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The decision to attend law school is often a difficult one marked by a variety of competing intellectual, academic, professional and family pressures. The key to making a good decision is to start early and thoroughly research the many options available.
Students considering the investment of time and money involved in attending law school
should start by asking, “Why do I want to be a lawyer?” Many
of the resources below can be useful in investigating this important question. A conversation
with the pre-law adviser as soon as one begins to
consider applying to law school is also highly recommended.
What is the Pre-Law Curriculum?
Unlike some pre-professional programs, there is no fixed pre-law curriculum. Critical reading, writing and speaking dominate legal practice and legal education, thus the central theme of any pre-law course of study should be the development of these skills in the context of areas of substantive interest to the student. Clearly, a course of study designated “pre-law” may extend across a broad range of different disciplines and interests and contain a wide variety of courses. Each student's course of study will be different and should reflect, in consultation with advisors, the specific interests of the student and attention to the development of the critical and analytical skills necessary for success in law school and the legal profession.
Afew things to consider if you are planning to apply to law school this (in fact any) fall
- Admission is very competitive. Law schools look for a GPA above 3.0 and most (including UT’s College of Law) effectively require an LSAT score above 150.
- Everyone prepares extensively for the LSAT and you should too by either taking a preparation course or using self-study books and practice exams.
- Everything you ever wanted to know about the LSAT and the standardized law school application process can be found at www.lsac.org. This is where one goes to register for the exam (offered in October, December, February and June) and for the Law School Data Assembly Service.
- Of course, since LSAC can be confusing, Sam Nelson is always happy to meet with students interested in law school whether they are in the midst of the application process or just starting their UT careers.
- If you plan to apply to begin law school next fall, deadlines vary from Late December to early spring. You should plan on taking the LSAT in October (most common) or December (but only if you are well prepared).
- Registration deadlines for this year are about a month before the test date.
- Begin thinking about letters of recommendation early and speak with potential recommenders in September or October. Asking for a recommendation a week before you need it is likely to result in either a refusal, or a hasty letter that won’t help you. You will need at least 2 and may want 3.
- There are law fairs featuring representatives of many law schools throughout the state. See www.ohiolawcaravan.org for more information.
- The Pre-law advisors network at UT will have an informational meeting for all students interested in law school in late October, more information to be available soon.
- Law School Admission Council This is a “must read.” You can register for the LSAT and the LSDA service, as well as research schools, application procedures and financial aid. Includes sample questions from the LSAT.
- FindLaw An extensive resource for legal research and legal information that includes a great deal of information for current and prospective law students. Includes a list of US and foreign law schools and other legal career information.
- American Bar Association pre-law information including a guide to pre-law education. Also includes information on ABA approved law schools and the Bar exam.
- Boston College Law School Locator reports
the inter-quartile range of LSAT scores and GPA for US law schools. This information
can be used to help predict which schools are in
an applicant's range of likely admission.