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Q: How is my application evaluated?

A: Our Faculty Admissions Committee considers each applicant’s prior academic, work, and life accomplishments which may demonstrate their potential to succeed in our rigorous J.D. program and LLM program. Each element of the application file is considered including undergraduate academic performance, difficulty of coursework and grades, major, competitiveness of the college(s), and time taken to complete degree. LSAT scores and GRE scores are viewed as key predictors for the J.D. program. Significant weight is also given to letters of recommendation, the personal statement, resume and advanced degrees. Submission of an addendum is encouraged if there are special circumstances or issues requiring further explanation.

Q: How soon do I get a decision on my application?

A: We review applications and communicate decisions on a rolling basis from the time applications open until the deadline, as they are received. It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks from the time the application is complete for review to receive a decision.

Q: How do I check the status of my application?

A: For J.D. applicants: you can check the status of your application online at any time here; please use your lsac.org username and password to log in.

For LLM applicants: you may email adm@wsulaw.edu to check on the status of your application.

Q: My application has been denied. Can I appeal?

A: Admission decisions, once made, are final and will not be reconsidered for the term in question; appeals are granted only if there has been an error in the review process or you have new information to present.

Q: I’ve been accepted. Can I defer to a future term?

A: Offer of admission is valid only for the term for which a student applied. Students not able to matriculate for the term they were admitted need to reapply at the appropriate time for the subsequent class. Readmission is not guaranteed; an application fee waiver to reapply will be granted, but tuition deposits from a prior term are not credited. Deferrals are granted only in rare circumstances such as military deployments or major health emergencies, to students who have already deposited and registered for classes.



Q: What is the application and evaluation process for transfer JD applicants?

A: Transfer admittance is a two step process. First, the full application is reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Once the candidate is admitted, the prior law school transcript is evaluated by the Academic Dean and Registrar. The number of units accepted in transfer is determined in line with Western State’s academic policy. The maximum semester units allowed to transfer from an ABA approved law school is 43 units and 29 units for a California Bar Examiners (CBE) approved law school.

Q: Does Western State consider 505 letters?

A: Western State does not generally waive this requirement even if the student has obtained a standard 505 letter from the previous law school.

Q: If I am in good standing at another law school, can I transfer to Western State’s J.D. program?

A: If you have attended another ABA accredited law school or a law school approved by the California Bar Examiners and are in good academic standing, you may apply as a transfer student. See details on how to apply as a transfer student here. Transfer students must have grades from one year of law school before applying.

Q: If I have been dismissed from another law school, can I apply to Western State?

A: For applicants who have been academically disqualified or dismissed from another ABA accredited or California Bar Examiners law school, you cannot start as a first year law student until one year from the date of disqualification or dismissal has passed.

Q: If I am interested in only taking a few classes, does Western State allow Visiting Students?

A: Western State welcomes visiting students from other ABA accredited law schools who wish to take classes with us for one or two terms, with the permission of their law school. See details on how to apply as a visiting student here.



Q: What are the requirements if I attended a foreign institution?

A: J.D. applicants who earned their bachelor’s degree from a foreign institution must subscribe to the CAS foreign credential evaluation. LLM Applicants must send transcripts to a third party credential evaluation service that is listed in the LLM application.

Q: Will Western State grant an I-20 for international students?

A: Western State may issue an I-20 for international students who are enrolled full time at the law school. For more information, please contact Shari Hartmann by emailing shartmann@wsulaw.edu or calling 714 459-1121.



Q: Is there a minimum LSAT score?

A: There is no “minimum” LSAT score, but if the score falls below the 25th percentile of the class profile, we look for the other academic aspects of the application to be exceptionally strong. Where an applicant has multiple LSAT scores, greater weight will be given to the most recent score.

Q: Do I have to have a 4-year degree?

A: Western State requires that students have completed their 4-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college before starting law school.

Q: Is there a minimum GRE score?

A: There is no “minimum” GRE score, but it may help to look at the estimated equivalent LSAT score on the official GRE Comparison Tool for Law Schools and compare the estimated LSAT score to Western State’s most recent LSAT profile. At this time, if an applicant scores below a 147 on Verbal Reasoning, below a 149 on Quantitative Reasoning, and below a 3.5 on Analytical Writing, we will look for other academic aspects of the application to be exceptionally strong. Where an applicant has taken the GRE multiple times, greater weight will be given to the most recent scores.

Q: Do I have to take both the LSAT and the GRE?

