Frequently Asked Questions
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Admissions Frequently Asked Questions
The class entering in 2023 has 100 students.
Our students come primarily from Tennessee, although we also have students residing in Kentucky and Georgia. Our Tennessee students come from across the state and hail from 44 hometowns.
7:1. The School’s adjunct faculty consists of 46 lawyers and judges with demonstrated expertise and experience in their fields. Class size ranges from 20 for some electives to more than 100 for some required classes.
Preparation for Law School
The School does not require any specific course of undergraduate study. NSL students have studied almost every imaginable subject. Many applicants have focused their studies in the fields of political science, philosophy, history, government, economics, business, journalism, or English, but these are only a few of the paths that students may take to prepare for a successful law school experience. Generally, successful law students possess the ability to read and analyze and to present well-reasoned conclusions in writing. These skills can be learned in almost any of the rigorous academic disciplines in a college or university.
Pre-law preparatory programs are available, but the School neither does not require any such program. Two such programs are the DiscoverLaw.org Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) program, which is targeted to racial and ethnic students in the first two years of college or the six-week summer program offered by the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO).
The School looks for well-rounded individuals. Our students have strong, but diverse, academic and work backgrounds that have prepared them for the rigors of law school. They have immersed themselves in life outside the classroom and have demonstrated leadership skills and a volunteer spirit. In short, we are looking for students who are able to handle the academic challenges of law school, while becoming active and contributing members of our academic community.
Not necessarily. The School understands that an applicant may have received criminal or disciplinary charges. Without knowing the specific details, it is not possible to determine whether a past indiscretion will have meaningful ramifications on the admission decision. It is necessary, of course, to disclose this information as requested in the application and to provide a straightforward, honest, and complete explanation of the matter.
The Admissions Process
- A completed and signed application form.
- The non-refundable $50 application fee paid by May 15 ($100 if paid May 16-June 15).
- The LSAT/CAS score report sent by the Law School Admission Council with transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. The June LSAT is the last possible date to take the exam and be considered for fall 2023 admission.
- A transcript showing a Bachelor’s Degree or higher from a college on the approved list of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, or the equivalent regional accrediting association, or any accreditation agency imposing at least substantially equivalent standards, as determined at the Dean’s discretion.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- The required personal statement.
- Foreign-educated applicants must also comply with the degree valuation and language proficiency requirement in Section 1.07 of the School’s Policies and Procedures
The non-refundable application fee is $50 if paid by May 15 ($100 if paid May 16-June 15). The fee must be paid through the online application. Paying this fee online completes the application submission.
In September of each year, the Admissions Committee begins accepting applications for the class entering the following fall semester. The School uses a rolling admission process in which applications will be accepted and considered as long as seats are available. It is better to apply early in the admission cycle because, as additional applications are received and acceptances offered, the number of available seats decreases.
The deadline for submitting an application is May 15, 2024, for admission to the class entering in August 2024. The application, fees, and all supporting documents must be filed with and received by Nashville School of Law by 5:30 p.m. CDT on May 15, 2024. Late applications will be taken until 5:30 p.m. CDT, June 17, 2024, and require an application fee of $100.
Yes. All ABA-accredited law schools and non-ABA-accredited law schools like the Nashville School of Law require an applicant to register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). For more information about the CAS, please contact the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) at http://www.lsac.org.
Foreign transcripts for work outside the United States (including any of its territories) must be submitted through the CAS. Accordingly, applicants must request the educational institution(s) to send the official transcript directly to LSAC. The School determines educational equivalency using the same standards used by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners. Accordingly, foreign-educated applicants must provide the School with a comprehensive, course-by-course evaluation of the educational equivalency from either the International Evaluation Services of the Center for Applied Research, Evaluation, and Education, Inc. (www.iescaree.com) or the Educational Research Foundation (www.ierf.com).
Yes. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online at https://sis.nsl.law/studapp.cfm. Applications also may be mailed to the School. Whether submitted electronically or by mail, the School must receive your application prior to the May 15 deadline.
In addition to a bar examination, every jurisdiction in the United States enforces character and fitness qualification for admission to the practice of law. The questions contained in the School’s application are the first step in assessing your character and fitness for the legal profession. How you respond to these questions can have significant implications not just for your admission to law school, but also for your admission to the practice of law. Applicants should answer all questions on their application for admission completely and accurately. Full and honest disclosure is necessary in the law school admission process and later in the licensing process.
The Tennessee Board of Law Examiners and other licensing authorities will ask you similar questions on their applications. When you apply to take a bar exam, the licensing authority will ask the School to submit a copy of your law school application and will compare your answers to the questions on their application with those provided in your law school application. Because discrepancies can cause adverse consequences, it is imperative that the information provided in your law school application is accurate and complete. If your answers on your law school application are inconsistent with those on your bar exam application, the licensing authority likely will initiate a more intensive review of your file and may require you to explain the reason for the discrepancy. Discrepancies that are inadequately explained can result in sanctions, including: revocation of law school admission, delay in certification of fitness, or a determination that you are not fit to practice law.
