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SCALES Program

Performance & Evaluation-Based Admission Program


SCALES (Summer College to Assess Legal Education Skills) is the Law School’s performance-evaluation-based admission program. For 120 years, we have provided promising law school applicants with an opportunity to obtain a legal education.

A wide body of research indicates that LSAT and undergraduate GPA are limited predictors of law school success. Indeed, we have found that strict reliance on LSAT and undergraduate GPA in the admission process may exclude scores of uniquely talented and deserving individuals from the study and practice of law.

Our SCALES program provides individuals who have records of achievement, but who did not gain admission through our traditional process, with an opportunity to demonstrate they possess the requisite skills and potential to succeed in our JD program and the practice of law. Candidates who successfully complete SCALES are offered admission into the JD program for the fall, or at their option, spring semester.

SCALES typically runs for approximately eight weeks, starting in late May, Monday through Thursday, between 6–9 p.m. Friday evenings are primarily reserved for faculty-candidate conferences, self-study, personal legal research, or voluntary small-group learning activities. Throughout the SCALES program, candidates are required to evince competency by successfully completing a series of intellectually stringent assignments and assessments in each required course.

Learn More Download SCALES Brochure

SCALES Success by the Numbers Heading link

Numerous students who matriculated via SCALES have landed Associate positions at top firms on the National Law Journal 500. Students who matriculated via SCALES have also been elected to hold key leadership positions within the law school, including SBA President, Student Senator, and UIC Law Review Executive Board member.

  • 54 % of SCALES Class of 2023 finished the fall semester with GPA's above 3.00.

  • 100 % of Fall 2021 SCALES students who passed the program enrolled in our JD program.

  • 50 % of the SCALES Class of 2021 made the Dean’s List.

  • 50 % Nearly half of all SCALES Class of 2020 students earned a CGPA of 3.00 or better in their first year of law school.

  • 80 % of bar takers from the SCALES Class of 2019 exceeded the minimum passing score

  • 67 % of the SCALES Class of 2019 made the Dean's List.

The SCALES Student Experience Heading link

SCALES candidates are required to complete a rigorous and specialized program of instruction and assessment by members of our full-time and adjunct faculty. The program provides each candidate with a culturally responsive learning environment rooted in high expectations of academic achievement. Students are assessed on their dedication and aptitude for increased levels of legal instruction.

Explore the student experience to learn more about SCALES courses and grading criteria.

Explore The Student Experience

SCALES Program Director

Sam Jones

Samuel V. Jones
Associate Dean for SCALES & Inclusive Excellence
Professor of Law
(312) 386-2866