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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

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Admissions Requirements

Application Deadline

Our priority deadline for complete applications is March 1, but we welcome applications through early summer. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis.


Applications for the Fall 2024 admission cycle closed on July 15.

We welcome applications for the Fall 2025 admissions cycle starting September 1.

If you have any questions, please contact our admissions team at 803-777-6605.

Enrollment Requirements

A candidate must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, or expect to receive one by the date of their enrollment in the School of Law.

How to Apply

All applications for admission are submitted through the Law School Admission Council's electronic application service. Applicants must create an account at, take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), complete LSAT Writing, the on-demand writing exam, and subscribe to the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The application for admission and required documents are transmitted by LSAC to the admissions office. Applicants are notified by email when the application is received.

What items are required in the application for admission?

Complete instructions are provided when you fill out the electronic application. Applicants will be prompted to upload or attach some of the required documents. Your academic transcript and letters of recommendation will be submitted by others on your behalf at your request.

Complete each section of the application, provide certification of your responses when prompted, and attach any required documents.

Two letters of recommendation are required for an application to be complete. Faculty recommendations are preferred; other recommenders should be advised to address your potential as a law student. Evaluations of your maturity, self-discipline, good judgment, and professionalism are also helpful.

You are responsible for having an official transcript from any college or university you attended, sent by that institution directly to your account at LSAC. LSAC will analyze these transcripts and provide copies of the actual transcript as part of the CAS report submitted to the admissions office on your behalf.

LSAT Writing is a proctored, on-demand writing exam that is administered online using secure proctoring software that is installed on the candidate’s  own computer. You will have 35 minutes to write an essay in response to the prompt presented to you.

Tell us about yourself. Give the Admissions Committee information you believe is relevant to the admission decision that is not elicited elsewhere in the application.  You may address your academic or intellectual interests, significant accomplishments or obstacles overcome, personal or professional goals, educational achievements, or any way in which your perspective, viewpoint, or experiences will contribute to the rich diversity of the School of Law community.

We give all applicants ample opportunity to share their unique life experience and to explain how they will advance the mission, vision, and values of the School of Law. South Carolina Law seeks to enroll a class of talented and engaged students who advance our mission, vision, and values and contribute to a community where diversity, justice, equity, and inclusion reflect institutional principles and shape institutional priorities. Use these optional essays to discuss how your goals for your legal education and career align with these principles.

Feel free to share ways in which your experiences, achievements, and background inform the perspective you would bring to the law school classroom and to cocurricular activities. We are particularly interested in understanding your journey to law school so far, especially any of your experiences that might not be widely shared among our student body. We are not imposing any requirements or limits on the information you may include in this statement; we simply want to know more about you.  Please note that the law school cannot use your essay in any way to discriminate or provide a benefit based on the applicant's race or other legally protected status.

Evidence of certain skills and abilities can show your potential to meet the challenges of law school and the profession. Feel free to provide examples of personal qualities or experiences that have shaped your development in areas such as intellectual and cognitive reasoning, research and information gathering, communications, planning and organizing, resolution of conflicts, client and business relations, working with others (including those with different perspectives and goals than your own), and character development.  

The law school is interested in your distinct experiences or life challenges that may not be apparent in the rest of the application or discussed in your personal statement. We invite you to share information that will provide context for our evaluation of your potential for success in our academic setting. Relevant information to provide could include, but is not limited to, financial hardship, educational adversity, special talents, specific work or community service, unusual rural or urban upbringing, foreign residence, military background, or unique personal or family circumstances.  Feel free to discuss life circumstances that affected your ability to access resources, advising, or opportunities to demonstrate your interest in or aptitude for the study of law (e.g., family educational attainment, your employment, family income during childhood, public benefits access, need-based aid, housing insecurity or homelessness, family responsibilities, parenting or caregiving, or justice-system impacted family members.)  Please note that the law school cannot use your essay in any way to discriminate or provide a benefit based on an applicant's race or other legally protected status.

If you believe your LSAT or other (e.g., ACT or SAT) test scores or academic records do not accurately represent your potential to be successful at our law school, please tell us why, and tell us what we should consider in place of, or supplemental to, these factors. If your undergraduate, graduate, or professional school attendance has been interrupted for one or more terms for any reason, please explain the circumstances and provide a description of your activities during that time.

A copy of your most up-to-date resume should be included.

A nonrefundable application fee of $60 is payable through LSAC's secure server. A candidate who is serving in an established public service program (e.g., Teach for America, Peace Corps) or for whom the fee poses a financial hardship or a barrier to their application is encouraged to request a fee waiver code from the School of Law Office of Admission. The application fee is automatically waived for a candidate who received a waiver of LSAT or CAS fees from LSAC.

Please click here to request an application fee waiver. Contact the Office of Admissions at if you have any questions.

South Carolina Honors College

The USC Joseph F. Rice School of Law Partnership Program means that qualified Honors College graduates are automatically admitted to the USC Joseph F. Rice School of Law, provided that they meet the character and fitness standards for admission and the following qualifications:

  • graduate with a 3.5 GPA with honors from the Honors College
  • an LSAT score of at least 158
  • a letter of support from the dean of the Honors College

The 3+3 Bachelor's/JD Program enables qualified South Carolina Honors College students to earn a bachelor's degree and the JD degree in six years rather than the typical seven years if both degrees are pursued in the normal pattern. This accelerated program enables high-ability students to save two semesters of tuition plus a year in the classroom and to move more quickly into the coursework and activities of the USC Joseph F. Rice School of Law. All Honors requirements must be fulfilled in three years and the law school first-year classes count as electives for the BS(BA) degree. In the fourth year of this six-year program, students take a normal first-year, full-time, law school course load of 30 hours (15 hours in fall semester and 15 hours in spring semester).

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Admissions Viewbook

Information about USC Joseph F. Rice School of Law is available in our Viewbook. Read more >>

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