Law Early Admission Download PDF Version

Academic Year

2012-2013

Department

Pre-Law

Department Chair

Milo Colton, Ph.D. mcolton@stmarytx.edu

Description of Program/Major

Nelson Wolff Law Early Admission Program

The Nelson Wolff Law Early Admission Program offers advantages to motivated, talented students who plan to attend law school and graduate in less time. The program allows qualified undergraduate students in certain degree programs to earn both a bachelor's degree and law degree in just six years, instead of the usual seven. To be eligible, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or better and earn at least a 158 on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

St. Mary's students in the program enter law school after completing their third year of undergraduate study. Students' first year of law school will complete the final 30 hours of the undergraduate program, so that students complete both degrees in six years. Included undergraduate degree programs are criminology, english, international relations, philosophy, political science, sociology and speech communication.

The student will use the first 30 hours of law school credits to obtain a bachelor's degree from the University following the student's completion of the first year curriculum at the St. Mary's Law School. In the event that the student determines not to complete law school, the credit hours will be applied to the hours needed to obtain the student's undergraduate degree.

A student should make the decision to participate in the Early Admission Program as early as possible in order to stay on track with the Early Admissions Degree Plan as described in the Sample Plans below. The student should also inform the student's academic advisor and the Pre Law Advisor about the student's participation in the program.

In making the decision to participate, the student is advised that a score of 158 on the LSAT is a pretty high score. It would generally place the student in the top 25% of all LSAT test takers. 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.

The student must meet the criteria stated above and make timely application to the St. Mary's Law School during the student's junior year. Please consult the St. Mary's Law School Admission website 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.

Students who do not qualify for early admission to the St. Mary's Law School may continue the regular course of study for their degree and obtain their undergraduate degree upon completion of the regular coursework for that degree. Failure to qualify for early admission does not bar the student from applying for regular admission to the St. Mary's Law School.

Financial Aid

Students are advised to consult with the Office of Financial Aid prior to applying to law school because the early admission to law school will affect the student's eligibility for financial aid available to undergraduate students. In some cases, however, this may be replaced by financial aid and scholarships available to law students.

Sample Degree Plans

Guaranteed Admission to St. Mary's Law School

An applicant who is a graduate of St. Mary's University will be admitted to the St. Mary's University School of Law if the applicant meets the following conditions:
  1. the applicant has received a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's University within three (3) years of the time the applicant will enroll in the School of Law; and
  2. the applicant would be eligible for admission to the bar of the State of Texas upon successful completion of the state bar examination; and
  3. the applicant has:
    1. a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and an LSAT score* of 157 or better; or
    2. a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or better and an LSAT score of 154-156; or
    3. a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or better and an LSAT score of 151-153.
*If an applicant takes the LSAT more than one time, the "LSAT score" used for automatic admission purposes shall be an average of all LSAT scores received by the applicant.
  • An LSAT score of 157 would generally place the applicant in the top 30% of all LSAT test takers.
  • An LSAT score of 154-156 would generally place the applicant in the top 40% of LSAT test takers.
  • An LSAT score of 151-153 would generally place the applicant in the top 50% of all LSAT test takers.
The student must meet the criteria stated above and make timely application to the St. Mary's Law School. The student may apply to the St. Mary's Law School at any time that the student has fewer than 18 credit hours of coursework remaining before graduation. Please consult the St. Mary's Law School Admissions website 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.

The University's strategic planning document, Vision 2012, called on the University to advance academic quality and innovation by considering combined and accelerated degree programs such as this one. The law school and the Graduate School also offer numerous combined J.D. and master's degree programs.

For more information, please contact the Pre-Law Advisor:

Milo Colton, Ph.D., J.D.

Assistant Professor
Phone: (210) 436-3519
Email: mcolton@stmarytx.edu


Department Faculty

Law Early Admission Faculty Website

Department Website

Law Early Admission Website