School of Law drops LSAT requisite for St. Thomas students

As part of a new program, undergraduate students will no longer need to submit Law School Admissions Test scores to apply to the St. Thomas School of Law.

Applications for the Tommie Law Early Admission program will be available on Murphy Online April 15. As part of this program, students interested in gaining entrance to the School of Law will be required to submit a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcripts, and ACT and/or SAT scores with the law school application.

“We are not requiring UST students to take the LSAT or register for the service through the [Law School Admissions Council],” said Cari Haaland, the school’s director of admissions.

A primary motive behind this new initiative is to save students money.

“These exemptions could save an average student nearly $1,000 in fees,” Haaland said.

To launch the Tommie Law Early Admission program, law school department members went directly to the American Bar Association.

“We made an argument that, for St. Thomas undergraduate students, the ACT and SAT are valid and reliable tests in predicting success at UST Law,” Haaland said.

St. Thomas becomes one of five U.S. law schools to waive the LSAT.

“What we hope is that this new program makes a profound difference in the lives of our undergraduate students,” Haaland said.

Through this new program, students “can focus on their coursework and commitments to their community during their final year of undergraduate studies,” she said.

St. Thomas undergraduate students see the Tommie Law Early Admission program as a good opportunity that offers a more inclusive application process.

“Admission panels take into account GPA and letters of recommendation, but admission to a law school is heavily determined by [the LSAT],” junior Leigha Lattner said. “So not having to take the LSAT removes that stressful burden and gives more credit to other areas of importance.”

Students said this new program pays more attention to a student’s overall performance.

“The program doesn’t make admission easier,” senior Matthew Eldred said. “The program still looks heavily at your undergraduate curriculum and your ACT or SAT scores. In fact, the program probably evaluates students more holistically than the regular admissions process.”

Senior Kyle Roskam agreed.

“While I do think the LSAT is important, too many schools rely solely on a student’s LSAT score,” he said. “Allowing students to gain entry without an LSAT score makes the admissions council focus more on the individual’s accomplishments over their undergraduate career, rather than a test score on one particular day.”

Students appreciate saving money on their applications, too.

“I’ve spent at least $2,000 applying for law school, including my LSAT prep course, LSAC registration and application fees,” Eldred said. “This program cuts that all out for students.”

The School of Law will host an information session March 23 for interested students. To RSVP, students can send an e-mail to

Rebecca Omastiak can be reached at