the St. Mary’s Core) BEFORE starting law classes (Note: 45 hours must be undergraduate classes at St. Mary’s in order to meet residency requirements).

Where do I sign up if I am interested in the Early Admissions Program?

At the present time, students do not “sign up” for the program. Instead, students must meet with their faculty adviser and/or academic advisor for their major to devise a degree plan, and to determine if completing the requirements for their degree is feasible within three years. All students are also required to notify the Pre-Law Adviser in the semester when they apply to the St. Mary’s law school via e-mail. 

When should I decide to participate in the Early Admissions Program?

It is advisable that students decide as early as possible in their academic career at St. Mary’s, preferably before or by the time a student has completed 30 hours at St. Mary’s. An early decision is important in order for the student to stay on track in completing their requirements for the major and the St. Mary’s Core.

When should I consider applying to the Early Admissions Program?

Eligible St. Mary’s students should apply to St. Mary’s law school in the semester prior to or during when they anticipate completing all major and St. Mary’s Core requirements.

If I plan to apply to the Early Admissions Program, when should I take the LSAT?

It is advisable that the student take the LSAT prior to the last semester when they complete the 91 hours or more to complete their major and St. Mary’s Core requirements.

What if I decide to retake the LSAT?

If an applicant takes the LSAT more than one time, the LSAT score used for the Early Admission purposes shall be an average of all LSAT scores received by the applicant.

If I meet the criteria and make a timely application to the St. Mary’s Law, are there any other admission criteria I should be aware of

Please consult the law school admissions page for more details about the St. Mary’s Law School admission procedures and requirements, including the character and fitness requirements for admission to the bar of the State of Texas. 

How does applying for the Early Admissions Program affect my financial aid?

Students will need to re-apply for financial aid to account for law school tuition costs.

What if I do not qualify for the early admissions program?

Students may continue the regular course of study for their undergraduate degree and can apply to the School of Law. They may be admitted through the regular admissions or eligible for the St. Mary’s Guaranteed Admissions Program.

What if I decide that I am not going to apply to law school through the Early Admissions Program?

Eligible students can apply when they graduate and be admitted through the regular admissions or the St. Mary’s Guaranteed Admissions Program.

What if I decide not to finish the first year at law school of the Early Admissions Program?

In the event that the student does not successfully complete at least one year of law school, any law school credit hours earned will be applied to the remaining hours needed to obtain the bachelor’s degree.

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