A: No, you may take the LSAT, the GRE, or both. If you take both the LSAT and the GRE, the Law School Admission Council will automatically forward your LSAT score(s) to us, but the Educational Testing Service will not automatically forward your GRE section scores to us. If you take both exams, you are encouraged, but not required to send your GRE scores. If you send us GRE scores, you must submit all scores from the previous five years.

Q: Will high GRE scores outweigh low LSAT scores?

A: While high GRE scores can help balance low LSAT scores somewhat, the Admissions Committee is likely to question why an applicant scored low on the LSAT. If an applicant did not score well on the LSAT, we recommend taking the LSAT again because it was designed specifically to predict academic success in law school. We only recommend applying with a GRE score if you have exceeded the limit on the number of times you may take the LSAT, or if you have already taken the GRE and do not wish to take the LSAT in order to apply to law school.


LLM Program Information

Learn More about the LLM Program

Q: How do I start this process of applying?

Access the online application through our LL.M. information page.

Q: When can LL.M. students begin classes?

Students can begin the program either in January or August.

Q: What is the LLM Curriculum like?

For those who start in January, students take 12 required units in the spring, 3 required units in the summer, 7 required units in the fall, and an array of elective courses to select from to complete 26 units of credits.

For those who start in August, the LL.M. curriculum includes 13 required units in the fall, 4 required units in the spring, and an array of elective courses students can select from to complete their 26 units of credits.

Q: Who is on the faculty?

You can view our full-time faculty here.

Q: Does the LLM Program qualify students to take the California bar?

The LLM program was designed for international students who have completed their first degree in law in another country and are seeking to qualify to take the California Bar Exam. Under California law, an applicant to the bar who holds a foreign law degree but who is not licensed to practice may qualify to take the California Bar Exam by earning an LL.M. degree at an ABA law school that includes at least 20 units of coursework. These 20 units must include at least one course in each of four separate subjects tested on the California Bar Exam totaling at least 12 units, and one of those courses must be Professional Responsibility.

Western State’s curriculum will more than meet the above requirements.

Q: Are any part-time or distance learning programs available?

No, this program is full-time (12-16 credits) and 100% in-person on campus.

Q: What are the basic requirements for admission?

At a minimum, applicants must have a first degree in law from another country. Applicants must also prove doctoral-level English language proficiency.

Q: Does Western State/ Westcliff law charge an application fee?

For this year, the application fee has been waived.

Q: Must I apply to the Western State Law LLM Program through LSAC?

No, You can apply here on our website.

Q: Is an interview required as part of the admissions process?

Some candidates may be asked to submit a recorded video interview.

Q: My transcripts and/or letters of recommendation are not in English. Do I need to have them translated?


Q: What is the timeline for the admissions process?

4-8 weeks after the complete application is submitted

Q: How will I learn whether I’ve been admitted?

All admission decisions are sent by e-mail to the primary e-mail address you listed on the application form. If you are admitted, you will also receive a hard copy of your admission letter by mail.

Q: How much is the tuition?

Please review our costs of attendance here.

Q: Does Western State/ Westcliff offer financial aid?

We offer scholarships to LL.M. students, but we are unable to assist with student loans for LL.M. students.

Q: Can I arrange a campus visit?

Yes, make your request here

Q: Where can I send further questions?




Q: How do I apply for a scholarship?

A: All admitted students are automatically considered for scholarship eligibility; no special application is required. Awards are generally academic merit based and reflect undergraduate performance and LSAT scores. Notification of scholarship award, if any, usually follows 2 to 4 weeks after admittance. It is to your advantage to apply early, whether for the August or January starting class. Scholarship funds become very limited and seats in the class may become unavailable a few weeks before the start.



Western State participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and encourages veterans to apply. Depending on your eligibility, you may receive benefits to cover all or part of your tuition and fees at Western State and may also qualify for housing allowance and books. Benefits will be coordinated with any institutional scholarships you may be offered. For more information, contact Sassanda Gutierrez, our Student Finance Officer, by emailing sagutierrez@wsulaw.edu or calling 714-459-1119.

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Founded in 1966, Western State College of Law is the oldest law school in Orange County, Southern California, and is fully ABA approved. Western State College of Law’s 11,000+ alumni are well represented across public and private sector legal practice areas, including 150 California judges and about 15% of Orange County’s Deputy Public Defenders and District Attorneys.

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Irvine, CA 92606

Programs, credential levels, technology and scheduling options are subject to change. Western State College of Law at Westcliff University, 16715 Von Karman Ave., #100, Irvine, CA 92606 © 2020 Western State College of Law. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@wsulaw.edu.

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