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How to Get Into UCLA Law School

January 18, 2023


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 01/16/23

UCLA Law School is one of the best law schools in the country. If you have your sights on sunny California to further your law education, read on! 

The UCLA School of Law is ranked No. 15 in U.S. News World and Report’s list of Best Law Schools. If you want to take advantage of California’s excellent climate and UCLA’s educational law offerings, read on to learn how to get into UCLA Law School!

Programs Offered

UCLA Law offers four pathways for prospective law students

  • J.D. Program: For prospective lawyers and advocates.
  • LL.M. Program: For lawyers seeking a deeper dive into law studies. 
  • S.J.D. Program: A program meant for students interested in law scholarship or teaching. 
  • M.L.S. Program: Meant for non-lawyers seeking knowledge in law and to hone their professional skills.

UCLA Law School Requirements

You must fulfill all UCLA Law School admissions requirements for your application to be considered complete. All UCLA applicants must apply through LSAC and register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS): these are the UCLA Law School requirements you should be aware of:

UCLA Law Requirements

If you apply through UCLA Law's Early Decision program, you must submit an Early Decision Program Agreement. 

If you apply to the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, you must submit another application to that program. Applicants to the Distinguished Scholars Program must also submit an agreement document.

Finally, applicants who want to apply to the Achievement Fellowship Program (one of UCLA’s scholarships) must submit “an additional one page essay describing in detail the obstacles they have overcome in life and why they are a strong candidate for the program.”

Infographic outlining UCLA Law school admissions requirements

UCLA Law School GPA Requirements 

Although there are no explicit GPA cutoffs, you should strive for a high undergraduate GPA for your best chance of admission. Class profile data shows GPA percentiles of incoming J.D. students: 

  • 25th percentile GPA: 3.57
  • Median GPA: 3.82
  • 75th percentile: GPA: 3.92 

Based only on the data provided, it's difficult to determine the UCLA Law School average GPA. However, aiming for a GPA above the median 3.82 GPA can make you a more competitive applicant. 

Required UCLA Law School LSAT Score

There is no “required” LSAT score to gain admission at UCLA Law, but higher scores can boost your application. Consider the LSAT score percentiles of incoming J.D. students: 

  • 25th percentile LSAT: 166
  • Median LSAT: 170
  • 75th percentile LSAT: 171

While it’s difficult to determine the UCLA Law School average LSAT with only this information, achieving an LSAT score of 170 or higher should place you in good standing. 

UCLA GRE Requirements 

UCLA Law did not release GRE scores as part of its class profile, and there aren’t any requirements listed. However, a GRE score of 165 on each section approximately converts to a 170 on the LSAT.

UCLA Law School Personal Statement Prompt and Tips 

Compelling writing is key to getting into UCLA Law. UCLA Law’s personal statement prompt is more focused than other law school prompts you may have come across: 

“Discuss any matters relevant to your ability to succeed in law school and the practice of law, and any attributes, experiences, or interests that would enable you to make a distinctive contribution to UCLA Law or the legal profession.”

Even though you only have two pages to tell your story and describe why you’re the perfect candidate, these tips can help you produce a stellar personal statement. 

Stick to Directions

Your law school personal statement format is not the place to get creative. Stick to basic and readable font size, double-spaced lines, and do not exceed the page limit. 

Tell a Story

UCLA Law is asking for a personal statement, not a statement of purpose. This means you should focus on anecdotes that shaped you and your interest in the law field. 

The best personal statements touch on a mix of the past, present, and future: ensure you pick relevant anecdotes that showcase your character traits, experience, and passions. 

Ensure Your Narrative Has a Common Thread

Your personal statement should have a clear, thematic thread tying it all together. One way to do this is to reiterate or tie back in your conclusion to something you mentioned in the introduction or beginning of your personal statement. 

Try Not to Go Too Deep Into the Past

While your past experiences can propel your narrative, be careful with reaching too far into the past. For example, things you did in high school or before that probably wouldn't be very relevant to your statement. Keep it as brief as possible if something that happened in the distant past is crucial in your story. 

