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SMU Law School: Admission Stats and Requirements

September 21, 2023
5 min read


Reviewed by:

David Merson

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

Reviewed: 9/20/23

Are you interested in joining a law school that’s dedicated to producing the next century of leaders? If you are, read on to learn more about how to get into SMU Law School.

Male law student at Southern Methodist University

The Southern Methodist University (SMU) Dedman Law School, established almost a century ago, is dedicated to providing students with the best education to secure outstanding employment options post-graduation.

With 11 legal clinics, a pro bono legal service requirement, and four academic law journals, this school equips its students with the experience and connections to thrive in the legal world. 

If these resources sound like they’d help propel your legal career, this guide will go over all the important admission statistics you need to know about SMU!

SMU Law School Acceptance Rate

The first admission statistic to discuss is the SMU Law School acceptance rate. At 33.4%, this school is moderately difficult to get into.

SMU Dedman School of Law Admission Stats

If you’re wondering how you can maximize your chances of getting into SMU, the major application requirements you should focus on are your numbers. Your LSAT and GPA will play a critical role in the admissions committee’s decision on your candidacy.

To ensure you wow the judges, here are the exact scores you should aim for:

Student taking LSAT test


Despite having a promising acceptance rate, this school still expects its students to prove their academic potential. The most recent entering class had a median LSAT score of 163, which is close to the 90th percentile!


The other score you’ll need to focus on is your GPA. First-year students had an average GPA of 3.76, which is what you should aim to maintain to be considered a competitive applicant.

SMU Law School Requirements

While you’ve likely heard that law school is largely a numbers game, it’s important to note your scores won’t be the only factors influencing the admissions committee’s decision. 

Since SMU has a commitment to producing the next generation of innovative lawyers, it wants to ensure you’re unique and can contribute greatness to their school and the legal community.

As such, you’ll be required to submit all of these application materials: 

Your Transcripts

You may be wondering which major will impress the admissions committee the most. While there is no perfect major to pursue for law school, you should choose one that is academically challenging.

Another way to impress the admissions committee with your transcripts is to take and succeed in courses from various disciplines!

Your LSAT Score

You’ll need to score high on the LSAT to get into this law school. To reach a 163, it’s essential you create an effective study plan, use trusted resources, and learn the most efficient strategies to increase your score. 

Ensure you take your studies seriously as the LSAT isn’t an exam you can simply wing! It’ll require adequate preparation, and you may even have to retake the LSAT to reach your target score. Factor this possibility into your LSAT timeline!

The final LSAT students can write to be eligible for application at SMU is the February exam.

A Personal Statement

To get to know you better, SMU Law School requires you to submit a personal statement. This document should bring your application to life and add color to what would otherwise be quite a dull and numbers-based selection process. 

You should include any information that is missing from your application but crucial for the admissions committee to know. While there are countless topics you can write about, there are several major subjects to avoid, including those that:

  • Share highly personal information you would only tell a therapist
  • Repeat your resume 
  • Paint you as the underdog or an overachiever
  • Rely on false stories
  • Riddled with clichés

Be sure to revise your statement multiple times before submitting it. It’s generally recommended students spend at least a few months on their personal statements to ensure it reflects their impeccable writing and communication skills and offers unique insight into who they are.

A Resume

Your resume should be one to two pages long and include any relevant experience you pursued throughout your undergrad. This includes work, volunteer, and extracurricular pursuits, as well as any publications, honors, awards, or certifications.

Letters of Recommendation

The final SMU Law School requirements are at least two letters of recommendation. These letters should be written by professors that worked closely with you and can attest to the specific attributes that make you the perfect candidate for law school.

These attributes should mainly focus on your academic performance, but including non-academic attributes about your character can make these recommendations more personal and unique!

If you’ve been out of school for several years, you may get your supervisors to write these recommendations instead. 

Female student meeting with female professor

SMU Dedman School of Law Application Process and Deadlines

We’ve covered the important admission statistics and requirements to keep in mind to ensure you submit the best application possible. To avoid having a perfect application ruined by poor timing, you should also keep these key deadlines in mind:

Deadline What’s Due
September 2022 Applications open
Early November 2022 Application begin being processed on a rolling basis
February 2023 Final LSAT examination to take for application
March 1, 2023 Regular application deadline
End of April 2023 Regular applicants receive decisions

Source: SMU Law School

The SMU School of Law encourages students to submit their applications as early as possible. 

If you decide to apply closer to the application deadline, you can expect numerous students to do the same. Near this time, there will be far fewer spots available and an influx of applicants. As such, your application will be scrutinized even harsher, ultimately decreasing your chances of admission!

The process to apply to SMU is simple—make an LSAC account and submit the majority of your application materials to this portal, such as your letters of recommendation. Your LSAT scores will automatically appear here for the admissions committee to review.

SMU Dedman Law School Tuition and Fees

Students can expect to pay $61,058 for tuition and fees each year. With additional costs like books and supplies, the total cost to attend SMU is estimated to be over $88,000! 

SMU understands the majority of students cannot afford these high costs of tuition on their own, so they offer extensive scholarships, grants, and awards to help cover some of these costs and decrease students’ financial stress.

SMU Dedman Law School Bar Passage Rates

One of SMU’s main goals is to provide students with the resources and support to excel in their legal careers. But how well do they uphold this promise?

According to their bar passage rate of over 85%, the SMU School of Law adheres to its word! This bar passage rate is almost 10% higher than the national rate, meaning SMU provides extraordinary training to its students.

FAQs: SMU Dedman School of Law

For any remaining questions about SMU Law School, read on to find your answers.

1. How Hard Is It to Get Into SMU Law?

While SMU Law has a moderately competitive acceptance rate, it still aims to admit the most academically talented students. It has a high median LSAT score and GPA.

2. What Is the Average LSAT Score for SMU Law?

The average LSAT score for SMU Law is 163.

3. What Is the Average GPA for SMU Law?

Previous accepted SMU applicants had a median GPA of 3.76.

4. Is SMU a Good Law School?

Yes, SMU is a good and reputable law school. It not only offers extensive in-house learning experiences for students, but is also situated in Dallas, one of the nation’s fastest growing economies. 

5. Can I Write the GRE Instead of the LSAT for SMU?

No, SMU currently only accepts LSAT scores.

6. Does SMU Have a Part-Time JD Program?

No, SMU only has a full-time, three-year JD program.

Final Thoughts

SMU calls Dallas a “legal laboratory” because of all the opportunity and experimentation it allows! As the second-best location to gain employment at the Fortune 500 companies, students are able to find their niche and gain valuable experience in it!

While you’ll need to submit a stellar application to get into this law school, the experience, support, and connections you’ll gain will be well worth the hard work!

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