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Frequently Asked Questions: JD Program

Indiana Law Facts
Admissions Process
Admissions Options
Indiana Law Programs
IU and Bloomington

Indiana Law Facts

What is the size of a typical entering class?
We are a mid-sized to small law school with approximately 200 J.D. students in each entering class. The Office of International Programs also enrolls approximately 65 LL.M./S.J.D. students each year.
How large is the Indiana Law faculty?
We have 52 full-time faculty, 5 clinical faculty, and 26 adjunct faculty members. This means we can offer a low student-to-faculty ratio of 11.41:1.
How many students are in a typical class?
Traditional first-year courses like Torts and Criminal Law may have as many as 100 students in a class. There is a wide range of class size in second- and third-year courses and seminars and some average 10 to 20 students in a class.
Should I choose a law school in the state where I intend to practice?
This is one of the many myths about law school. It is simply not necessary — for bar admission or placement purposes — for a student to attend law school in the state where he or she intends to practice. Good law schools prepare students to practice in any state by providing a solid theoretical framework for understanding the law and the legal system. Historically, more than half of our graduates leave to practice outside of Indiana; we have alumni practicing in all 50 states and 31 foreign countries.
For further information about placement, visit the Career Services Office.
Is there a part-time law program?
No. The Indiana University Maurer School of Law has only a full-time program.
Can I begin my coursework in January?
No. Matriculants can begin only in our Summer Start program (July) or the fall semester (August).
What is the Summer Start Program?
Ours is one of the few law schools in the country to offer students the opportunity to begin their legal education in the summer. Students who take advantage of this option take one first-year class — typically Torts — from early July through early August. Summer Start students are merely starting before their counterparts who enter in the fall. They acquire learning skills and knowledge that those who enter in the fall have yet to gain. By the end of the summer, these students are familiar with the basics of legal analysis, the school, and the community. Students who start in the summer will take a full load in the fall.
How much is the seat deposit?
We do not require a seat deposit. As law school is the first step in your quest to become an attorney, we believe that your word is your bond. The candid responses of admitted students are used to determine the availability of positions for other applicants. When the Admission Committee informs an applicant that they have been admitted to Maurer, that letter or email will include a Confirmation Form to be signed and returned by the stated deadline.
How much is tuition?
We have instituted a flat-fee arrangement. For the 2013-2014 academic year, in-state tuition/fees total approximately $32,326 per year and out-of-state tuition/fees total approximately $50,762 per year.
Get more information about paying for tuition.
What are my chances of receiving a scholarship award?
All applicants receive consideration for scholarship awards from Indiana Law. More than 75 percent of our entering class receives a scholarship. These awards range from a few thousand dollars per year up to full tuition. Scholarships are merit-based and are awarded to students who show the greatest promise for the study of law. Scholarship awards are made with initial admission offers and cover three academic terms. Indiana Law will not give additional awards after matriculation. In addition to scholarships awarded by the law school, IU participates in most federal loan programs. By adding loans into the law school's financial aid mix, we can say that 85 percent of our students receive some sort of assistance.
Get more information about federal loan programs and other scholarships independent of Indiana Law.
If I am an international applicant, do I need to do anything differently?
Yes. There is a separate application for international applicants to complete. International applicants are citizens of countries other than the USA and have permanent residency outside of the USA. The application fee for international applicants is $85. If your first language is not English and your undergraduate degree was obtained outside of the United States, you must include results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with your application materials. TOEFL scores are valid for two (2) years and IELTS scores are valid for two (2) years.
Please direct questions about the LLM program and its application process to Allison Foust, Director of Graduate Admissions, at lgradadm@indiana.edu.
Is there an ideal undergraduate major to get into the IU Maurer School of Law?
There is no ideal major to be a successful applicant. While many of our applicants are political science, history, psychology, or sociology majors, we have just as many applicants with every other major you could imagine. As you are selecting your major and your classes, keep in mind the skills that you will need to be successful in law school and as a lawyer: research skills, critical and analytical thinking, clear and concise writing. There are many majors and disciplines in which these are core skills and you should seek out as many opportunities as possible craft and hone these skills. When the admissions committee selects applicants for an incoming class, they want a diverse group of people and this includes their educational background. You should pursue whatever major is interesting to you and always keep in mind that law school is your goal: each research project or work experience should relate to the study and practice of law in some way.
I am an IU-Bloomington student and I have a lot of questions about law school and the legal profession. Where can I find more information?
The Health Professions and Prelaw Center (HPPLC) provides advising and other services for students who want to pursue careers in law, medicine, and other health professions. Students considering careers in these professions must excel academically and plan carefully. HPPLC works closely with IU students throughout their undergraduate years, and with IU alumni, to help them become thoughtful, well-prepared, competitive applicants to professional programs. Phone HPPLC at 812-855-1873 or fax 812-856-7302, or e-mail hpplc@indiana.edu.
Is it possible to observe a class at Maurer?
Yes, we encourage you to contact the Maurer School of Law Admissions Office to arrange a visit if your schedule allows. You can sit in on a class, meet current students, tour the school, and meet with an admissions counselor to ask questions. Please contact Mara Bernstein at 812-855-4765 to schedule a visit.

