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USD Law School: Acceptance Rate & Requirements

October 31, 2023
7 min read


Reviewed by:

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

Reviewed: 10/30/23

If you’d like to study law in America’s finest city, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about USD Law School acceptance rates and applying to USD Law School! 

Choosing the perfect law school to begin your legal career is no easy task and requires considerable deliberation. So, why should USD Law School be one of your top choices? Well, there are a number of reasons to join this esteemed law school!

For one, it’s located in sunny San Diego, where the weather is beautiful, and students have access to a diverse legal market with many opportunities for internships and clerkships. Moreover, students learn through practice, as USD offers various clinics, externships, and advocacy programs. 

To top it off, students can study practically every area of law through USD’s innovative and comprehensive curriculum that involves specialized institutes, 10 concentrations, and several study abroad programs. To learn how to take full advantage of these resources, read on!

USD Law School

Source: University of San Diego Law School

USD Law School Acceptance Rate

One of the first concerns students have when they think about applying to law school is their chances of admission. According to the USD Law School acceptance rate of 34.48%, this school is moderately selective. 

Students will be expected to submit applications demonstrating a strong commitment to the legal profession, service, and academic excellence. 

For more admissions data, here are the USD Law School acceptance rates from the past few years: 

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2023 3,615 Unavailable 35%
2022 3,448 1,189 34.48%
2021 3,627 1,124 30.99%
2020 2,928 1,143 39.04%
2019 2,875 1,167 40.59%

University of San Diego Law School Requirements

As a Roman Catholic institution, USD has a commitment to educating a diverse student body. According to the USD Law class profile, 45% of the most recent class came from diverse backgrounds.

USD respects and encourages students with different traditions, backgrounds, and viewpoints to apply to their school and asks them to highlight their unique voices throughout their applications.

While USD appreciates diversity in student’s overall applications, they have set expectations for their LSAT scores and GPAs. 

students studying in library

USD Law School GPA Requirements

USD Law School strives to admit students who will thrive in their robust programs and handle their challenging curriculums. As such, the USD Law School GPA for incoming students is typically very high. 

For the most recent incoming class, the median GPA was 3.80, with the 25th percentile being 3.52 and the 75th being 3.89. To compete with these numbers, you’ll need to study hard! If you have a lower GPA, consider bulking up the rest of your application to make up for it. 

USD Law School LSAT Requirements

The USD Law School LSAT average is equally competitive, with most students scoring 161 or higher. The USD Law School LSAT score for the 25th percentile in the most recent incoming class was 157, and the 75th percentile was 163. 

For most students, an LSAT score of 161 is attainable with the right resources and prep! Consistent practice and sticking to a study schedule is key to improving your LSAT score!

For students who are wary about writing the USD Law School LSAT exam, you may alternatively write the GRE

male student typing on laptop

Your LSAT score and GPA will play a large role in the admissions committee’s decision, but so will the other components of your application. Here is a complete list of what you’ll need to submit to apply to USD Law:

Undergrad Transcripts

Of course, to confirm your GPA and assess the rigor of your undergrad, you’ll need to submit your official transcripts. USD has no preference over the major you choose but asks that you explore various academic disciplines and challenge yourself. 

Some popular pre-law majors include political science, English, history, psychology, philosophy, economics, and business. 

students attending lecture in classroom

Personal Statement

You will also be required to write a personal statement to showcase your writing skills and ability to articulate your ideas effectively and concisely. It should also demonstrate your motivation for attending law school and your future aspirations. Whether you’re an incoming student or a transfer student, you’ll need to write a statement!

A strong personal statement can help you stand out from other applicants with similar academic credentials and can help demonstrate how well you’d fit in at USD Law School! USD does not offer students interviews, so ensure you highlight any pertinent information or experiences that can help them make a decision on your candidacy!

Letters of Recommendation

Students are required to submit two to three letters of recommendation to provide the admissions committee with an outside perspective on their qualifications, skills, and potential as law students and future lawyers. 

Recommendations from professors will hold the most weight, so ensure these letters are highly personal and written by faculty members you have built strong relationships with!

A Resume

The final application material you must submit is a resume. Your resume should detail all of your relevant employment, volunteer, and extracurricular experiences. Most law school resumes are one to two pages long.

students volunteering at food drive

USD School of Law Application Process & Deadlines

You will be required to submit your USD Law School application through LSAC. 

