Wayne State University

Admissions Policy

Read a complete statement of the Law School's Admissions Standards and Procedures.

The Law School enrolls one class per year. Each class begins in August. Applications are accepted from Oct. 1 through May 15. Admission to Wayne Law is selective, and there is a great deal of competition to be a member of an entering class. 

The Admissions Office uses rolling admissions. As applications become complete they are evaluated for a decision. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early as the class fills rapidly as the deadline approaches. The submission of applications after March 15 may impede chances of admission.

An applicant for admission to the J.D. program must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. A final official transcript must be sent to the Law School before enrolling. 

Each applicant also must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and register with the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS). The Law School requires that students educated in a foreign country submit their transcripts through the Law School Admission Council J.D. Credential Assembly Service. Applicants who completed any post-secondary work outside of the United States, its territories or Canada must use this service for the evaluation of foreign transcripts. The one exception to this requirement is any foreign work completed through a study abroad, consortium or exchange program sponsored by a U.S. or Canadian institution where the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript.

Applicants must take the LSAT no later than February of the year in which they intend to enroll. The Admissions Office will accept LSAT test scores that are up to five years old. 

Admissions decisions

It is the goal of the Law School's Admissions Committee to ensure that the entering class is composed of the most highly qualified applicants. The committee believes that ultimately the educational process during law school and the legal profession are best served by an admissions process that results in the selection of a diverse and talented student body.

The committee considers the following factors in reaching admissions decisions:

  1. an applicant’s academic achievement and potential, as shown by his/her LSAT score and Grade Point Average;
  2. an applicant’s demonstrated capacity to overcome or persevere against:
    • socioeconomic disadvantage, whether the applicant would be the first generation of his/her family to attend or graduate from college or a professional program and whether he/she was employed or raising a family while attending school; or
    • substantial obstacles such as family or personal adversity, attendance at an underperforming school  elementary, middle or high school), and prejudice or discrimination; 
  3. any special circumstances suggesting that the applicant’s LSAT score or academic record does not accurately reflect his/her current academic potential, such as the age of the applicant’s GPA; a marked improvement in grades shown in the later years of college; or other special circumstances the candidate conveys in his or her personal statement or elsewhere in the application; and
  4. other factors that foster a diverse and engaged law school environment, such as geographic residence (including in the city of Detroit), work and volunteer experience, leadership qualities, commitment to community and public service, communication skills, multilingual proficiency, and experience of life in a foreign country or on a Native American tribal reservation. 

Applicants should allow six to eight weeks for a written decision on their application after the Admissions Office has received all required documents. 

Deferred admissions

The Law School doesn't defer admissions. Any admittee who withdraws from the class must submit a new application and fee for the subsequent year for which he or she seeks admission.

Reduced program

The first-year day program curriculum is mandatory, but day students who have child care responsibilities or significant health care concerns may be permitted to take a slightly reduced course load. The applicant must submit a written request to the assistant dean of admissions prior to registration setting forth the personal circumstance justifying the request for admission as a reduced load student.


An applicant may request reconsideration of an adverse admissions decision by writing a letter to the assistant dean of admissions stating the specific reasons why reconsideration is merited. The application then will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. In the past, applicants who have successfully petitioned for reconsideration are those who have submitted updated information, such as improved test scores or additional grades.

Transfer applicants

A transfer applicant must have completed all of the first-year day or evening courses required by his or her ABA-accredited law school. Transfer students are admitted to the fall term only. The application deadline for transfer applicants is July 1.

A transfer applicant’s file will be considered when the Admissions Office has received all of the following:

  • The Law School online application with an electronic signature
  • An official transcript sent directly from the applicant’s law school with all grades posted for the academic year
  • A letter of good standing from the applicant’s law school
  • A JD-CAS report

Guest student applicants for fall and/or winter terms

The transfer applicant requirements and procedures outlined above apply to a law student who wishes to enroll at Wayne Law for one or two terms as a guest student. Application deadline is July 1 for fall term and Nov. 1 for winter term.

In the case of a guest student, the letter of good standing should also include a statement granting permission for the applicant to attend Wayne Law for the semester(s) indicated and an agreement to accept credits earned at the Law School and any other requirements or limitations from the “home” law school.

Guest student applicants for the summer term

A student from another ABA-accredited law school may take one or two summer courses at Wayne Law provided the student is in good standing and receives permission from his or her “home” law school. Application should be made by submitting the Law School summer guest application form. Application deadline is May 14 for summer term.

LL.M. applicants

To apply to any of our four LL.M. programs, complete an online application. Specific questions should be addressed to Rachel Hom at llmprogram@wayne.edu or 313-577-2750.

Application deadlines:

  • Nov. 1 for the winter term
  • March 15 for the spring/summer term
  • July 1 for the fall term

Students from outside the United States are advised to apply several months in advance of these deadlines so as to allow adequate time to obtain the necessary student visas.

Good Neighbor policy

Law School students who are residents of Fulton, Lucas, Ottawa and Williams counties in Ohio and the province of Ontario, Canada, pay resident tuition. Residency classification Students who wish to appeal a nonresident classification may obtain the current rules and regulations regarding the residency policy by contacting the Residency Status Department at 313-577-8193.


Questions about refunds, tuition, fees and other expenses should be directed to the university Student Services Office at 313-577-2100 or studentservice@wayne.edu

Please keep in mind that there are character, fitness and other qualifications for admission to the bar. Wayne Law encourages applicants, prior to matriculation, to determine what those requirements are in the state(s) in which they intend to practice.

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