The Decision Process

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Admission is competitive and applicants with the strongest records are given priority. Admissions decisions are based on all the information revealed during a careful and thorough consideration of an applicant's entire admissions file. No applicant is granted or denied admission exclusively on the basis of an LSAT score or grade point average. Each applicant's file is individually assessed on the basis of both quantifiable and qualitative criteria.

Applications for admission are examined with the goals of:

  1. Assessing the overall competitive strength of the applicant's record as compared with all other applicants within that applicant's pool.
  2. Achieving a class that, as a whole, will have depth in quality, richness of background, wide variety of experience, breadth of perspective and substantial diversity of viewpoint. Such factors contribute positively to the attainment of a stimulating educational environment at Carolina Law and are essential to educational excellence.


Assessment factors that influence whether an applicant will be offered admission include, but are not limited to consideration of the applicant's personal statement, essays, letters of recommendation and the following inter-related areas:

Applicant's academic background, preparation and likelihood of success

The quantifiable data and qualitative information regarding the applicant's acquired academic skills are evaluated by considering:

  • Grades
  • Colleges attended
  • Major
  • Undergraduate and graduate degrees earned
  • Courses taken
  • Class rank
  • Trend or development in grades or academic program
  • Activities
  • Work or service experience during and after college
  • LSAT score*
  • Graduate work
  • The development of strong reading, writing, analytical abilities and other skills particularly important to successful law study

* Although we will accept the January and/or March 2019 LSAT score for the Fall 2018 application cycle, please realize that we will have made the majority of our admission offers when your score and updated CAS report is received by the Office of Admissions. You will therefore be competing for a much smaller number of admission offers available for the class than you would be if your file were complete with a score from an earlier LSAT administration.

Likelihood of contribution to educational environment

The applicant's ability to make a contribution to the diversity of viewpoints and perspectives among the students is evaluated by consideration of:

  • Factors that contribute to diversity of viewpoint and perspective. These factors would include an applicant's perspectives as expressed in materials submitted with the application; educational, economic, social and family background; geographic or regional origin; disability or handicap; ethnic identification or race, veteran status, gender and age.
  • The applicant's ability to interact with diverse types of people.
  • The applicant's personal experiences, characteristics and life circumstances that have informed and shaped his or her perspectives.

Applicant's motivation, effort and desire

The level of the applicant's motivation, effort and desire to study law and be a successful member of the legal profession is evaluated by considering an applicant's special interest or special preparation for studying the law or participating in the legal profession, and an applicant's experience of having to overcome adversity, disadvantage or discrimination.

Likelihood of contribution to the legal profession

The applicant's potential to make a contribution to the legal profession and to society is evaluated by consideration of the applicant's:

  • Maturity
  • Leadership potential
  • Evidence of good character, including assessment of the likelihood that the applicant will be an ethical and honest citizen and member of the legal profession
  • Interest in helping the legal profession improve the quality and availability of legal services for all people, entities, and institutions in a society that needs access to quality legal services
  • Special skills or knowledge the applicant would bring to the practice of law or other professional use of his or her legal education.

In evaluating undergraduate achievement, substantial amounts of credit earned in various mechanical or technical courses, correspondence courses, military service, practical or studio arts and music performance courses may be excluded.

Application Processing, Acceptance and Enrollment

You will be notified by email once your application has been received. In the weeks following, your application will be processed. During this phase, the admissions office will ensure your application is complete and prepare it for review. You may use the online application status checker tool to see if your file is missing any required items. You will be notified by email when your application is considered complete and ready for review. Please be assured that the admissions office is working diligently to process your application; we request your patience and ask that you not phone or email to inquire about application status.

The decision process begins in late-November with notification to applicants whose credentials fall within the clear admission or denial categories. All decisions to admit will be mailed and emailed whereas all other decisions are sent exclusively by email. Those applications falling in the middle range are held for a later decision. By late April, the class is generally filled, and a wait list is established.

Admissions from the wait list generally occur when a vacancy is created by a withdrawal from an incoming student.

Applicants accepting an offer of admission are required to make a non-refundable deposit of $500.00, or two non-refundable $250.00 deposits, which will be credited towards the first semester's tuition.

Beginning students are admitted only once a year to the fall semester.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106 | Accessibility

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