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Admissions at San Francisco Law School

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Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission with Regular Status, applicants must have either a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, an Associate degree from an accredited community college, or have completed, in good academic standing, (a minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter units) at an accredited institution. The grade point average on all subjects undertaken must be equal to that required for graduation.

Start Law School Over with CalBar's "Fresh Start" Program

For students who have been previously disqualified from an ABA or California Bar accredited law school after their first year of studies, the California Bar's "Starting First Year Law Studies Over Certification" allows you to restart your legal education. Students must fill out and submit the certification form to the California Bar. Once this certification is submitted, you may restart your legal studies at San Francisco Law School as a First Year Student. Please contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

Law School Admission Test

Applicants must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) which is given four times a year at test centers locally, throughout the U.S., and in many foreign countries. Individuals who have previously passed the LSAT may not be required to retake the exam providing that their scores are sufficiently current, acceptable and obtainable from Law Services. Further LSAT information can be obtained at www.lsac.org.

The Role of You LSAT Score

We take a holistic approach to the admissions process here at San Francisco Law School. If your LSAT score is not as high as you'd like it to be, don't fret. Your GPA and LSAT score can generally account for two-thirds of your application profile; however those with strong backgrounds can overcome low scores. For mature and professional applicants, we understand that some time may have passed between your scholastic studies and your decision to come to law school, and we recognize that you may have acquired skills in this time that will help you excel in your studies. We will consider graduate work, life experience, work experience, community service, and non-academic accomplishments. If you’d like to find out how you can structure your application to highlight your strengths, call the Admissions Department at (415) 626-5550.

Admission Procedures

Applicants wishing to be admitted with Regular Status must submit a completed application form, a resumé, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a $75 non-refundable application fee. In addition, applicants must have all official transcripts sent from issuing schools directly to San Francisco Law School. All degrees must be posted.

Applications will be reviewed only after the LSAT results and all required documents and fees are received by the Director of Admissions.

Applications received after July 1st will be considered if space is available, but class size limitations may cause consideration to be deferred until the following academic year.

Application should be accompanied by a $75.00 non-refundable application fee.

A deposit of $500 is required of all applicants upon notification of admission, and must be paid by the date indicated in the letter of acceptance. This deposit is credited toward tuition and fees.

Personal Statement

A strong personal statement answers these questions: Why do you want to study law? What in your background leads you to believe you will be successful in law school and in a legal career? What special skills, attributes, and experiences will you bring to the Law School community? What other pertinent matters should the Committee consider in weighing your application?

The statement should be in essay form rather than resumé form and should be no longer than three pages in length, double-spaced and typed. Applicants should not submit books, tape recordings, plays, theses, dissertations, or other such materials in lieu of, or in addition to, the personal statement; these materials will not be evaluated by the Admissions Committee.


San Francisco Law School encourages applicants to visit our Open House Presentations. The Law School Admissions Committee reserves the right to request formal interviews as part of the admissions process. All information which applicants wish to have considered by the Committee must be in writing and should accompany the application.

Admission with Special Status

Applicants who are unable to satisfy the academic requirements for admission with Regular Status may be considered for admission as Special Status students. Special Status is designed for students who have achieved a level of maturity and professional experience which has prepared them for successful completion of the law school curriculum.

Special Status applicants, in addition to the documentation required of applicants for Regular Status, must submit their educational records, two letters of recommendation from employers and/or others attesting to abilities and potential for success in law school, and an LSAT score satisfactory to the San Francisco Law School Admissions Committee.

In addition, the Committee of Bar Examiner requires that all applicants seeking admission with Special Status pass the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) prior to admission to law school. For further details, contact the San Francisco Law School Director of Admissions or via e-mail at admin@sfls.edu.

Upon successful completion of the First Year curriculum, Special Status students must take the First Year Law Students' Examination (FYLSE) administered by the California Committee of Bar Examiners. Students can continue into their second year of study despite their not having taken or not having passed the examination. They will receive credit for study completed up to the time they pass the examination, if they pass it within three administrations of the examination after their first become eligible to take the exam.

For CLEP Test applications or information contact:

The College Board, Western Regional Office
2099 Gateway Place, #480
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 452-1400

Admission to Advanced Standing

In addition to the requirements of applicants for regular status, those students in good standing wishing to transfer from other law schools must provide official transcripts of all law study and a letter of good standing from the Office of the Dean of the last law school attended. Only courses successfully completed (C or better grade) may be considered for transfer. A student must earn 43 units while in residence in order to graduate from San Francisco Law School.

Applicants not in good academic standing at the time of leaving their prior law school, must also provide two letters of recommendation from the Dean and/or professors at the law school attended who can attest to the student's ability for success in law school and a personal statement by the applicant detailing the circumstances that led to the student's academic disqualification and the remedies taken to ensure success in future study.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to contact all references for a more detailed assessment of each applicant's potential. It is within the discretion of the Admissions Committee if credit is given for any previous courses. In the case of disqualification, credit for prior law school study would be unusual.

Admission with Visitor Status

Students currently enrolled in good standing at other accredited law schools may, with the approval of their Dean, be admitted to San Francisco Law School with non-matriculating or auditor status. Students with auditor status are subject to the same tuition, fees and all policies and regulations of San Francisco Law School. For information regarding required documentation, contact the Admissions Office.

International Applicants

Applicants who have attended schools outside of the United States, must arrange to have transcripts evaluated by either:

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 289-3400


International Education Research Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 3665
Culver City, CA 90231-3665
Telephone: (310) 258-9451

San Francisco Law School does not offer other services or issue I-20 forms to foreign nationals. The School does require a level of English proficiency, both verbal and written, consistent with that which must be demonstrated to achieve an acceptable score on the required Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Application Review Process

Acceptance to San Francisco Law School is determined by the Admissions Committee, which takes into account the LSAT score, undergraduate and graduate GPAs, professional background, and personal history of each applicant. Due to this review of the individual and his or her accomplishments, there is no mechanical formula required for admittance. The Committee seeks students who will contribute positively to the student body, successfully complete the law school program, and go on to become productive members of the Bar.

San Francisco Law School admits students without regard to age, sex, race, creed, color, physical handicap, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or political affiliation, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded to students at the School. It does not discriminate on any of these bases in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, or other School-administered programs.

Upon successful completion of the San Francisco Law School program, a graduate is awarded a Juris Doctorate degree (J.D.).