J.D. Application Instructions

Every application is reviewed in its entirety. Applications are reviewed and action is taken on a rolling basis, although there are firm deadlines for Spring Start (November 1), Summer Start and international student applications (March 1). Please allow 4-6 weeks from the time your application is complete to receive a decision. 

After reviewing the application requirements listed below, if you have questions about the process, you can email us at law@umkc.edu or call 816-235-1651.

Before applying

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree (or have plans to complete a bachelor’s degree prior to the start of law school) based on a program of courses with substantial intellectual content from an approved institution
  • Take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • Register with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), and sign up for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The Credential Assembly Service collects applicants’ LSAT test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and LSAT Writing sample.

Application process

UMKC Law’s application must be completed and submitted electronically through the LSAC website. If you require the application in a format other than electronic, please contact LSAC directly for accommodation.

Academic documents and credentials, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation and official test scores will be submitted to the law school as part of your Credential Assembly Service report. As such, original copies must be sent directly to LSAC. Instructions on how to submit those materials can be found on LSAC’s website, and you should address any questions about document submission to the LSAC support team. Please allow at least two weeks for processing when submitting materials to LSAC for your UMKC Law application.

For your application to UMKC School of Law, you will need to submit the following materials in order for your application to be considered complete:

  • Biographical information
  • Character and fitness questions
    • Character and fitness questions ask for full disclosure regarding your past and current record of conduct. We ask these questions because they are a major component in admission to the bar, and we model our specific questions after those asked by the Missouri Board of Law Examiners (i.e. the Missouri Bar). If you answer 'yes' to any of the questions, you should be prepared to describe the incident fully, accurately and in your own words.

      In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Personal statements should be approximately two pages, double spaced. You should avoid restating things that can be found elsewhere in your application (such as on your résumé or transcripts). We suggest you write about something else you would like us to know about you, such as what motivates your decision to attend law school or what unique perspectives you can bring to a law school classroom. Make sure you proofread this carefully. We suggest bringing it to your undergraduate school’s writing center for assistance.

Resumes should be current and should include information about your education, employment, activities, community service, etc.

  • Diversity statement (optional)
    • UMKC is dedicated to promoting diversity within the legal profession while supporting the foundations of good lawyering: respect for people, for knowledge and ideas, and for justice. We welcome you, although we do not require you, to submit a separate addendum that addresses either how you will strive to uphold and contribute to an environment of respect for people, for knowledge and ideas, and for justice, or how your lived experiences or aspects of your own identity may contribute to the diversity of our community.
  • Application addendum (optional)
    • Feel free to submit an additional addendum to explain any relevant information you did not address in your personal statement. This is your opportunity to address any areas of concern in your application materials.

  • A non-refundable $60 application processing fee paid via LSAC must accompany your application.
  • Former degree-seeking UMKC students who attended starting Fall 1975 or later as well as veterans are not required to pay and should email the Admissions Office at law@umkc.edu for an application fee waiver, before submitting the application.

All candidates must have at least one writing sample on file – either from an earlier paper-and-pencil administration of the LSAT or from “LSAT Writing,” the new proctored, on-demand writing exam that was introduced in June 2019.

  • We require transcripts from any institutions of higher education that you have attended, even if credit was transferred to another institution, the institution is closed, you withdrew or did not complete the course, or you just enrolled.
  • Institutions include:
    • community colleges
    • undergraduate and graduate institutions
    • law, medical, or professional institutions
    • institutions attended for summer or evening courses
    • institutions attended even though a degree was never received
    • institutions from which you took college-level courses while in high school even though they were for high school credit
    • institutions that clearly sponsored your overseas study (see LSAC for more information)
    • international transcripts, if applicable

  • If you are still in undergraduate school or you have recently graduated, you should have professors provide your letters of recommendation. If you have been out of school for at least three years, we still encourage recommendations from professors, although you may also ask an employer or someone who knows you well. The recommender should be able to assess issues that will be critical to your success in law school, such as intellect, motivation, and communication skills. Choose recommenders who are impressed by you and your achievements over those who you think we will find impressive due to their title.
  • Recommendations from peers, family and family friends will not be accepted.
  • Letters of recommendation are not intended as mere character references.
  • Applicants must submit letters of recommendation to us through the Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
  • We require two letters but can accept as many as four.

Submit your application

Once you've gathered all of the above items, submit your application through LSAC.

Apply online

Additional application information

UMKC utilizes interviews as part of our personalized admissions process. Interviews are by invitation and not by request, and we do not guarantee that all applicants will receive an interview. The Admissions staff will contact applicants on an individual basis to schedule an interview appointment.

The UMKC School of Law restricts the number of students admitted each year in order to maintain a favorable faculty-student ratio and to provide the best possible legal education for each student enrolled. Because many more people apply to the School of Law than there are seats available, admission is competitive.

Substantial weight is given to each applicant’s LSAT score and undergraduate GPA, although UMKC Law and its faculty also consider other factors in shaping an entering class. These factors, consistent with the University’s values of diversity, inclusiveness, and respect, include:

  • Advanced or specialized educational achievement demonstrating the potential for academic excellence in the study of law
  • Contributions to the cultural diversity of the School of Law
  • A history of overcoming challenges and barriers based on societal discrimination or economic disadvantage
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities
  • A significant and sustained commitment to public or community service
  • Other accomplishments or qualities that indicate the applicant will contribute to the School of Law’s academic and service missions.

We require that international applicants who attended a post-secondary institution in which the primary language of instruction was not English submit either a TOEFL or IELTS score taken within the past two years.

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, if admitted, will be asked to supply additional documents required for processing by the UMKC International Student Affairs Office. In order to give adequate time for this processing, applications from international students must be completed by March 1.

International Students are not eligible for the Spring Start Program.