All JD students at VLS are enrolled in a full-time day study program that begins with the fall semester. We evaluate each applicant by examining the whole person, and we admit students without consideration of their financial need.
In recognition of changing economic situations in Vermont and New Hampshire, Vermont Law School has created an extended four-year JD enrollment option for the JD program, as well as a two year accelerated JD enrollment option.
LSAT Scores and Academic Records
The two most important JD admissions criteria at VLS are the undergraduate academic record and the LSAT score. All JD applicants must provide current LSAT scores—there are no exceptions. LSAT scores are valid for five years.
We consider the undergraduate record from a number of perspectives: quality of the undergraduate institution; nature and rigor of the curriculum; performance compared to that of other students from the same school grade trend from freshman to senior year and length of time intervening between receipt of degree and application to law school. Many of our applicants have completed graduate work. We look favorably upon this if the quality of work exceeds the minimum standards required for the graduate program.
We believe an excellent general education to be more important for the study of law than specialized study in fields closely related to law. Just as there are many different roads to the acquisition of an inquiring, disciplined, and cultivated mind, so there are different ways to acquire a valuable foundation for the study of law. Perhaps of greatest importance is the acquisition of the habit of precision, fluency, and economy in speaking and writing.
We give no preference to college majors in political science, economics, or other concentrations traditionally associated with pre-law education. What we seek are programs that give students an opportunity to analyze critically, and think creatively. We require that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree at the time of enrollment. U.S. institutions must be regionally accredited.
We require two letters of recommendation. We seek thoughtful, substantive recommendations that speak specifically to and from personal knowledge of your academic potential and relevant personal qualities. We prefer at least one recommendation from a college or graduate school professor, although we understand that is not possible if you have been out of college for some time. In that case, ask someone who knows your work in your profession or in your community to write on your behalf. We want to know about your intellectual ability, character, determination, professional and community achievements, your potential for contributions to the legal community and community-at-large, and how you compare to other law school students the writer has known.
Recommenders are encouraged to send their letters to Law School Admission Council to become part of your CAS report. If a recommender prefers to submit a recommendation directly to the law school, they may email it directly to the Office of Admissions.
Work Experience, Community Service and Extracurricular Activities
Most of our applicants have had work experience, be it in permanent positions or in part-time work in college. We look upon your employment history as indicative of your ambition and persistence.
We hope to enroll students who, once active in the legal profession, will use their education and skills to contribute to the profession and the community in which they live. Thus we look favorably on applicants who demonstrate, through participation in civic, charitable, volunteer, and other activities, a commitment to the greater community.
We recommend that applicants give us a brief description of their extracurricular activities to round out their application. These activities help to complete the applicant’s “written photograph,” and provide some insight for the Admissions Committee which might be helpful in the decision-making process.
Please contact the Admissions Office if you have questions about admissions or programs.
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