Our educational policies, admissions requirements, scholarship programs, loans and other programs are administered fairly to all.
List of Policies
Academically Disqualified Applicants
Students who have been academically disqualified from another law school are eligible to apply for admission beginning with the first entering class starting more than two years after the date of their dismissal. Generally, successful applicants who were disqualified from other law schools have strong predictors of law school success (i.e., LSAT scores, GPAs), letters of recommendation that address the applicant's disqualification and fitness for rigorous law study in light of the disqualification, and/or unusual circumstances that led to the disqualification. To be eligible to apply, applicants must provide a transcript and letter of attendance from the disqualifying law school.
California Western only reviews for admission completed applications. Completed applications include the following elements:
- Completed electronic application, submitted via lsac.org
- Completed Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report, which includes the following:
- Valid LSAT score(s) (if applicable)
- All post-secondary transcripts
- Undergraduate transcript must show either completion of bachelor's degree or projected degree completion prior to law school matriculation.
- For applicants with undergraduate degrees completed within the United States: bachelor's degree must have been awarded by an institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- For applicants with undergraduate degrees completed outside the United States: bachelor's degree must have been awarded by an institution that is equivalent to that of institutions accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Two letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- Addenda (as required/prompted by the application)
- GRE score report showing all valid and reportable scores (only required from applicants without a valid LSAT score)
Application Review Process
When reviewing applications for admission, the Admissions Committee considers a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
- LSAT and/or GRE scores
- Cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA)
- Rigor of undergraduate coursework
- Performance in graduate programs
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statements
- Extracurricular activities
- Work experience
- Demonstrated skills
- Diverse life experiences
Applications are reviewed holistically. To be eligible for admission, an applicant must demonstrate that he or she is capable of satisfactorily completing California Western's program of legal education and being admitted to the bar. Additionally, the most competitive applicants have LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs at or over our medians, as reflected in our class profile; letters of recommendation that illuminate the applicant and touch on the skills pertinent to law school success; rigorous undergraduate coursework; well-written personal statements; and relevant work, personal, and/or volunteer experiences.
Character and Fitness to Practice Law
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
Because your law school application provides information relevant to certification to a state bar, you should fully disclose on the application any information that may in any way reflect on character and fitness to practice law. Law schools are required to provide bar examiners in every state with an assessment of the student's character and fitness for the practice of law. This requirement can include information you provided on your application, including prior criminal proceedings or other disciplinary actions. Failure to fully disclose this information on the law school application can result in revocation of the admission offer, disenrollment after matriculation or other disciplinary action. Applicants are required to promptly advise the Admissions Office of any changes to the facts presented in their application once it has been submitted, leading up to matriculation. Applicants are required to promptly advise the Vice Dean's Office of any changes to the facts presented in their application after matriculation.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis; therefore, decisions are made when an application is complete. All decisions are disseminated electronically. Review typically begins in November for the fall class and September for the spring class. The decision of the Admissions Committee is final.
Deposits are required to reserve your seat in the class to which you have been admitted. All deposits are nonrefundable. Deposits are not transferable to the next entering class unless the applicant has been granted a deferral by the Admissions Committee prior to the deposit deadline. Deposits are applied to tuition upon matriculation.
Official Final Transcripts
In order to enroll, you must send an official final transcript, documenting undergraduate degree completion and date received, directly to LSAC for processing. If you are still finishing classes to complete your undergraduate degree and will not receive your final transcript until after you enroll, you must send an official final transcript to LSAC as soon as it is available. Your final official transcript must be on file with California Western by the following deadlines: October 15th for fall enrollees; and within 4 weeks of the date classes begin for spring enrollees. If your official final transcript is not on file with California Western by your applicable deadline, you will be administratively withdrawn from all classes.
Circumstances can change. Applicants who have been admitted may request a deferment to the next entering class. Deferments are reviewed on an individual basis and take into account all relevant circumstances. There is no guarantee the deferment will be granted. Applicants granted deferment are required to submit the seat deposit required for the current term and an additional seat deposit for the term they are deferring to. If deferment is requested by a scholarship recipient, the scholarship awarded at the time of admission is not guaranteed for the future term. Because the scholarship program changes from term to term, the applicant's scholarship may be reassessed during the review process of the deferred term. Scholarship recipients will be notified whether or not their scholarship can be deferred to the future term during the deferment review process.
International JD Applicants
Applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree from a school outside the United States or Canada must take the LSAT and/or GRE and must have their academic transcripts analyzed by LSAC's Credential Assembly Service. This service is included in the CAS subscription fee.
Evaluation of transcripts is NOT required if the foreign education was completed through a study abroad, consortium, or exchange program sponsored by a U.S. or Canadian institution, and the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript.
An applicant who is not a U.S. citizen or who does not reside permanently in the United States and for whom English is not the native language must submit the results of one of the following English proficiency tests: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo, in addition to the other admissions requirements.
Applicants who reapply must complete a new application and an updated personal statement. A new CAS report is required and new material must be submitted to warrant the review.
A regularly enrolled second or third year student may, with the advance permission of the instructor, audit any law school course or visit any law school class on a space-available basis. Permission to visit or audit may be withdrawn at any time if the instructor believes it is in the best interest of the individual student or of the class to do so. Only current enrolled students and alumni are allowed to audit courses. Auditors will take no examination and receive no academic credit. The fee for auditing a class is the same as the hourly per-unit tuition fee. Contact the registrar for further information.
Accommodation for Disability
California Western makes reasonable accommodations in both the educational program and in the examination process for students with documented disabilities who make their disability known to the Office of Student and Diversity Services. Entering students needing special accommodations should make the request at the time of making their seat deposit to ensure adequate time to make arrangements. All buildings are wheelchair accessible.
Registering for the Bar
Click here to learn more about the state bar registration process.
Statement for Non-Discrimination
California Western School of Law does not discriminate on the basis of age; ancestry; citizenship status; color; creed; disability or medical condition; gender; pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions; gender identity or expression; marital, military or parental status; national origin; race; religion; sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by law. For questions about discrimination on the basis of a disability or to file a Section 504 complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of a disability, contact the Vice Dean for Academic & Student Affairs, located at 225 Cedar Street, Second Floor, San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 525-1409.