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Disqualified Law Students

Applicants Who Have Been Disqualified from Law School

There is little doubt that being dismissed from law school can be devastating.  Human nature often compels one to get right back in and prove that you can do it if you just try harder.  Each student is different and the reasons behind dismissal differ as well.  NSU Shepard Broad College of Law will consider for first-year admission, applicants who have been dismissed from ABA-approved law schools.  Such candidates are not considered to be transfer applicants, nor will advanced standing credit be assigned for law study completed before dismissal.

Academic Dismissal

American Bar Association Standard 501 states:

(a)   A law school shall maintain sound admission policies and practices consistent with the Standards, its mission, and the objectives of its program of legal education.

(b)   A law school shall not admit an applicant who does not appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.

(c)   A law school shall not admit or readmit a student who has been disqualified previously for academic reasons without an affirmative showing that the prior disqualification does not indicate a lack of capacity to complete its program of legal education and be admitted to the bar.  For every admission or readmission of a previously disqualified individual, a statement of the considerations that led to the decision shall be placed in the admittee’s file.

Whether a student was academically dismissed from NSU Shepard Broad College of Law or another ABA-approved law school, admission or readmission as a first-year student requires one demonstrate to the Admissions Committee that the prior disqualification is not a lack of ability and that he or she is capable of successfully completing the academic program and being admitted to the bar. 

Applicants who have been academically dismissed from law school must include in their application, typically the personal statement, information that shows that external factors, not lack of ability, created a barrier to success in law study. Whenever possible, documentation to support one’s claims should be provided.

Dismissal for Non-Academic Reasons

Applicants who were dismissed from an ABA-approved law school for non-academic reasons may be considered for first-year admission on a case-by-case basis.  Typically, such dismissals relate to honor code or conduct violations or academic dishonesty.  Someone dismissed from law school for non-academic reasons would have to demonstrate 1) that his or her grades in law school clearly demonstrate academic ability and 2) that the cause for dismissal would not likely preclude admission to the bar based on character and fitness for the practice of law.

It is advisable that such individuals consult with bar authorities in the jurisdiction(s) in which bar admission will be sought and receive a determination as to whether the issue would be prohibitive of bar admission. 

An application should fully disclose the facts of the matter or matters that led to dismissal and provide evidence that such problems are unlikely to present themselves again and that bar authorities have provided assurance that bar admission would not be negatively impacted by the matter or matters involved.

Application Checklist