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Admissions Process

What is the application fee?
The application fee is $50 for domestic applicants (U.S. citizens or permanent residents). The application is $85 for international applicants.
Are application fee waivers available?
Yes, application fee waivers are available. Indiana Law grants application fee waivers based on merit and financial need. To request an application fee waiver, please email lawadmis@indiana.edu and include your LSAC account number, your LSAT score, your undergraduate GPA, and the reason(s) you are requesting the application fee waiver.
When is the application deadline?
We adhere to a rolling admissions policy meaning there is no true application deadline. Applications may be submitted after September 1, and for a variety of reasons, we recommend that you apply as early as possible.
Who makes admissions decisions?
An Admissions Committee, composed of the dean of admissions, the director of recruitment and admissions, faculty members and students, selects the members of the entering class. The quality and size of the applicant pool forces the Admissions Committee to rely heavily on the undergraduate grade point average and the LSAT score. However, numerical indicators are not the only considerations used in evaluating applications. The committee considers the quality of the applicant's undergraduate institution; the level and rigor of course work; letters of recommendation (particularly those from faculty); graduate work; employment before, during, or after college; extracurricular activities; potential for service to the profession; educational, geographic, and socioeconomic diversity; and the applicant's personal statement. Applicants who have the potential for exceptional performance and who will substantially enrich the educational program of the Law School are considered the strongest candidates for admission.
When are most admissions decisions made?
With our rolling admissions policy, we accept applications from September 1st through early August. The Admissions Committee extends most offers of admission between mid-December and May. In the past, we have accepted applicants as late as July or August. Some applicants may be placed on a Wait List. Decisions to admit an applicant from the wait list can be made at any time; again as late as July or August.
What does the Admissions Committee look for in a successful candidate?
All applicants seeking admission to the Indiana University Maurer School of Law must have received a bachelor's degree or an equivalent degree from an approved college or university. Applicants must also take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Indiana Law does not require applicants to take any particular subjects or to pursue any special course of study in college as a prerequisite for admission. However, at least 90 credit hours of an applicant's undergraduate course work must be in academic courses rather than in skills-training courses. Applicants are encouraged to acquire a broad academic background and precision in written and oral expression.
Are there guidelines, requirements, or limitations for the personal statement?
Your personal statement should be a 2-page (500-word) essay about why you and Maurer are an excellent fit. If the personal statement goes onto a third page or over 500 words, the statement will still be accepted and read. Use any kind of narrative to show the Admissions Committee who you are, what kind of student you will be, why you want to study law in general, why you want to study law at Maurer, and what your goals are once your complete your degree. Each member of the Admissions Committee reads hundreds of essays each year on top of their other responsibilities. Please keep this in mind when you write and format your personal statement: 2 pages (500 words), one inch margins, typed, double-spaced in an easy to read font.
Should I submit an addendum?
