Eligibility and Application for the LEO Program

Students admitted to the LEO Program demonstrate resiliency and perseverance in the face of social, economic, or educational challenges, or other hardships (as described below) and bring determination, compassion, and leadership skills to the Seton Hall Law School community. The Program is intended to welcome to the law school and the legal profession those who have faced such challenges prior to law school, and who have demonstrated great promise in rising to meet those challenges.

Seton Hall Law recognizes that the traditional criteria for admission to law school (such as LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA) might not adequately reflect each student’s potential for success in law school and beyond.


To apply, students must complete the application for first-year admission with LEO Consideration.  This requires an additional essay explaining why a student is a good fit for the LEO Program’s mission of welcoming, celebrating and supporting students who have overcome social, economic, or educational challenges or other hardships.

The program recognizes that grit, determination, resilience, perseverance, and drive are key characteristics of successful law students and attorneys. In preparing your application you should reflect on and celebrate your accomplishments in the face of challenges so that we can better understand how these experiences have shaped you and the law student and lawyer you hope to be.

The application invites you to address any of the following challenges you may have faced and how you have found ways to be successful despite these challenges:

  1. Social: Being treated differently or otherwise facing obstacles due to your race, ethnicity, primary language spoken at home, religion, physical or learning disability, family circumstances, or sexual orientation.
  2. Economic: Growing up in a household that faced challenging economic circumstances.
  3. Educational: Attending elementary, middle, and/or high schools that were low-performing or otherwise did not prepare you well for college.
  4. Challenges in other areas


The deadline to apply for consideration as a LEO Fellow is April 1.  To apply, candidates must complete and submit the application for first-year admission with LEO Consideration. This application and all supporting documentation, including your LSAT score and LSAT writing sample or GRE score, must be received in our office no later than April 1.

Important: If your file is not complete by April 1, your file will only receive consideration in the general decision pool without consideration for LEO.

Applicants who have previously participated in LEO, or who have been academically dismissed from another law school, are ineligible for LEO and will not be considered. If you have any further questions about applying for consideration for the LEO program, please contact the Admissions Office directly at 973-642-8747.


Once we receive your application materials, you can be admitted one of two ways:

  1. LEO Admissions Committee Review:  A Committee focused on the criteria that makes successful LEO Fellows decides whether to admit applicants as LEO Fellows based upon a holistic review of applicants’ academic records, LSAT scores and LEO application materials. Appropriate supportive documentation such as tax returns, medical records, or school records may be submitted with the request for LEO consideration. Additional information may be requested.
  2. General Admissions Committee Review: Even if it is determined that a student does not qualify for admission by the LEO Admissions Committee, that student may still be admitted through the general admissions process in accordance with Admissions Committee guidelines and standards.

Applicants who accept admission as LEO Fellows are required to participate in the LEO Summer Institute and are initially admitted as full-time students with a reduced load for the first year, or as a weekend student.

During the first year, LEO Fellows also participate in a one-credit course, Introduction to Legal Analysis and Methods. In subsequent semesters, students are offered other opportunities to hone skills to succeed in law school and pass the bar exam.