Administered by the Department of Political Science
Professor Rosanna Perotti, Director
The Legal Education Accelerated Program (LEAP) is a six-year combined BA/JD degree program. Students admitted into this program pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (HCLAS) for three years and then have the opportunity to complete a Juris Doctor (JD) in Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University in three additional years. Admission to Hofstra Law School is not automatic; it is predicated on LEAP students maintaining a threshold GPA and, in some cases, an appropriate Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score (see #4 below). The combined degree (BA/JD) takes a total of six years to complete, which is one year less than the typical law school program. The undergraduate portion of this dual-degree program is administered by the Department of Political Science, under the supervision of the dean of HCLAS.
Admission to this program is open only to first-year students and is highly selective. Applicants who choose to submit a standardized test score must have combined SAT scores of 1220 (or an ACT score of 27) and an overall GPA of 3.5 (or be in the top 15 percent of their high school graduating class) in order to be considered for admission. For those who choose not to submit a standardized test score, a holistic admission review will be conducted. Among other considerations, the admission committee recommends that students earn a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher or be ranked in the top 15 percent of their graduating class; take a math course above Algebra 2; and take an Advanced Placement (AP) Science or Math Exam, and an AP English Literature or English exam. Candidates will be expected to score a minimum of 4 on each AP exam. Students may also participate in an equivalent International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum.
Applicants are required to submit a supplemental LEAP application, which is then reviewed by a joint committee comprising representatives from HCLAS, the Hofstra Law School, and the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Matriculation in the Hofstra Law School takes place at the end of the junior year, and the BA degree is granted upon satisfactory completion of 29 semester hours during the first year of law school. To maintain eligibility for law school matriculation at the end of the junior year, students admitted to this program must:
- Complete a minimum of 95 semester hours in HCLAS (at least 94 of them in liberal arts courses).
- Fulfill all University requirements, and all requirements for the BA, including WSC 001 and WSC 002; all HCLAS distribution course requirements and language requirements; and all requirements for the specific academic major chosen by the student. Students may select from among 52 available HCLAS majors that lead to the BA degree.
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 in course work toward the BA.
- Achieve an LSAT score in junior year that is no lower than the median LSAT score for the prior year’s full-time entering class at Hofstra Law School. Hofstra Law School will consider waiving the LSAT requirements for any LEAP student who presents the law school with a minimum SAT or ACT score in the 85th percentile and who has achieved a minimum undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5. Only students who have taken either the SAT or the ACT will be eligible for a waiver of the LSAT exam.
- Apply to and be accepted by the Hofstra Law School. Application entails LEAP students submitting the LSAT score when required, the Hofstra JD application including the personal statement, and undergraduate transcripts and letters of recommendation. All applicants must comply with all the deadlines and requirements as stated on the Hofstra Law School Admissions website.