As you complete your application, you’ll have to pay attention to the USD Law application deadline. Make sure you stay on top of the following dates:

What’s Due Deadline
Applications Open September 1
Early Admission Deadline December 1
Early Admission Decision Notification Period No later than December 22
Regular Admission Priority Deadline February 1
Regular Admissions Final Deadline June 1

Source: USD Law School

USD Law accepts students on a rolling basis, so you’re encouraged to submit your application as early into the application cycle as possible to have the highest chances of admission!

student looking at calendar

USD School of Law Tuition & Fees

Before applying to any law school, you should become familiar with your financial obligations and understand the extent of the investment you’re making by pursuing law. Here’s a breakdown of an average first-year USD Law JD student’s estimated cost of attendance:

Expense Type Full-Time Cost Part-Time Cost
Tuition $62,500 $46,190
Fees $481 $481
Books & Supplies $2,093 $1,605
Housing $15,552 $15,552
Food $6,795 $6,795
Transportation $3,131 $3,131
Personal $4,849 $4,894
Total $95,401 $78,603

Source: USD Law School

You should consider joining USD’s high-ranking part-time program if you have multiple responsibilities. Going to school part-time will mean that you’ll have fewer expenses each year, and you’ll also have more flexibility to complete your JD according to your schedule.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

To help cover some of these high costs, USD considers all of its students for merit-based and needs-based scholarships. Some of these scholarships include the USC School of Law Grants, which cover the partial cost of tuition, or around $21,000 - $26,000. 

Should You Apply to USD Law School?

two female students studying together

After learning about the extensive resources USD Law School offers and what it takes to join this respected school, you may still be wondering if you should consider this school as one of your top choices. To ease these hesitations, here are just a few compelling reasons to join this law school:

  • Excellent programs: USD Law offers rigorous academic programs involving legal scholars and practitioners to prepare students for prosperous legal careers
  • Location: this law school is located in San Diego, a beautiful place to live and an ideal environment for living and working
  • Hands-on experience: USD offers a range of opportunities for students to gain practical experience to supplement their classroom learning and apply their knowledge to the real world
  • Networking opportunities: this law school has a strong alumni network of over 16,000 grads working in a variety of legal fields throughout the nation and globe

Overall, USD Law School offers a dynamic and supportive community that values academic excellence and practical training and has a strong commitment to social justice, making it a great choice for any aspiring lawyer!

FAQs: University of San Diego School of Law

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

1. Is USD a Good Law School?

Yes, USD is considered to be an excellent law school. It offers students innovative programs and renowned faculty composed of experienced practitioners who provide students with a robust legal education. These professors emphasize practical training to produce leading lawyers of tomorrow. 

USD also offers students various clinics and experiential learning opportunities to get their feet wet and begin developing their resumes to secure their dream careers!

2. What LSAT Score Do You Need to Get Into USD?

While there is no minimum cut-off LSAT score to be considered for admission, the majority of successful candidates have LSAT scores of 161 and above.

3. How Hard Is It to Get Into USD Law School?

With an acceptance rate of about 35%, USD is only moderately competitive. While it will be easier to gain acceptance to USD than other schools, such as the prestigious T14 law schools, your application will still need to stand out and showcase extraordinary skills. 

4. What Is the GPA Required for USD School of Law?

USD does not have a minimum GPA that students must attain to apply to their law school. However, if you want to submit the most competitive application, you should aim to maintain a GPA of 3.74 or higher.

5. Do You Have to Be Catholic to Get Into USD School of Law?

Although the USD Law School is affiliated with the Catholic Church, you do not have to be Catholic to get into it. USD welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds and values diversity and inclusivity. 

Admission decisions are based on a variety of other factors, including academic performance, LSAT or GRE scores, extracurricular experience, and unique personal qualities. 

Final Thoughts

Getting into USD Law will be a competitive process, considering the USD Law School acceptance rate and the qualified applicants who apply! But, with dedication and a strong application, it is certainly within reach. 

USD seeks well-rounded applicants who demonstrate academic achievement, a passion for law, and a desire to make a difference. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to position yourself for success in the admissions process!

female lawyer celebrating

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