Enroll yourself in the Pre-Law Advising Moodle Group, where important announcements about info sessions, open houses, admissions panels, LSAT workshops, and internship opportunities are posted. To sign up, click here.
Law schools do not prescribe any particular major as the best preparation for their programs. The best thing to do is to select a major and a minor in which you are interested. Doing so will allow you to get the most out of your liberal arts education.
The two main criteria for admission to law school are GPA and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score. During the first two years of college, there is no reason to worry about the LSAT. Concentrate on your undergraduate studies and maintaining a competitive GPA.
You may wish to enroll in one or more law courses in the Political Science Department in your sophomore, junior, or senior years. The main purpose of doing this is to learn more about the topic. An additional benefit is that a law course will give you a better idea of what the law is about and may help you to determine whether or not you want to go to law school. Click here for the Political Science Course List. Law schools also like to see coursework in history and economics.
Juniors and Seniors
Pursue an internship at a law firm or legal organization during your junior or senior years. Properly guided, this experience will enhance your undergraduate education and give you a sense of what the legal profession is like. Contact the Academic Internship Program in the Career Center and the Political Science Department for assistance in arranging an internship.
If you are planning to apply to law school when you are a senior, you should take the LSAT in June after your junior year or in October of your senior year. You may take the LSAT in December of your senior year, but doing so may limit the number of schools to which you can apply.
To prepare for the LSAT, consider using one of the many preparatory plans available. You may choose to take a course from one of the providers (Kaplan, Princeton Review, Examkrackers, etc.), or you may prepare on your own using books, CDs, and other materials. You should do some sort of preparation so that you are not surprised by the style of questions in the LSAT.
Pre-law students must register with the LSDAS (Law School Data Assembly Service) on the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website: http://www.lsac.org/ You will register for the LSAT on this website. This service also stores and processes your application documents (transcripts, recommendation letters, LSAT scores, etc.) and sends them to law schools you select. Your LSDAS membership is good for five years.
Your LSAT score and GPA will establish the range of law schools for which you qualify. When it comes time to select schools, consult with our pre-law advisors—Dr. Lisa Layne in the Center for Career Development and Professor Phil Mundo and Professor Jinee Lokaneeta in the Political Science Department—to create a reasonable list of schools. You may also wish to consider the geographic region in which the school is located, whether the school is integrated into a larger university, whether it is in a rural, suburban, or urban setting, its placement record (i.e., where its graduates work), its overall size, size of classes, and so on.
Applications are generally self-explanatory. In almost all cases, the LSDAS will process most of your materials (transcripts, recommendation letters, LSAT score, etc.) and send them to the law schools to which you apply. All law school applications become available through LSDAS starting in September of every year. Try to get your applications in by the end of November. Admissions at most law schools is rolling, but they do have deadlines (usually February 1st or March 1st). You are responsible for supplying additional information to the school as requested, including the basic form (name, address, etc.) and in most cases, a personal statement or essay of some kind. The instructions for these statements vary somewhat, so be sure to follow them carefully. In general, the best advice is to be authentic in your description of yourself and your goals. Some law schools will require you to complete a Dean’s Certification Form. If you come across one of these forms, please submit it to your pre-law advisor.