Applicants Who Have Been Disqualified from Law School

There is little doubt that being dismissed from law school for academic reasons can be devastating. Human nature often compels one to get right back in and prove that you can do it if one just tries harder. The American Bar Association Standard 505 addresses the issue of admission for a student who has been academically disqualified from law school:

ABA Standard 505, Previously Disqualified Applicant

A law school may admit or readmit a student who has been disqualified previously for academic reasons upon an affirmative showing that the student possesses the requisite ability and that the prior disqualification does not indicate a lack of capacity to complete the course of study at the admitting school. In the case of admission to a law school other than the disqualifying school, this showing shall be made either by a letter from the disqualifying school or, if two or more years have elapsed since that disqualification, by the nature of interim work, activity, or studies indicating a stronger potential for law study. For every admission or readmission of a previously disqualified individual, a statement of the considerations that lead to the decision shall be placed in the admittee's file.

  • Interpretation 505-1: The two year period begins on the date of the original determination to disqualify the student for academic reasons.
  • Interpretation 505-2: A student who enrolled in a pre-admission program but was not granted admission is not a student who was disqualified for academic reasons under this Standard.

This standard provides some guidance for applicants and admissions committees, but does not provide specifics. It is important that one assess all of the circumstances that led to dismissal and take concrete steps to remediate or eliminate those issues before attempting admission. The most difficult admission is the application to law school after academic disqualification.

Applicants Disqualified from NSU Shepard Broad Law Center

NSU Law Center permits persons who were academically disqualified from the Law Center to apply for readmission, to start over, as soon as the next fall term after disqualification. Before applying for readmission it is important to assess what factors contributed to your dismissal and to address these factors before applying. In many cases, one or more of these issues will not be resolved or rehabilitated before the next fall term begins; it is unwise to attempt readmission until all issues have been resolved and removed as potential problems.

The following is required to complete an application for readmission:

  • A completed first-year application for J.D. admission submitted through the LSAC Electronic Application Service
  • Payment of the $53 (US) application fee
  • A statement of your original work that details the factors that you believe led to your academic difficulties, discusses the steps you have taken to resolve and remediate those issues, and your plan to avoid a recurrence of such issues if you are readmitted
  • Copies of documentation that corroborate the issues cited in your statement and that support your resolution or remediate efforts
  • An updated resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that includes what you have done since your disqualification from the Law Center
  • One or two letters of recommendation that address the period since your disqualification

Applicants Disqualified from Other ABA-Approved Law Schools

NSU Law policy requires a minimum of two years from the date of disqualification to the prospective date of entry for consideration of applications from persons dismissed from other law schools. Although ABA Standard 505 allows for a dean's letter to shorten that period, the Law Center policy does not allow this exception. Thus, if you were notified of your dismissal from law school on February 2, 2012, the soonest for you could seek admission here is for entry in fall 2014.

Before applying it is essential that you assess what factors contributed to your dismissal and that you take necessary steps to address and cure them. In some cases, it may take more than two years to appropriately resolve or rehabilitate an issue in that time period; it is unwise to attempt admission until you have successfully completed this process.

The following is required to complete an application for admission after prior disqualification from an ABA-approved law school:

  • A completed first-year application for J.D. admission submitted through the LSAC Electronic Application Service
  • Payment of the $53 (US) application fee
  • Subscription to the LSAC Credential Assembly Service; be certain that all transcripts from study prior to law school are included
  • An official transcript and letter of standing sent directly to NSU Law Admissions by your prior law school
  • A statement of your original work that details the factors that you believe led to your academic difficulties, discusses the steps you have taken to resolve and remediate those issues, and your plan to avoid a recurrence of such issues if you are readmitted
  • Copies of documentation that corroborate the issues cited in your statement and that support your resolution or remediate efforts
  • Letter from dean of prior law school stating you are capable of doing law school work, if less than two years is transpiring from date of disqualification to prospective term of entry
  • An resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that includes what you have done since your disqualification from the Law Center
  • One or two letters of recommendation; one should include the period since disqualification

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