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School of Law

Admissions FAQs

For more information about the admissions process, see how we evaluate applications and character and fitness guidelines.

 

Prospective Candidates

 

We encourage you to take the LSAT no later than the fall of the year before you expect to enroll in a fall law school entering class. We will accept a score from the winter or spring tests, but we will have begun to fill places in the entering class by the time your LSAT score is received, which can affect your chances of admission.

If you plan to apply for admission for the Fall 2020 entering class, for example, there will be five LSAT test administrations before our priority deadline of March 15: September, October, and November of 2019 and January and February of 2020.  You are welcome to apply for admission with scores from the March, April and June 2020 test administrations. Please note that the July 2020 administration of the LSAT will be too late to be considered for admission for the fall 2020 entering class.

If you want to make sure you have an opportunity to repeat the test, register for a summer or fall test administration. If you are unsatisfied with your initial score, you will have time to test on a winter or early spring date.

We expect that the majority of applicants will apply with an LSAT score.  Those applicants must submit a writing examination through LSAT Writing, a proctored, on-demand writing exam that is administered online using secure proctoring software that can be installed on your computer. The writing ability of candidates who apply with a GRE or GMAT score will be evaluated through the appropriate components of those examinations. 

Beginning September 1, 2018, the South Carolina School of Law will accept GRE and GMAT scores in place of an LSAT score for some students who have not taken the LSAT.

Why is USC accepting scores on the GRE and GMAT?

While the vast majority of our applicants will apply for admission using the LSAT score to meet our requirement for an admissions test score, South Carolina joins several other national law schools that accept the GRE and/or the GMAT as alternative admissions tests. We expect that acceptance of these alternative tests will broaden and diversify the applicant pool, while providing ample evidence upon which to evaluate applicants’ aptitude for the study of law. The University of South Carolina School of Law offers 12 dual degree programs, allowing applicants to apply for several academic programs on the strength of one entrance test will save applicants time, effort and money.


Which admissions test will be given the most weight in the admissions decision?

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) will remain the primary admission test, and the vast majority applicants will be admitted with an LSAT score.


Am I required to subscribe to and use the LSAC Credential Assembly Services (CAS) if I do not have an LSAT score to report?

Yes. All elements of the application must be submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) . The completed application for admission, your academic transcript(s), letters of recommendation, personal statement, resume, and other addenda you choose to submit as part of your application are processed by LSAC and delivered electronically to us through your CAS subscription service.


How do I submit my GRE or GMAT score to the School of Law?

You must request that the appropriate testing entity send your scores to the University of South Carolina School of Law. Our GRE school code is 4157. For the GMAT, designate the University of South Carolina School of Law as a recipient of your score.


How will the School of Law know which valid test score(s) I have and plan to submit for consideration?

You must complete the questions on our application for admission that require you to indicate the tests (LSAT, GRE, or GMAT) for which you have valid scores. Your LSAT score(s) will be sent electronically to the School of Law as part of your CAS report.


Can I submit a GRE score in place of my LSAT score if I already have a valid LSAT score?

No. If you have a valid LSAT score(s), a score on the GRE and/or GMAT will only be considered in addition to the LSAT score, not in place of a score. All valid LSAT scores are required to be submitted.


If I have taken the LSAT and the GRE or GMAT, am I required to submit all valid scores on all of the tests?

No. If you have taken the LSAT, your valid LSAT score(s) is the only test score you are required to submit. A valid LSAT score will be the primary score used in the admissions decision. Applicants who have also taken the GRE and/or the GMAT are encouraged to have their scores on these tests submitted to the University of South Carolina School of Law by the appropriate testing entity.


Will more consideration be given to the verbal or quantitative section of the GRE?

Both sections will be considered and respective scores averaged to represent a general percentile score.


If I have scores on the LSAT and the GRE and/or GMAT, which scores will be reported?

The School of Law will follow the methodology established by the accreditation or evaluative entity when reporting scores on the LSAT and/or on alternative tests.

Currently we offer a Juris Doctor.

We currently do not have a part-time program. Students are required to attend full time. Students must carry a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. However, merely complying with the 12 credit hours per semester will not enable students to graduate in three years. A normal course load is 15 hours.

