What extracurriculars, courses, and activities should I do to get into pre-law at a top university?
I am a 9th grader and am looking for extracurriculars that would help me with admissions to top schools for pre-law (ideally Harvard), and I am looking for ways to stand out amongst others. Thank you!
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There is no such thing as a pre-law major because everything is a pre-law major since Law Schools are completely agnostic to what your undergraduate major is. You can be a STEM, English, Philosophy, Gender Studies, or French major. They don't care. Therefore, you can't prepare a certain set of ECs, courses, or activities as a 9th grader to prepare for Law School 8 to 10 years from now.
Also, Harvard Law school is agnostic to anyone having to attend Harvard College prior to applying. In fact, 171 colleges were represented in their 560 matriculated 1st-year class this year.
If you want to attend Law School, then you can best prepare yourself to get into a very good college. It doesn't have to be an Ivy League or Elite college or even a Top Liberal Arts college but any of the top 100 colleges.
As a high school student, I would strive to get the best grades possible, take as many APs or IBs as possible, and get As in those as well and preferably 4s and 5s on the AP exams. Take AP US History, AP US Government, AP English ( both Lang and Lit), and AP European History. If you take 4 years each of English, Maths, Science, Language, and History you will be well prepared wherever you attend. Get a high SAT/ACT test score like a 98th/99th percentile score as well. For ECs', I recommend you do DEBATE TEAM, MODEL UN and if your school participates in WE the PEOPLE Constitutional Law Competition, that is a very good one to do. Spend time working on expository writing and make sure you are a great writer. If you write for your school newspaper, that will give you good experience and practice. Aim for several leadership positions in your HS as well as in your community.
this is copied from a post I responded to last week someone asking a similar question.
Again, there is no major that you have to take to become an attorney. You can major in anything. The most important thing is that you get a high score on your LSAT which is scored on a 180 scale. The top 10 law schools like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, etc expect you to have a 170+ score on the LSATs. It's conducted by the College Board and not a test of how well you know the LAW but a standardized test on problem solving, logic, filling in the blanks, etc. Some get admitted with 160s scores but as you can see from the chart, most have 170+ scores. which are like 99% scores or a 1550 or 35 on your SAT/ACT.
Also, note that your undergraduate GPA is critical. So you have better chances if you have a 3.8-4.0 GPA when you apply.
On the plus side, admit rates for law school are actually more reasonable than undergraduate admit rates. For the top 10 law schools, they are between 7% and 20%. Compare that to Ivys and Elites which are between 3.4% and 7% for undergrad.
While I said, it really doesn't matter what degree you have, which is true, you still need to be prepared. So you should have some familiarity with US History, US Government and be able to write and think very well.
Also, it helps a lot to be 1 or 2 years out of Undergrad before you apply. Meaning you work for a 1 year or 2. Between 60-80% of Harvard admits took a 1 to 2 year gap year.
You don't have to attend an Ivy or Elite to get admitted. Over 171 schools were represented in Harvards 2021-22 current 1st year law students.
The Cohorts included:
Class of 2024 by the Numbers
150 Phi Beta Kappa inductees
73 members of Congress served
67 undergraduate STEM majors
37 collegiate mock trial competitors
34 Division 1 varsity athletes
25 current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces
19 Fulbright Scholars (Argentina, Armenia, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, Netherlands, UK (2), Russia, South Korea, Spain (2), Taiwan)
17 AmeriCorps Members
13 company founders and CEOs
11 podcast hosts
11 students with Top Secret security clearance
9 scuba divers
7 embassy staffers (Dominican Republic, Ghana, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Peru, South Korea)
6 wilderness first responders
5 stand-up comedians
5 student body presidents
5 Schwarzman Scholars
5 Teach for America corps members
4 hip hop dancers
4 QuestBridge Scholars
4 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
3 Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes
3 Posse Scholars
2 Truman Scholars
2 Rhodes Scholars
2 Gates Millennium Scholars
2 taco enthusiasts
1 Marshall Scholar
1 set of identical twins
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