Pepperdine Caruso School of Law: Program and Application Overview

Discover everything you need to know about Pepperdine Caruso School of Law's program and application process.

Posted January 10, 2024

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Pepperdine Law School, officially known as the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, is a prestigious institution nestled in the picturesque Malibu, California. Renowned for its commitment to excellence and Christian heritage, Pepperdine Law offers a comprehensive legal education that combines academic rigor with a strong focus on ethics and values. In this article, we will provide you with an overview of the Pepperdine Law School program and guide you through the application process.

Pepperdine Law Course Overview

First-year students take:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Structure
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Introduction to Professional Formation
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Property
  • Torts

Following Year 1, students must successfully fulfill a curriculum of 20-23 additional mandatory courses, which include:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Individual Rights and Liberties
  • Corporations
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Ethical Lawyering
  • Evidence
  • Remedies
  • Wills and Trusts.

Students can also opt to explore a diverse array of elective courses, clinics, externships, practicums, and student-led journals. For those with specific interests, there's the opportunity to specialize by pursuing a concentration. The Caruso School of Law extends five certificate programs, which encompass:

  • Criminal Legal Practice
  • Dispute Resolution
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Law and Entrepreneurship
  • Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law.

Pepperdine Law School Ranking: By the Numbers

Pepperdine Law is ranked #45 nationally by U.S. News, and it is also ranked #1 in ideologically diverse faculty, #1 in best professors accessibility, and #2 in dispute resolution. Caruso boasts an acceptance rate of ~27% along with these class profile statistics (JD class entering Fall 2022):

  • LSAT Median: 164
    • 75th%: 166
    • 25th%: 159
  • GPA Median: 3.85
    • 75th%: 3.93
    • 25th%: 3.47
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 7:1:1

Pepperdine Law School Application Deadlines & Requirements (2023-2024)


  • Accelerated Two-Year JD
    • Final Deadline: February 1, 2024
  • Traditional Three-Year JD
    • Priority Deadline: February 1, 2024
    • Final Deadline: April 1, 2024


  • A non-refundable application fee - Waived for the 2024 application
  • Completed, signed, and dated application
  • Resumé
  • Personal Statement
  • Optional Statement(s)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT) Score or Graduate Records Examinations (GRE) score
  • Registration with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS)
  • International Student Data Form (for visa holders)

For tips and expert advice on how to stand out in the law school admissions process, read these articles:

What Does the Admissions Committee Look for in a Candidate?

The Pepperdine Law School Admissions Committee conducts a holistic evaluation of each candidate, considering multiple facets to identify individuals who will thrive in the academic environment while upholding the school's commitment to ethics and values. In addition to a strong GPA, letters of recommendation, and other application requirements, here are some Pepperdine-specific tips to take your application to the next level:

  1. Alignment with Faith-Based Values: As a faith-based institution, Pepperdine Law seeks candidates who resonate with its Christian values. While you do not need to be Christian to apply, the committee looks for a genuine commitment to incorporating ethical and moral principles into legal careers.
  2. Diversity and Inclusivity: Pepperdine Law highly values diversity in its student body, as shown by its #1 diversity ranking in ideological faculty. The admissions committee actively seeks candidates who can contribute to a diverse and inclusive community. Applicants with experiences or backgrounds that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion are likely to be given special consideration.
  3. Service-Oriented Ethos: Pepperdine’s core motto is “Strengthening Lives for Purpose, Service, and Leadership.” The committee looks for candidates who have a demonstrated history of community service, volunteerism, or a strong desire to use their legal education to serve their communities and society at large. Click here for more information on Pepperdine Law’s mission and values.


Q: Is there a required undergraduate cumulative GPA and LSAT score I must have to apply?

  • A: There is no minimum or maximum GPA or LSAT score an applicant must have; all eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.

Q: Are there specific majors or minors the Admissions Committee looks at from applicants?

  • A: A specific major is not required for admissions, but the Admissions Committee will focus on college grades, major, and selection of courses. The Committee favors students who have selected intellectually challenging courses of study. Whatever the discipline, you are urged to develop strong writing and analytical skills. Courses that require active participation in a classroom dialogue will help prepare for law school.

Q: Does Pepperdine Caruso Law conduct interviews as part of the application process?

  • A: No, interviews are not part of the application process. Those who serve on the Admissions Committee remain anonymous. We encourage applicants to visit campus during the admissions process if they can. The people you will meet and the community you will experience are truly unparalleled.

Q: When will my application be reviewed?

  • A: We admit students on a rolling basis, with most decisions made between December and June. You will be notified of your decision via email.  Applicants may be admitted, denied or placed on the waiting list. If you are placed on the waiting list, we encourage you to submit letters of continued interest periodically. You may also update your file with new information that may support an offer of admission. All correspondence once you have been placed on the waiting list should be directed to

Q: How long should the personal statement be?

  • A: It is recommended that your personal statement is two to four, double-spaced pages with no less than 12-point font. The best personal statements are clear, concise, and compelling and free from spelling and grammatical errors.

Q: How long should the Optional Statement(s) be?

  • A: The optional statement should be a one- to two-page, double-spaced statement with no less than 12-point font.

Q: Can I submit an addendum?

  • A: Yes, if an applicant feels that they wish to share information with the Admissions Committee that is not included in the required documents, an addendum will be accepted. Addendums can be emailed to and will be uploaded to your application for the admissions committee to review.

Q: Do you have an appeals process?

  • A: We have no appeals process. If you are denied admission, we welcome you to re-apply in a subsequent year or consider transfer options.

Final Note

If you’re looking to seek admission to a law school, we highly recommend working one-on-one with a Leland law school admissions coach. Here are some of our most popular and highest-rated ones:

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