»Admission FAQs - General Questions

+-Is Chapman ranked on the U.S. News & World Report Rankings? If so, what is the ranking?

Yes. Chapman is ranked in the Top Schools category of U.S. News and World Report's annual survey, with a current ranking of #126. Chapman has earned one of the highest rankings of the 19 ABA accredited law schools that launched since 1980. The solid ranking is attributable to deliberate efforts that have included the hiring of top scholars and clinicians, increasingly demanding entrance requirements, rising bar pass rates, and one of the lowest student-faculty ratios among ABA law schools.

For information about ABA accreditation, you may contact the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/contact_us.html

+-What does it mean that Chapman is a top 10 school for Quality of Life?

Chapman University Fowler School of Law has consistently been ranked in the Top 10 nationally for "Quality of Life" in Princeton Review's Best Law Schools publications (Random House / Princeton Review). The ranking is based on student responses to surveys conducted by Princeton Review, an independent educational services company. 

+-Is Chapman ABA accredited?

Yes.  Chapman became fully accredited in 2002. Chapman is now reviewed every seven years by the ABA -- the same schedule for regular site visits as every other ABA law school. Chapman's last site visit was in 2012.

View the list of fully-approved ABA schools.

For information about ABA accreditation, you may contact the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/contact_us.html

+-Does Chapman allow students to work while in law school?

During your first year of law school, we strongly advise against working. After the first year, many students balance law school, work, internships, etc. We do understand that circumstances may require a student to work; however, students should work as few hours as possible, and the ABA prohibits full time students from working more than 20 hours per week while in law school. Students are encouraged to gain practical experience during the summer following their first year of law school either as a paid law clerk or as an extern.

+-Does Chapman offer a part-time or evening program?

A few years ago, the decision was made to end our part time evening program. We have a part time day program for which prospective students can apply.

+-Does Chapman offer any specializations?

Yes we do. We offer several. Check out our Academic Programs for more information.

+-Do I need to choose a major/specialty in law school?

No. The juris doctor degree is a broad degree. You will have the opportunity through required and elective courses to study many areas of the law. Some students choose to specialize in a specific area of law, but this is not required.

+-Can I speak to a current Fowler School of Law student?

Yes. Provide us with your contact information and we will put you in touch with a current student. You can email us at lawadm@chapman.edu.

+-What is the best “pre-law” curriculum for law school?

There is no single pre-law program that best prepares students for law school. Programs that require you to think logically, analyze issues and propose possible resolutions and develop strong writing skills will be of benefit to students in their legal studies.

+-What scholarships are available?

Currently, we offer merit-based scholarships to entering and continuing students.  Some need-based scholarships are also available.  Find out more on our Scholarships Page.

+-How are scholarship decisions made?

Scholarship decisions are made after an applicant is admitted. The decision is based on LSAT and cumulative GPA as calculated by LSAC.

+-What are my chances of being offered a scholarship?

In past years, approximately 50-60% of the incoming class has been offered a merit-based scholarship. A smaller percentage of the incoming class has been offered need-based scholarships. The percentages vary and are based on funding.

+-When do I apply for financial aid?

As soon as possible after January 1. The online application can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Find out more in our Financial Aid section.

+-I haven’t received my award letter. How do I check my status?

If we have received a FAFSA, you should receive information from financial aid about one week after you have been admitted. Be sure to check that Chapman University Fowler School of Law is listed on your FAFSA. If so, you can contact the Fowler School of Law Financial Aid Office to check your status.

+-What are the current tuition, fees, etc.?

This can be found on our Tuition and Fees Page.

+-When is tuition due?

Tuition for first year students is due during orientation. The Business Office can answer questions about due dates and payment plans.

+-Can I defer my current loans?

Yes, the Law Registrar reports enrollment to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse for all students after the add/drop period.

+-When/how are funds disbursed?

All funds are scheduled to be disbursed the first week of the term. Loans and scholarships are disbursed in two equal disbursements, half at the beginning of each term.

+-What factors are considered in admission e.g. how much weight is given to LSAT/GPA, etc.?

The LSAT and the cumulative GPA are very important in the admissions process. There is no specific weight given to either score, nor is there a numerical index applied to the two scores. In addition to those two factors, the Admissions Committee reviews your file in its entirety with particular attention to your writing skills, thus your LSAT writing sample and personal statement are very important. Your resume and letters of recommendation are key factors as well. The Committee is looking for applicants who are able to communicate ideas with precision, both orally and in writing, and those who have developed the ability to think creatively. Lastly, the length of time you spent in college; the difficulty of your major; the number of hours worked during your undergraduate studies, unusual achievement, honors/awards, and completion of graduate work also factor in to the admissions decision.

+-Should I retake the LSAT?

The ABA has changed the rule regarding the reporting of the highest of multiple LSAT scores, however, this does not change the review process. If the candidate has taken the LSAT multiple times, the Committee will review all of the LSAT scores. From an admissions perspective, the average score may be the best indication of an applicant's success. It is advisable for the applicant to explain why one score is more indicative of his or her likelihood of success.

