Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Pre-Law undergraduate major necessary?

No. Pre-law actually just refers to a collection of primarily liberal arts courses, and people enter law school from all types of academic backgrounds. The most common majors among our applicants are Political Science, Business, English, History, and Psychology, but majors from all fields are present in the school.

How do I prepare for law school?

A broad liberal arts education is excellent preparation for law school, but no specific prelaw curriculum is prescribed by Mizzou or most other American law schools. American legal education is not a graduate program of advanced work in a specialized course of study. Legal education is professional education that depends on three fundamental capacities that may be obtained in a variety of academic disciplines.

First, because the working tools of lawyers are the written and spoken word, beginning law students must have thorough preparation in the English language. The importance of this requirement cannot be overstated. A fundamental knowledge of grammar and syntax, a good vocabulary, the ability to read rapidly with insight and understanding, and a facility for expressing ideas with clarity and order are all essential to success in the study and practice of law. Any aspiring law student deficient in these abilities should immediately take additional courses in English literature and composition, seek specialized remedial assistance and exert all efforts toward language mastery.

Next, because the primary working arenas of lawyers are the social, economic and political communities, undergraduate experience in these subject areas is helpful. The law student should have a good knowledge of history (especially English and American traditions), of government and political processes, of social and cultural patterns and the interactions that create them and of the ethical and spiritual credos by which men and women live.

Finally, because the fundamental techniques used by attorneys are careful ordering of facts and events, conceptual analysis and synthesis and effective advocacy, pre law students should pursue a degree program which teaches them to think clearly, form sound study habits, and master the methodology and knowledge of a particular field under the guidance of experienced instructors. Almost any undergraduate program can satisfy this requirement and help meet the two capacities outlined above as well. People with definite career objectives in mind might major in subjects appropriate to those objectives.

For additional information, see the Pre-Law Handbook, prepared by the Law School Admission Council/Law School Admission Services and published in cooperation with the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. This publication contains material on the law and lawyers, prelaw preparation, applying to law schools, and the study of law, together with information on most American law schools. It may be obtained at college bookstores or ordered from the Law School Admission Services.

Do I have to take the LSAT to apply?

Yes. All applicants (including Robert Scholars) must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) which is offered four times per year (June, September/October, December and February). Ideally, we recommend that you take the June or September/October test so that you may apply early. Advance preparation for the LSAT is highly recommended. For more information and to register for the LSAT see their website at www.LSAC.org.

What is the median LSAT and GPA?

The median LSAT score usually falls between a 156-161 and the median GPA between a 3.3 – 3.7.

Are there “cut off” GPAs or LSAT scores?

No. There are no “cut off” GPAs or LSATs. We do not have an initial “weed out” process based on LSAT and GPA scores. There are many factors that are taken into consideration when reviewing applicants files. Each application is reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

If I take the LSAT more than once, how do you view the scores?

The Admissions Committee will see all scores, the dates taken and the percentile. If you have taken the LSAT twice, we will consider the highest score. If you take the test more than twice we will use the average score.

How long are LSAT scores good for?

LSAT scores are good for 5 years.

Must I register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)?

Yes. All students (including Robert Scholars) applying to law schools must register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). This service will distribute your LSAT scores, academic transcripts and letters of recommendation to the schools to which you submit an application. Please note that CAS will not send information to schools until it has received transcripts from every college or university from which you have received credit, including summer sessions and study abroad. It is your responsibility to ensure that all information is complete with CAS. For further information and to subscribe to CAS see their website at www.LSAC.org.

When is the deadline to apply to Mizzou Law?

The application deadline is March 15th. We begin accepting applications on September 1st of each year. The Admissions Committee will begin meeting and reviewing files in November of each year and will admit students on a rolling basis until the class is full (around 120 seats). For scholarship consideration your application file must be complete by January 15.

How soon will I be contacted after I apply?

Your file must be complete before it is reviewed by the Admissions Committee. A file is complete when we have received all materials on the Application Checklist, including the paper copy of your CAS report. You will be notified via e-mail when your file is complete. If you do not receive an email, you should check your CAS account for missing documentation. Most decisions are made between December and April.

How do I become a Missouri resident?

Students may apply for Missouri Residency after residing in Missouri for 12 months (the summer after their first year of law school). See Residency Requirements for additional information.

How do I arrange a visit to the Mizzou Law?

Prospective students can visit on an individual basis or our fall Open House. For full information on arranging a visit see Visiting Mizzou’s School of Law.

Does Mizzou Law offer evening courses/can I attend part time?

No. Mizzou Law does not offer any evening or weekend courses, nor do we offer any distance learning courses. The law school is primarily a full-time day program however some students are enrolled in a reduced course-load basis (6-11 hours per semester) during the day. Students electing this option must complete all courses within seven calendar years.

Can I begin law school in January?

No. Mizzou’s School of Law only enters new students in August (fall semester) of each year.

Where do students live?

The majority of our law students live off-campus. If you prefer to live on-campus there is housing that is designated for graduate/professional students and students with families. For on-campus housing information contact the Residential Life Office, (573) 882-7275 or visit the Graduate/Professional Housing website. For information on off-campus housing you may contact the Law Admissions Office at (573) 882-6042.

Is childcare available on campus?

The Student Parent Center is an infant and toddler childcare center offered only to University of Missouri students. It provides care for up to 48 children part-time and/or full-time. For childcare information, call (573) 882-4801. For other Columbia daycare centers you may contact the Law Admissions Office at (573)882-6042 or check the Columbia yellow pages.