The core academic mission of the University of Maryland School of Law is to educate outstanding leaders in law, business and related professions, by advancing the understanding of law and legal institutions, and by enhancing access to justice. Through excellence in teaching, the highest quality scholarship, interdisciplinary research, reform of legal service delivery systems, and service to the greater community, the School of Law seeks to contribute to the solution of significant legal problems at the local, national and international levels by educating skillful lawyers, future leaders.
The University of Maryland School of Law's admissions policy focuses on the academic potential of applicants coupled with a flexible assessment of applicants' talents, experiences and potential to contribute to the learning of those around them. Each applicant is evaluated on the basis of all the information available in their file, including a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and resume.
We expect applicants to have different backgrounds and experiences, and to have many reasons for wanting to study law. We engage in a highly individualized, holistic review of each applicant's file, giving consideration to all the ways an applicant might contribute to a diverse educational environment. The qualities of students we seek may be reflected in their background characteristics such as geographic origin, cultural and language backgrounds; racial, social, disability and economic barriers overcome; interpersonal skills, demonstrated by extracurricular pursuits, work or service experience, and leadership activities; potential for intellectual and social growth, demonstrated by personal talents and skills, maturity and compassion; and other special circumstances and characteristics that, when combined with academic skills necessary for sound legal education, promise to make a special contribution to the community.
Our admissions policy aspires to achieve that diversity that has the potential to enrich everyone's education. When students have the greatest possible variety of background, classroom discussion is livelier, more spirited, and simply more enlightened and interesting. Student body diversity better prepares all students to assume leadership roles in an increasing diverse society. Along with other diversity goals, we seek to enroll meaningful numbers of students from groups that have been historically discriminated against to ensure their ability to make unique contributions to the character of the School's educational and social environment.
In considering the academic record of any applicant, the School of Law may consider the nature and level of challenge of the applicant's academic work, including college grading practices, quality of college student body and course selection patterns; trend of college grades; graduate study; outside work or extensive extracurricular activities while in college; time interval and activities between college graduation and application to law school; and physical, social or economic hardships.
The School's admissions policies fully comply with the ADA and other applicable laws and regulations. Consistent with the School's commitment to diversity, the life experiences and backgrounds of applicants with disabilities may be viewed positively in admissions decisions. Applicants should use the personal statement to emphasize these factors.
For admission and tuition purposes, the University makes an initial residency determination on all applications received. To qualify for in-state status, applicants must have lived in Maryland, or been financially dependent on someone living in Maryland, for, at a minimum, the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of application to the School of Law. Factors determining in-state status also include the state in which a candidate's driver's license and motor vehicle/voter registration are held, and where the most recent income taxes were paid. (For details, see attached Application for In-State Status.) Residency may be a factor in the admissions process.
Residency Status is determined by the Office of Records and Registration for the University of Maryland Baltimore. For more information on the residency policy, please visit http://www.umaryland.edu/orr/.
Office of Records and Registration
University of Maryland Baltimore
621 West Lombard Street, Room 326
Baltimore, MD 21201-1575
The school does not prescribe any particular undergraduate courses for admission. Proper preparation for the study of law depends not so much upon the specific courses taken by the pre law student as upon the development of capacity to read and comprehend, to think precisely, to analyze complex fact situations and to speak and write clearly and intelligently. Students differ widely in their interests; consequently they are advised to concentrate primarily on subjects that they find of particular intellectual interest and stimulation.
Prospective students are encouraged to investigate at an early date the rules for admission to the bar of any state in which they may eventually wish to practice. For additional information on pre-law study see The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools, a publication of the Law School Admission Council. This book includes material on the law and lawyers, pre-law preparation, applying to law schools and the study of law, together with individualized information on most American law schools. It may be obtained at college bookstores or ordered from:
Law School Admission Services,
Box 2000, Newtown, PA 18940.