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Prelaw Preparation

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Preparing for Law School

For admission to law school, an applicant must complete a bachelor’s degree and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). No particular course of undergraduate study is recommended. However, the program should be sufficiently rigorous to provide the skills of comprehension and analysis essential in law study.

To prepare for law school, students should take challenging courses and those of interest, but no specific courses are required or recommended. The American Bar Association recommends the development of numerous skills in preparation for a legal education, including analytical and problem solving, critical reading, writing, oral communication and listening, general research, and task organization and management skills. Fulfilling or exceeding general education and major requirements satisfies many of these objectives. Consult the prelaw adviser about undergraduate courses beyond general education and major requirements.

It is strongly recommended that prelaw students attend a Prelaw Basics session (offered regularly each semester) early in their undergraduate careers for more complete prelaw information.

Students should submit law school applications the fall semester before entering law school. For most students, this is fall of the senior year. Admission is highly competitive, and law schools examine a number of factors. Heavy reliance is placed on the undergraduate grade-point average and score on the LSAT. All grades on the transcript, including transfer work, are reported to Law Services and used in calculating the applicant’s cumulative grade point average. The LSAT tests skills in reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and analytical reasoning. It is offered 4 times a year: June, September/October, December, and February. Most applicants take the June or September/October test to submit applications early. The September/October test date often coincides with midterm examinations; many students prefer to take the LSAT in June after the junior year. Students can register for the LSAT online through the Law School Admission Council. Law schools also consider personal statements, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and the rigor of the academic curriculum in determining admission.

Many academic policy options, such as the Credit/No Credit option and the course-repeat policy, have different consequences for law school applicants. Consult the prelaw adviser before electing such options.

View the School of Law section of the online catalog.

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