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Pepperdine Law School: Acceptance Rate & Requirements

August 25, 2023
7 min read


Reviewed by:

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

Reviewed: 08/08/23

Equipped to lead; empowered to serve—this is Pepperdine Law School’s motto. Interested to learn more about this premier law school? Read on!

It can be easy to chalk your dreams up to being “too ambitious.” You may be convinced you should maintain realistic career aspirations to prevent disappointment. However, with Pepperdine Law, no ambition is too large. In fact, they aim to help students reach higher than they ever thought possible.

This guide will further discuss this leading law school and how you can join it, by sharing the Pepperdine Law School acceptance rate, admission requirements, application process, and tuition costs!

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Pepperdine Law School Acceptance Rate

Of course, to ensure students can fulfill their greatest ambitions, Pepperdine provides generous resources to its law students. For instance, this school offers co-curricular experiential learning that includes, externships, clinical work experience, and international study programs. 

Additionally, Pepperdine students that participate in their renowned advocacy program compete at the highest levels of moot court competition against law schools across the nation and globe! Considering these extensive resources, the low Pepperdine Law School acceptance rate shouldn’t come as a surprise!

During their 2022-2023 admissions cycle, Pepperdine received 4,011 applications but only accepted around 28% of them, suggesting this school is competitive to get into!

Pepperdine Law School Requirements

To make it into this selective group of successful Pepperdine candidates, it’s essential you craft an impactful law school application that effectively communicates your academic accomplishments, personal strengths, and professional aspirations.

To demonstrate all of these factors, Pepperdine requires its applicants to submit the following materials:

High School Transcripts

You must complete a bachelor’s degree prior to admission at any law school. Pepperdine leaves the choice of major up to you, but encourages you to choose challenging courses that can help you develop a broad skill set. 

Your transcript will provide a record of the courses you took and grades you received to help the admissions committee evaluate your preparedness for their rigorous legal curriculum. To ensure you attest to your ability to handle law school, you should maintain a high GPA throughout college. 

To be exact, Pepperdine’s current median GPA is 3.8.

Standardized Test Scores

Pepperdine offers students the option to write and submit the LSAT or GRE. While you may study for the GRE if you feel you can score higher on it, the LSAT is still the most widely accepted exam for law school admission. Considering this, there is little data to provide you with a median GRE score to aim for.

However, the Pepperdine Law School LSAT score of successful candidates is 164. To reach this score, consider your baseline abilities by completing a diagnostic test before you open your first prep book

Based on this score, set up a realistic and comprehensive study schedule that will get you to your goal score within your desired time period.

A Personal Statement

Writing is an important skill to have for law school, where you’ll be expected to write case briefs, legal memos, motions, and numerous essays. To assess your writing skills and humanize your application, you’ll be required to submit a two to four-page, double-spaced personal statement

Your statement should indicate why you decided to pursue law, why you chose Pepperdine, any significant extracurricular and/or civic experiences, and other information you deem meaningful for the admissions committee to know. 

You are also highly encouraged to discuss any personal factors or experiences that would help you make Pepperdine a more diverse place.

A Resume

Students must also submit a resume detailing their employment history, scholastic honors, extracurricular activities, and volunteer experience.

Letters of Recommendation

Your application will be written by you, based on the skills and talents you perceive yourself to have. But, the committee is also interested in knowing how others perceive you. Particularly, how your mentors perceive you. 

As such, you’re required to submit two letters of recommendation from individuals that can best assess your potential to succeed in law school. At least one of these letters must come from a professor.

Optional Statement

Pepperdine is built on Christian values and is dedicated to Christian missions of instilling the highest standards of ethics and morality in their students. They have a strong Christian faculty and several professors from other faiths as well. Pepperdine welcomes students of all faiths and those that are not part of any faith.

In an optional statement, you can share how you would contribute to this unique community. While this statement is not required to get into Pepperdine Law School, writing a compelling statement discussing how your own values and faith can help you contribute to Pepperdine’s vision can increase your chances of admission!

Pepperdine Law School Application Process & Deadlines

Now that you’re familiar with the Pepperdine Law School acceptance rate, admission stats, and requirements, you may be wondering how to submit your application and which deadlines to be aware of.