Applicants are encouraged to explain, in the form of an addendum, matters that may have adversely affected their undergraduate performance (e.g., necessary employment that took time from studies, initial selection of a course of study for which the applicant was not suited, illness, etc.), as well as factors indicating their potential for law study that might not be elicited by the questions on the application form. Applicants who feel they have been disadvantaged because of economic, educational, racial, or cultural factors are urged to bring this to the attention of the Admissions Committee.
Is an admissions interview required?
The large number of applications generally prohibits us from granting personal interviews. However, we strongly encourage you to contact the IU Maurer School of Law Admissions Office to arrange a visit if your schedule allows. You can sit in on a class, meet current students, tour the school, and meet with an admissions counselor to ask questions. Please contact Mara Bernstein at 812-855-4765 to schedule a visit.
When should I take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)?
The LSAT is offered in October, December, February, and June. If you are completing your undergraduate degree and plan to being law school immediately after graduation, we recommend that you take the test either the summer before your senior year or during the fall of your senior year. For further information about the LSAT and registration, please visit the Law School Admission Council.
Should I retake the LSAT if I am unhappy with my first score?
We cannot answer this question with a definitive yes or no. Please note that the median test score for this year's incoming class was 162; we anticipate a similar score for next year. The Admissions Committee will use highest reported test score when they review an application. However, applicants should keep in mind that Admissions Committee members will see all scores and may be negatively influenced by a large number of tests or a downward trend in scores. If an applicant is certain that a poor LSAT performance was caused by an illness, unavoidable mishap, or other stress, a retake may be advisable.
How long are LSAT scores valid?
LSAT scores are valid for five (5) years.
What if I have a rising, falling, or erratic undergraduate record?
The Admissions Committee does look at grade trends. We are more impressed by a rising undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) than a falling one. If there are circumstances that negatively impacted your GPA (such as illness, work schedule, etc.), please feel free to bring it to the committee's attention in an addendum to your application or in your personal statement.
How do you evaluate graduate work?
We look for superior achievement in graduate studies. Like work experience, graduate studies show the Admissions Committee what your interests, skills, and abilities are. The graduate GPA is independent of the undergraduate GPA for reporting purposes. The two GPAs will not be averaged or combined for assessing abilities in the classroom.
Are Indiana residents given priority over non-residents in admissions decisions?
No. Historically, more than half our entering class comes from out-of-state. Residence classifications are set forth by the IU Office of the Registrar. All determinations are also made by that office. At this time, a person cannot gain residency in the state of Indiana if they relocate to Indiana for the purpose of education and earning a degree. Generally, in order to earn residency in the state of Indiana, one must live and work full time in Indiana for 12 consecutive months.
I am an IU-Bloomington student and I have a lot of questions about law school and the legal profession. Where can I find more information?
The Health Professions and Prelaw Center (HPPLC) provides advising and other services for students who want to pursue careers in law, medicine, and other health professions. Students considering careers in these professions must excel academically and plan carefully. HPPLC works closely with IU students throughout their undergraduate years, and with IU alumni, to help them become thoughtful, well-prepared, competitive applicants to professional programs.
Phone HPPLC at 812-855-1873 or fax 812-856-7302, or e-mail hpplc@indiana.edu.