The School of Law Student Handbook states that, “Students should not be employed during the first-year of law school.  Excessive employment during the second and third year is inadvisable; if undertaken employment should not exceed fifteen hours per week and must not exceed twenty hours per week during the second and third years of law school.” These references relate to the fall and spring semesters.  It is important to focus on your coursework in the first year in order to establish a foundation for your upper division coursework. It is also important to get experience with legal employers, so you can identify the career path for which you are best suited.  The law school will help you connect with employers through mentoring, pro bono, externships, and summer jobs. Your advisors and Career Services can help you understand when and how these connections take place.  The University’s Financial Aid Office stands ready to help you determine how to finance your legal education. If you are admitted, reach out to the USC Financial Aid Office for advice as you are considering your law school choice.

To receive a Juris Doctor degree, a law student must attend a law school for six semesters, four of which must be completed in residence while taking at least 12 credit hours each semester.

90 hours are required for a Juris Doctor degree.

A student must register for a minimum of 12 hours, but no more than 16 hours per semester.

Required First Year Courses include:
Civil Procedure
Constitutional Law
Contract Law
Criminal Law
Introduction to the Legal Profession
Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing I and II
Property
Torts
Required Upper Level Courses for students entering Fall 2011 include:
Professional Responsibility
Professional Skills Course (beginning with students graduating in December 2010)
A Perspective Course (to be chosen from a list of courses)
A Writing Requirement Course or Legal Research Project (30 page paper required)

Yes, we have a grade normalization policy in order to maintain relative parity in grading among faculty, particularly among first year sections. Our grade normalization policy states:
For first year courses, the average grade in all classes shall fall within the range of 2.700 to 3.000.
For upper level courses, the average grade in classes of more than 25 students should fall within .25 points of the class mean of the enrolled students' GPA.

A= 4.0; B+=3.5; B=3.0; C+=2.5; C=2.0; D+=1.5; D=1.0; F=0

All degree seeking students are ranked at the end of each major semester. The class ranks are based on the collegiate cumulative GPA at that time. Fall class ranks, which will include summer grades, are made available by March 1. Spring class ranks are made available by August 1.

An applicant who applied in the prior admissions season must submit a new application form and application fee. If you had not finished your bachelor's degree when you applied previously, you also must submit a new LSAC/CAS report that includes all work toward the undergraduate degree. We strongly recommend that you update your resume and personal statement.

An applicant who is reapplying after more than one year must submit all required materials, as we only retain application files for one year.

 

Wait Listed Candidates

Data from past years guide us in determining how many offers we expect to make to fill our entering class of 200-210 students. But in some years, more admitted candidates than expected accept offers of admission to the University of South Carolina School of Law; in other years, fewer do so. Or, admitted candidates make initial confirmation deposits to more than one school, or change their enrollment plans and withdraw during the summer, creating places in the class.

The waiting list is a status in a candidate's file rather than an enumerated list. Admitted candidates will withdraw as they commit to other schools, and we will periodically notify candidates if it appears unlikely we will be able to offer them admission. There is no typical number accepted from the waiting list; it has varied from a few to 10 percent or more of the entering class.

We depend upon admitted candidates to notify us of their intentions, so we cannot predict when vacancies may occur. We will invite candidates to remain in consideration for available seats from April through July. If you have not heard from us, you are still on the waiting list.  Feel free to call the Admissions Office at any time to ask for an update on our admission process. Because of our required pre-enrollment steps, few offers of admission are  extended after mid-July.

 

Transfer Candidates

Yes. Students may transfer from another ABA accredited law school to the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Most first year courses will transfer if a grade of "C" or better is earned. An official determination is made after the law school transcript is reviewed by the Law Registrar.

No more than 30 credit hours may transfer.

The cumulative GPA is converted, if necessary, to USC's 4.0 scale. Numerical grades are converted to letter grades. A collegiate cumulative GPA is calculated based on the transfer GPA and GPA of courses taken at USC.

Transfer students meet with the law registrar in late July/first of August to register.

Transfer students receive a class rank after one year of attendance at USC.

 

 


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