Early Admittance Law Program

Philosophy majors consistently score higher on graduate entrance exams than other majors–for good reason. For exmaple, a 2009 study (source: law.com legal blog watch) found that, for the LSAT test, Philosophy was tied with Economics in the top three majors:

1. Physics / math, 160.0
2. Philosophy/theology, 157.4
3. Economics, 157.4

The three lowest-scoring majors were:

27. Health professions, 148.4
28. Prelaw, 148.3
29. Criminal justice, 146.0

The Early Admittance Law Program

Would you like to earn a BA in philosophy and a law degree in six years?  Together with UALR’s William H. Bowen School of Law, the Department of Philosophy and Liberal Studies sponsors the Early Admittance Law Program (EALP), which enables talented and motivated students to earn a BA degree in philosophy and a J.D. in twelve semesters. This program requires discipline, dedication, and skill: in order to be eligible, a student must demonstrate an aptitude for precise thinking, careful argumentation, and thoughtful analysis of practical problems. 

Program Overview

The EALP admits intellectually engaged and academically mature undergraduates into the Bowen School of Law after their third year of undergraduate study (or 94 credit hours).  Upon completion of a major in philosophy, the core curriculum, and the language requirement, students with a 3.5 GPA and an LSAT score in the 75th percitile are allowed to apply for admission to the Bowen School of Law.  Students who participate in the program earn their B.A. degree upon successful completion of the first year at Bowen.  The J.D. is awarded after two more years of law school.  The first year of law school thus counts as the final year of undergraduate studies; students save themselves 30 credit-hours of undergraduate coursework. 

Program Requirements

  • Complete a major in philosophy
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Score in the 75th percentile or higher on the LSAT
  • Complete the UALR Core Curriculum and satisfy the language requirement 

Am I Qualified?

Students considering the program are encouraged to take either Ethics and Society or Introduction to Philosophy early in their college careers.  Taking one of these courses allows students to gauge their interest in the program and ability in philosophy.  Students who earn a grade of B or better should consider the EALP.

The Law School Admissions Test

The EALP requires students to achieve a Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score in the 75th percentile or better.  Students should plan on taking the LSAT in June or October of the year they intend to apply to Bowen.

Most accredited law schools in the United States require students to take the LSAT as part of the application process.  This test is administered by the Law School Admissions Council four times a year.  Please visit http://www.lsac.org/ for more information.

Applying to Bowen

If you participate in the EALP program, you must apply to Bowen through the EALP director.  Students must submit their applications by January 1 for admission into the class of that year.  Students will begin classes in the fall of the same year.  Application instructions and forms can be found at http://www.law.ualr.edu/admissions.


The LSAT:  Admission to Bowen through the EALP program requires an LSAT score in the 75th percentile.  Hard preparation is required to achieve this score.

  • We encourage students to study for the LSAT: in addition to the free preparation workshops, students should consider purchasing old copies of the LSAT (available at many bookstores) and taking the test under examination-like conditions.  At http://www.lsac.org/, you can download free preparation materials and a guide to the LSAT.
  • The LSAT is offered four times a year: in June, October, December, and February. We encourage students to take the LSAT in June or October of the year they apply to law school.  About a month before the date you plan to take the LSAT, you should register for the LSAT and the Law School Data Assembly Service.
  • Please note: if you intend to apply only to Bowen and only through the EALP program, then you do not have to register for the LSDAS.  If you intend to apply to Bowen as a regular student, then you must register for the LSDAS. You may do this on-line at http://www.lsac.org/.
  • You may take the LSAT three times in a two-year period.  The EALP adopts your highest score.

The GPA:  Students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better to remain in the EALP.

  • Your GPA is calculated on all but the last fifteen credit hours of study.
  • Students whose GPA falls below 3.5 in the final semester of study are no longer eligible for the EALP program.  Such students must complete a minor in their final year of study and will graduate with a B.A. from UALR.  Students who leave the program should contact Dr. Andrew Eshleman (aseshleman@ualr.edu) for academic advising.

Applying to Bowen through the EALP:  Although Bowen has a rolling admissions policy, students in the EALP must apply for admission in January of the year they intend to matriculate.

Applying for Regular Admission to Bowen:  Students who apply for regular admission to Bowen must complete several additional steps.

  • Regular applications to Bowen require registration with the LSDAS and the completion of an undergraduate degree in addition to the LSAT, the grade report, and a personal statement.
  • There are no GPA or LSAT requirements for regular admission; student applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Bowen has a rolling admissions program: though applications are not due until April 15 of the year a student intends to enroll, students are encouraged to apply earlier.  Students who leave the EALP and revert to the regular philosophy major may still apply to Bowen. 

For a checklist of what needs to be completed and when in the Early Admitance Law program… checklist

Applying to Other Law Schools:  Students who are interested in law school but have not completed the EALP should consider applying to other law schools throughout the country.

  • Each law school in the United States admits students according to its own criteria and guidelines.  
  • Students need not major in philosophy: excellent students from all disciplines frequently choose to attend law school.
  • Admission to almost all ABA-approved law schools requires registration with the LSDAS and completion of the LSAT.