+-When should I take the LSAT?

For candidates who are still in college, the ideal time would be June of the year prior to the fall of their senior year. The Law School Admission Council and Chapman University Fowler School of Law has a five-year limit on the length of time an applicant's score is valid.

+-Should I take a LSAT prep course?

The decision to take a LSAT preparation course is a personal decision. Many students benefit from group instruction and practice while others may do better preparing for the exam on their own. It is important to be familiar with the LSAT format, time constraints, and sections of the exam that may need more preparation than others depending on your individual skills. The most important factor is for an individual to feel prepared to take the test at a time that is right for them.

+-As a new student, can I register for my first year classes?

All 1L students are registered automatically for both semesters of the first year. You will be assigned to a specific track and those assignments are communicated to you the first day of orientation. 2L and 3L students are responsible for registering for elective choices during the appropriate registration dates.

+-How many hours a day will I study?

The amount of time a student studies each day varies from student to student. Some students are more efficient in their studies than others. A good guide, however, is to anticipate that you will be studying two to three hours per week for every hour of class time. Students should plan on spending more time preparing when Legal Research and Writing papers are due and as the final exam period nears.

+-Should I get involved in student organizations? How many and which?

During orientation, most of the student organizations will have information available.  Student organizations are a great way to meet other students and pursue areas of common interest. Pick one or two that are of interest to you and join in. Just make sure that you do not become so involved in student organizations that you fall behind in your studies.  Additionally, you may want to attend meetings for the organizations you are interested in and learn more about their programs, activities, offerings, etc. during the school year.

+-Will I have time for social events?

Yes, but you will need to balance your studies and assignments. You will need to take breaks from time to time. It is important to take care of yourself and part of that may involve talking with friends, sports, movies, etc. As you get acclimated into your first year of studies, you will come up with a schedule that best suits your needs.

+-What is the daily schedule of a law student?

First year students typically attend two to three classes each day and spend several hours studying each day in preparation for classes scheduled for the following day. At various times throughout the semester, first year students also must spend time working on assignments for their Legal Research and Writing course. Students are provided ample advance notice of these projects so your workload will remain manageable unless you leave these assignments to the last minute. No classes are scheduled during the noon hour. Students typically use this time to attend presentations, participate in student organization meetings, or socialize with friends.

+-How do I get involved in mock trial or moot court?

Mock trial and moot court are administered by boards comprised of upper-level students who are guided by a faculty advisor. Students gain membership on a mock trial or moot court team by competing in an intra-school competition. If you are interested, you should watch for notices about these competitions.

+-What is appropriate attire for school?

Most students dress casually for class. Remember, however, that this is the beginning of your professional career. In the future, you will be asking professors and administrators for letters of recommendation and will be seeking business referrals from your fellow alums. The impressions you make will last long after law school so you may want to avoid attire that, while trendy or fashionable, may not foster the long-term image you want to create.

Also, when selecting your clothing for a given day, you should consider what events are occurring on campus. For example, the Career Services Office frequently hosts presentations by practicing attorneys. These events are a great opportunity for you to network and perhaps obtain a job interview, so you should wear something that will create a positive impression on the prospective employer.

+-Should I create my own outline or is it okay to use someone else’s? What about commercial outlines?

Outlines prepared by more senior students or commercial outlines are not acceptable substitutes for making your own outlines. The analysis necessary to prepare a course outline helps you determine the rules of law applicable to the subject matter of the course, as well as determine how the rules relate to one another. If you do not go through this process, you are less likely to master the subject matter. Also, not all professors teach a subject the same way. In fact, many professors do not even teach a course the same way from one year to the next. The only way to get an outline tailored to your course is to make it yourself.
Commercial outlines and outlines prepared by other students should only be used to fill in gaps in your own outline or to assess the accuracy of your outline. The exclusive use of commercial outlines does not allow students to engage in the analytical process necessary to master the subject matter.

+-What if I do not understand a concept?

If you do not understand something, you can review a hornbook or similar study aid. If, after consulting these materials, you still do not understand the concept, don’t wait until final exams before seeking help. Instead, seek help immediately because many concepts build on one another. Talk to your professor after class or during office hours. Another option would be to visit the Academic Fellow assigned to the class. Academic Fellows are upper level students who did very well in the course and who took the course from the same professor. Academic Fellows are available for all first-year courses and hold office hours once each week. Still another option is to see the Director of Academic Achievement. Find out more about the Academic Achievement Program.

+-What classes are required for the first year?

First-year students attending law school full time take Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, Legal Research and Writing, and Criminal Law. Students attending part time typically take Torts, Contracts, Legal Research and Writing, and Professional Responsibility.

+-How accessible are the professors at Chapman?

Per the student feedback, the faculty are accessible.  Most professors post their office hours on their office doors or via the website.  Additionally, the faculty assistants often provide support and assistance in scheduling meetings between the faculty and their students.

+-Are there tutors available?

Yes. Academic Fellows stand ready to assist you.
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