The application itself may seem complicated, but the process of submitting it is not. You must create an LSAC account and submit your application through this portal. You will be prompted to select Pepperdine as one of your program choices, and your application will be sent to them by LSAC.

However, since every law school has different deadlines, ensure you keep the following in mind when applying to Pepperdine:

Deadline Application Milestone
September LSAC applications open
February 1 Deadline for accelerated 2-year JD
February 1 Priority deadline for regular JD program
March Recommended month to complete standardized tests by
April 1 Final deadline to submit regular JD application

Source: Pepperdine Law School

The Pepperdine School of Law has a rolling admissions process. This means that they review applications as they are received, rather than waiting until the application deadline has passed. 

Accordingly, it is recommended you apply earlier into the admissions cycle, as the number of seats and scholarships available will decrease as the cycle progresses.

Pepperdine Law School Tuition & Fees

Part of preparing for law school involves creating a realistic budget and understanding the financial investment law school requires. Here is a breakdown of an average first-year JD students’ estimated cost of attendance:

Expense Type Cost
Tuition $63,660
Room $18,800
Board $3,200
Student Bar Association Fees $60
Wellness Fees $500
Books $1,200
Transportation $1,600
Medical Expenses $900
Personal Expenses $5,900
Total $95,820

Source: Pepperdine Law School

Fortunately, Pepperdine offers five different scholarships to help students afford their legal education:

  • Caruso Scholars: to cover one quarter or the full cost of tuition of exceptionally talented students; all applicants are automatically considered for this scholarship
  • Dean’s Merit Award: based on students’ GPA and LSAT score
  • Dean’s Excellence: for students that can increase the breadth, depth, and diversity of Pepperdine’s community
  • Faculty Scholars: for academic excellence and personal achievement, without consideration of financial need
  • The President’s Scholarship: for active members of the Church of Christ

There are also several external scholarships that aspiring law students can apply to, to cover the full or partial cost of tuition. 

Should You Apply to Pepperdine Law School?

To summarize, there are multiple reasons you should apply to Pepperdine Law School. Aside from its dedication to student success, it is located in Malibu, California, which is ideal for law students, as California is a large legal hub. 

It also offers small class sizes which allow for more personalized education and connections with faculty, and is founded in Christian values, including ethics, service, and excellence. Even if you aren’t religious, or Christian, there is still a place for you at Pepperdine, and you can still become a valuable member of their community!

FAQs: Pepperdine School of Law

For any remaining questions about getting into the Pepperdine School of Law, read on to find your answers.

1. What Is Pepperdine Law School Known For?

Pepperdine Law is best known for its dispute resolution program, which it ranks first in the nation for!

2. Is Pepperdine Law School Expensive?

Based on its estimated cost of attendance, which is over $95,000, yes, this school is considered to be expensive to join. However, it offers its students various financial aid packages, including scholarships that can cover the full costs of tuition!

3. What GPA Do I Need to Get Into Pepperdine Law School?

While Pepperdine Law School does not set any minimum GPA requirements, students should aim for GPAs around 3.8 to be considered competitive applicants.

4. How Hard Is It to Get Into Pepperdine Law School?

With Pepperdine’s acceptance rate of around 28%, this school is considered to be quite selective. It has an LSAT score median of 164 and median GPA of 3.8, both of which require hard work and dedication to achieve. 

However, admissions decisions are based on a combination of factors excluding numbers, such as personal statements, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular, work, and community service experience.

Accordingly, students must demonstrate excellence in their academics, personal lives, and professional pursuits to maximize their chances of admission. 

5. Is Pepperdine a Good Law School?

Yes, Pepperdine is a great law school that makes the top of the list for many aspiring law students. It focuses on providing personalized, values-centred education to its students and is committed to preparing its graduates to be ethical and responsible leaders in their fields. 

Successful Pepperdine applicants can expect a strong legal education, unwavering faculty support, and a variety of opportunities for hands-on learning!

6. Do I Have to Write the LSAT to Get Into Pepperdine Law School?

No, you can write the GRE instead, if you wish! However, most students submit the LSAT.

Final Thoughts

After learning more about the Pepperdine Law School acceptance rate and its extensive resources, you should not only be convinced this competitive school belongs on your law school list, but that gaining admission to this school will help you achieve all of your career aspirations! So, aim high and Pepperdine will get you there!

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