Admission to the School does not guarantee certification by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners or any other licensing authority. For answers to any questions regarding the character and fitness questions on the School application for admission, please contact the Registrar at 615.256.3684.
During the admission process, the only persons to see applications are the members of the Admissions Committee, all of whom understand the importance of and are accustomed to keeping the contents of the files confidential. If you are admitted and become a student at the School, your application information will be included in your student file, and other staff members may have access to it. However, the privacy of students is protected under federal law by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g.
Yes, but it must be in addition to, rather than in place of, any of the other required admission documents.
The School views its student body as one of its greatest assets. Accordingly, our admission process seeks applicants with the greatest chance of success, both in their education and in their future careers. The Admissions Committee evaluates each application carefully and individually.
The Committee is mindful of the value of outstanding academic performance and exceptional aptitude for the study of law. It considers a composite of an applicant’s undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. However, these scores are far from definitive because the Committee understands that the potential to become a competent, ethical professional is not always reflected in an applicant’s scores. The highest possible scores will not guarantee admission, and low scores will, likewise, not automatically result in a denial because both circumstances may have significant offsetting considerations.
The Committee considers the whole person. Among other things, it evaluates the strength of the applicant’s personal statement and recommendations, the rigor of the applicant’s undergraduate and graduate education, significant work experience, and significant life experiences and community involvement.
The Admissions Committee examines each application for admission with the goals of (1) assessing the overall competitive strength of the applicant’s record as compared with the other applicants within that applicant’s pool, (2) the ability to respect and learn from other students, and (2) achieving a class that, as a whole, will have depth in quality, diversity of background, a wide variety of experience, and a substantial range of viewpoint.
The School takes into consideration each applicant’s entire academic profile, and that includes major and curriculum. The curriculum and a student’s choice of courses tells more than simply looking at the major. The School wants to make sure that applicants have taken challenging courses that strengthen their critical thinking, analytical thinking, and writing skills.
The statement should include personal information relevant to the admission decision that is not elicited elsewhere in the application. This statement provides an opportunity to tell the School more about yourself. It may address your intellectual interests, significant accomplishments, obstacles overcome, personal and professional goals, educational achievements, or any way in which your perspective, viewpoint, or experiences will contribute to the School’s diversity. I do not perform well on standardized tests or I have mitigating circumstances explaining my poor GPA. Should I explain this in my personal statement? No. The School recommends applicants use their personal statements to provide information supporting their application for admission, not to explain perceived deficiencies. A supplemental statement may be submitted to address test or academic performance. Can you give any examples of mistakes that students make in their personal statements that severely hinder their chances of obtaining admission? While the School uses the personal statement to learn more about the applicant, it also provides the School with an opportunity to gauge an applicant’s writing skills. Therefore, personal statements submitted with numerous spelling or grammatical errors will not impress the Admissions Committee. Can I reactivate my application from a previous year? No. Applicants who applied during a prior admission year must submit a new application and supporting documents, as well as a new application fee. Reapplicants are not required to submit additional LSAT scores as long as their scores are less than five years old. Are interviews part of the admission process? The Admission Committee does not require evaluative interviews for the purpose of admission. However, the Committee may request an interview with an applicant on a case-by-case basis. Do you have any open houses? No. The School does not conduct regular open houses for admission purposes. Can I visit the School and observe a class? Yes. The School encourages applicants to schedule a visit and to talk with a staff member to gain information about the legal education offered at NSL. Upon request, the School also can arrange for an applicant to attend one or more class sessions.
No. The School recommends applicants use their personal statements to provide information supporting their application for admission, not to explain perceived deficiencies. A supplemental statement may be submitted to address test or academic performance.
While the School uses the personal statement to learn more about the applicant, it also provides the School with an opportunity to gauge an applicant’s writing skills. Therefore, personal statements submitted with numerous spelling or grammatical errors will not impress the Admissions Committee.
No. Applicants who applied during a prior admission year must submit a new application and supporting documents, as well as a new application fee. Reapplicants are not required to submit additional LSAT scores as long as their scores are less than five years old.
The Admission Committee does not require evaluative interviews for the purpose of admission. However, the Committee may request an interview with an applicant on a case-by-case basis.
Yes. The School encourages applicants to schedule a visit and to talk with a staff member to gain information about the legal education offered at NSL. Upon request, the School also can arrange for an applicant to attend one or more class sessions.
No. The School does not conduct regular open houses for admission purposes. Can I visit the School and observe a class? Yes. The School encourages applicants to schedule a visit and to talk with a staff member to gain information about the legal education offered at NSL. Upon request, the School also can arrange for an applicant to attend one or more class sessions.