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PreLaw

 

Freshman and sophomore years:

  • Maintain a strong GPA. Ideally, your GPA should be above 3.3 by the time you are ready to apply to law school.
  • Take courses that will help you to develop the many skills that you will need during your career. Most lawyers will say that WRITING is the most important skill that a lawyer needs. Critical thinking is also very important. See the discussion of pre-law coursework here.
  • Join Phi Alpha Delta or Mock Trial.
  • Take the time to read some of the many books that can give you insight into what you are proposing to do with your life. See the list of recommended books here.
  • Maintain a excellent credit rating. This will be important when you later need to borrow money.
  • Read voraciously and write, write, write.

 

Junior year:

  • Keep your GPA high by getting excellent grades in all of your courses.
  • See your pre-law advisor to develop a study plan for the LSAT. 
  • Register for the LSAT -- ideally in June following your Junior year. 
  • Do an internship with a lawyer or volunteer to work in a local law office.
  • Begin thinking about which law schools you might want to attend. 

 

Senior year:

  • Maintain your excellent GPA.
  • If you did not take the LSAT right after Junior year -- or if you and your pre-law advisor agree that you should re-take the LSAT -- register for the October exam.
  • Identify two faculty members who will write letters of recommendation for you. Faculty members should be contacted at the start of the semester so that they have at least two months to write your letters.
  • Write a draft of your personal statement and bring it to your pre-law advisor.
  • Plan on having all of your applications in the mail by Thanksgiving break. Most law schools use a "rolling" admissions process, which means that they start reviewing applications as they receive them. The earlier you have your materials in, the better chance you have of being admitted.

 

General Recommendations:

  • Take a variety of liberal arts courses to develop a well-rounded, interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Learn to pay close attention to instructions and detail.
  • Work on developing professional communication skills.
  • Develop good work-management strategies. Learn to use your calendar and avoid procrastinating. Personal discipline is essential to success in law school.
  • Take as many writing courses as you can.
  • Read Supreme Court cases and legal briefs. You can find them online at sites such as Findlaw.com and Oyez.org.