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Admission Requirements and Application Procedure

Applicants who received their law degree in the United States must hold a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school.  Applicants must demonstrate their ability to perform satisfactory graduate work as evidenced by high grade-point average or high class rank in law school.  Most U.S. applicants to the University of Houston Law Center have graduated in the upper one-third of their law school classes.

Lawyers educated in other countries must hold a law degree from an accredited university, or be admitted to practice before the highest court in their jurisdiction.  Applicants must demonstrate their ability to perform satisfactory graduate work by presenting evidence of either a high grade-point average or superior class standing at the school where they earned their law degree. 

The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) requires a test of English proficiency for all applicants who earned a law degree from a country in which English is not the official language. We seek candidates for the LL.M. Program who typically score at or above the following: 100 (TOEFL-IBT), 7.0 (IELTS-Academic) or 120 (Duolingo). The minimum required score for applying to UH is 79 (TOEFL-IBT), 6.5 (IELTS-Academic) or 105 (Duolingo). If your English proficiency score is between 79 – 85 (TOEFL-IBT), 6.5 (IELTS-Academic) or 105-110 (Duolingo), the additional Legal English Certificate Program is required. Regardless of your English proficiency exam score, UHLC strongly encourages all foreign applicants to take the Legal English Certificate Program to strengthen verbal and written English skills, introduce U.S. legal terminology, and prepare for the study of law in the United States.

Countries Exempt from English Proficiency Exam Requirement* (applicants from many of these countries should strongly consider taking the LEC Program):
American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Canada (except the Province of Quebec), Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas),  Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, Micronesia Islands, Federated States of, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Helena, South Africa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales), Virgin Islands and Zimbabwe only.

*This list is based on the UH Graduate School requirements for admissions eligibility

Application Procedure

All required application documents and materials must be submitted through the Law School Admission Council Credential Assembly Service.  To register for the service, go to www.lsac.org.  

  • Applicants with a law degree from the U.S. (or Puerto Rico) – purchase Document  Assembly Service.
  • Applicants who earned their first law degree outside of the United States – purchase Document Assembly Service and International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service.
  • ALL applicants register for LSAC’s Letter of Recommendation Service.

LSAC will forward information to the University of Houston Law Center as it is submitted by the applicant.  Applications will not be reviewed, however, until a file is complete and includes all of the documents listed below.

U.S.-Educated Attorneys

Application

LSAC service fees. The application fee has been waived for all applicants who apply using the online application. You do not need a fee waiver code; your fee will be waived automatically at check out.

Official law school transcript.  For applicants in their last year of study, the transcript should reflect courses currently in progress.

Statement of Purpose (300 word minimum).   The statement serves as a writing sample and is your opportunity to tell the admissions committee more about yourself.  It is a personal interview on paper.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters.  The most useful letters of recommendation are those from professors, professional colleagues or employers with whom you have had a close working relationship.

Lawyers with Non-U.S. Law Degree

Regardless of current citizenship, immigration or visa status, lawyers who obtained their legal education outside of the United States must submit the following:

Application

LSAC service fees. The application fee has been waived for all applicants who apply using the online application. You do not need a fee waiver code; your fee will be waived automatically at check out.

Official law school transcript and official certificate or diploma.  The certificate or diploma should include the title of the degree received and the graduation date.  Documents must be sent directly from the applicant’s university to LSAC; photocopies submitted by the applicant will not be accepted.

TOEFL or IELTS report submitted through LSAC. Duolingo report submitted through University of Houston Graduate School. Countries exempt from this requirement include: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Canada (except the Province of Quebec), Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, Federated States of Micronesia Islands, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Helena, South Africa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales), Virgin Islands and Zimbabwe only.

Statement of Purpose (300 word minimum).  The statement of Purpose serves as a writing sample and is your opportunity to tell the admissions committee more about yourself.  It is a personal interview on paper.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters.  The most useful letters of recommendation are those from professors, professional colleagues or employers with whom you have had a close working relationship.

Letter of Financial Backing and supporting financial documents (if requesting documentation for an F-1 student visa) 

Copy of current visa, passport, or Permanent Resident Card

Application Deadlines

Applicants who have earned their 1st law degree outside of the U.S. can only begin the program in the Fall Semester

Fall Semester (August 2024) – Application available: October 1st
Applicants with Non-U.S. Law Degree

Priority Deadline 

April 15

Application Deadline

May 1

Applicants with U.S. Law Degree

Priority Deadline 

June 1 

Application Deadline

August 1

Spring Semester (January 2024) – Applicants with U. S. Law Degree only
Application available: September 1st

Priority Deadline

November 15

Application Deadline 

January 3

Applicants who have earned their 1st law degree outside of the U.S. can only begin the program in the Fall Semester.

Applications are not reviewed until all required information is received. Failure to provide all required information will delay processing of an application.  Applications received after the stated deadlines cannot be assured review.  Fees are subject to change without notice and, upon admissions, additional information and fees may be required.   Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but not before January 1 for the fall semester (August) or September 1 for the spring (January) admission.