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Pre-law programs - what should I know?

I'm a junior and I'm thinking about pursuing pre-law in college. Can y'all share some pros and cons of pre-law programs, or any advice on choosing a college for pre-law? How important is the school's ranking for law school admissions?

6 months ago

I'm glad you're considering a pre-law program! Here are some pros and cons, as well as advice on choosing a college for pre-law:

Pros:

1. Focused curriculum: Pre-law programs usually have a structured curriculum that incorporates political science, legal history, and constitutional law, so you'll get a solid foundation for law school.

2. Advising and support: Pre-law programs often offer specialized advising and support services that can help you navigate the law school admissions process and prepare for the LSAT.

3. Networking opportunities: Many pre-law programs provide opportunities to connect with alumni and professionals in the legal field, attend law school fairs, and explore internships related to law as an undergrad.

Cons:

1. Lack of flexibility: Pre-law programs may have strict guidelines for the courses you need to take, which can limit your ability to explore other interests or double major.

2. Specialization not required: It's important to note that you don't need a pre-law degree to succeed in law school. Many law schools appreciate applicants from a variety of backgrounds, so you might consider majoring in something else and simply making sure to take relevant courses in constitutional law, political science, or philosophy.

If you do decide the official pre-law track is right for you, consider these factors when choosing a college for pre-law:

1. Curriculum: Does the college offer a wide range of courses relevant to your interests in law? Are there opportunities for research and internships in the legal field?

2. Advising and support: Look for colleges with strong pre-law advising and resources, such as LSAT prep courses, mock trial teams, and law school fairs.

3. Placement rates: Research the college's law school placement rates and the reputation of their pre-law program among law schools.

As for the importance of your undergraduate school's ranking in law school admissions, it does play a role, but it's not the most significant aspect. A high GPA, strong LSAT score, compelling personal statement, and extracurricular involvement will be more crucial factors. However, attending a prestigious undergraduate institution can potentially help in terms of networking opportunities and the resources available for pre-law students, and it never hurts to have one extra gold star on your application during the highly competitive law school admissions process.

In summary, choose a college with a strong pre-law program and resources that support your interest in law, and focus on maintaining a high GPA and preparing for the LSAT. Remember, though, that you can go to law school without following a formal pre-law track as an undergrad, so you might consider a different major that'll still allow you to gain skills relevant to the field of law. Good luck with your legal studies!

6 months ago

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