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Admissions Options

Is there an Early Decision program at the School of Law?
Yes, Indiana Law offers an early decision program for those applicants who are confident that the Indiana University Maurer School of Law is their first choice. To be eligible for the program, you are required to submit an Early Decision Form and an Early Decision Statement along with the application materials. A completed application must be on record in the Maurer Admissions Office by November 15. Decisions will be made and communicated by December 15. If you are not offered admission at the early decision review, your application will be considered again through our regular review process. If you have one LSAT score on record but you are registered for a test date after the Early Decision deadline of November 15th, you may still apply Early Decision.
Get more information and the Early Decision Form.
What is the Summer Start Program?
Ours is one of the few law schools in the country to offer students the opportunity to begin their legal education in the summer. Students who take advantage of this option take one first-year class — typically Torts — from early July through early August. Summer Start students are merely starting before their counterparts who enter in the fall. They acquire learning skills and knowledge that those who enter in the fall have yet to gain. By the end of the summer, these students are familiar with the basics of legal analysis, the school, and the community. Students who start in the summer will take a full load in the fall.
What is the Direct Admit Program for Indiana University Undergraduates?
This program allows junior undergraduate students enrolled at Indiana University-Bloomington to apply for admission to Maurer prior to their senior year without taking the LSAT. This program is open to IU-Bloomington juniors who have a 3.85/4.0 GPA or better and have identified Maurer School of Law as their first choice for obtaining a legal education.
Get more information about Direct Admit Program or email lawadmis@indiana.edu.
Is there a part-time law program?
No. The Indiana University Maurer School of Law has only a full-time program.
Can I begin my coursework in January?
No. Matriculants can begin only in our Summer Start program (July) or the fall semester (August).
Does Indiana Law offer dual or joint degrees in conjunction with other schools or programs at Indiana University?
Yes, there are options to pursue a joint or dual degree while enrolled at Maurer. The application processes for each degree program are separate. There is no preferred order for submitting the applications.
Does Maurer accept transfer applicants?
Maurer accepts applications for transfer from students who have completed one year of course work at another ABA-accredited law school. Transfer applicants should complete the general application and make sure to indicate their status as a transfer applicant.
Get more information about the transfer application process.

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Indiana Law Programs

Is it possible to focus on a specific area of law?
Yes, at Indiana Law there are Areas of Focus: a set of recommended courses tailored to a particular area of interest. While not required, Areas of Focus help students choose the courses that will both deepen and broaden knowledge in a particular field of practice. In addition, many students build their own courses of study by taking classes from a number of different areas.
How does Indiana Law prepare students to be part of the legal profession?
During the first year, students take an innovative course, The Legal Profession. The curriculum develops in conjunction with the work of the Center on the Global Legal Profession. Once students acclimate to law school, they begin to work with the Career Services Office to identify interests and strengths. CSO provides students resources to find summer placements, internships, and jobs.
Does Indiana Law offer applied or hands-on learning?
Yes! There are currently four journals, six clinics, nine externship programs, six projects, and one Intellectual Property Law Practicum. In addition to the Sherman Minton Moot Court there are other competitions in which Indiana law students participate. There are also several pro bono opportunities available through the Access to Justice Program.

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IU and Bloomington

What are the housing options for Indiana Law students?
We do not provide housing for students. Indiana University does have graduate and professional student housing. The Graduate Professional Student Organization (GPSO) has an excellent resource page for housing in Bloomington. A very high percentage of Indiana Law students live in the neighborhood immediately surrounding the law school on the southwest corner of the IU Bloomington campus. There are several property management companies in Bloomington that rent or lease a variety of properties from efficiencies to multiple bedroom houses. There are also a variety of apartment complexes around Bloomington that are on the city bus lines. Admitted applicants will have access to a listing of housing resources.
What are the parking options for Indiana Law students?
There are no designated parking areas for Indiana Law students in the immediate vicinity of the law school. Many students live within walking distance so they limit the use of their cars. IU and Bloomington have outstanding public transportation, free for student, staff and faculty use.
What does Bloomington have to offer when I am not focused on law school activities?
Bloomington, Indiana is an idyllic college town of approximately 80,000 located amongst beautiful state parks and lakes an hour south of Indianapolis. It is a large town with characteristics of an urban center including a variety of museums and galleries, restaurants and eateries, and performance venues.
For further information about all of the things to do here — both on and off campus — see Visit Bloomington and Bloomington's city government; Indiana University news; and Indiana University's recreational sports and performances options.

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