Relate Qualities to Experiences 

Writing, “I’m an honest person,” doesn’t show the admissions committee much about you. If honesty (or any other trait, for that matter) is something you want to show in your statement, show it through a time you were honest. Was there a time you were truthful, even if it wasn’t the popular thing to do? 

Any qualities, passions, or interests you want to share should be shown through a relevant experience, not stated explicitly. 

Other Top Tips for a Fantastic UCLA Law Personal Statement

Getting into UCLA Law requires thoughtful, well-constructed writing; consider this a test of your effective communication and writing skills. These other tips can help you produce a captivating statement: 

  • Write using clear sentences. 
  • Don’t use legalese or other industry jargon: keep things clear. 
  • Consider why you want to go to UCLA: what does the school offer for you that other law schools don’t? Brainstorm them. 
  • Focus on how you plan to contribute to the UCLA Law community based on your research. 
  • Don’t list the qualifications on your resume or recount any other material in your application. 
  • Edit and revise multiple times; no one’s personal statement is a work of art on the first draft!

UCLA Law School Admissions Stats

UCLA Law admissions statistics

UCLA Law class profile data can tell you more about the school’s commitment to a diverse student body and the school’s selectivity. Here are some recent UCLA Law data highlights

  • 56% females, 44% males 
  • 55% California residents, 45% non-residents 
  • 49% students of color 
  • 9% of students are 28 or older (the average age is 24) 
  • 10% STEM majors 
  • 15% first-generation college students 
  • Students represent 34 states, seven foreign countries, and 130 undergraduate institutions 

UCLA Law School Acceptance Rate

UCLA Law received 7,976 applications in a recent admissions cycle and accepted 1,225 applicants. The UCLA School of Law acceptance rate is 15.4%.

UCLA Law School Application Deadlines & Process 

Since you can apply to UCLA through its binding Early Decision program, there are two application schedules you can follow. These are the dates you need to know for Early Decision/Distinguished Scholars Program:

UCLA Law application deadlines

Please note that if you’re applying to the non-binding Achievement Fellowship Program, you must take the LSAT or GRE by the end of November and submit your application before the deadline in mid-December. 

If you’re applying through Regular Decision, your timeline looks slightly different: 

  • You must take the LSAT or GRE no later than the end of January. 
  • Your application is due at the beginning of February. 

Decisions are released on a rolling basis for all decision pathways.

How to Get Into UCLA Law School: FAQs 

If you still have questions about how to get into UCLA Law School, read on for more answers. 

1. Is UCLA a Good Law School? 

Considering that UCLA Law ranks in the top 20 national law schools, UCLA Law is a great school to pursue or further your law education. 

2. Is UCLA Law School Hard to Get Into? 

Based on UCLA Law's 15.4% acceptance rate, the school is relatively hard to get into. Although it's not as competitive as law schools such as Harvard or Yale, you'll need to submit a perfect application for your best chance of acceptance. 

3. What GPA Do You Need for UCLA Law? 

While there is no GPA you “need” to get into UCLA Law, you should strive to achieve a GPA higher than 3.82 (the median class GPA) if possible. 

4. What LSAT Score Do I Need for UCLA Law School? 

UCLA Law doesn’t have LSAT score cutoffs, but it would be best if you achieved an LSAT score of 170 or higher to be a more competitive applicant. 

5. What is UCLA School of Law’s Acceptance Rate? 

UCLA Law’s acceptance rate is 15.4%. 

6. When Is the UCLA Law Application Deadline? 

UCLA’s priority deadline for Early Decision is in Mid-November. All applications must be submitted by the beginning of February.

Get Into One of California’s Premier Law Schools Today 

UCLA School of Law is an excellent addition to your school list. Getting into UCLA Law requires knowing more about the admissions process, submitting a perfect personal statement, and understanding the UCLA Law School requirements. 

Now that you know how to get into UCLA Law School, you can submit a well-written application and maximize your chances of success. Good luck!

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