Undergraduate Study in Prelaw
Interdisciplinary and University Programs
The Prelaw Program provides advising and coordinates special programs to help students through the decision-making process. The Prelaw Basics session, presented each semester, provides an introduction to the KU Prelaw Program. Information about prelaw preparation, the application process, and prelaw services and programs is provided.
An annual Prelaw Day brings law schools from across the country to KU to speak with students. The Prelaw Mentoring Program, Jayhawks in Law School, and Phi Alpha Delta prelaw fraternity can help introduce you to law school and the legal profession.
Is law school for me?
Perhaps the most important thing you can do during your undergraduate years is investigate whether the study of law is right for you. Law school is more than an extension of your undergraduate education. The study of law is rigorous and technical. It teaches you a specific set of analytical skills that you can use in any number of areas.
Before you apply to law school, talk to lawyers and law students, get involved in law-related activities, gain summer internship experiences, take courses that touch on legal topics, and read about the profession. Consider your personal and professional goals. Gather enough information to make an informed decision. Many law school applicants take time after completing an undergraduate degree to work full-time before applying to law school.
Preparing for law school
No specific major is required or even recommended for law school. There is no prelaw major at KU. Law schools like to draw their incoming class from a diverse array of academic disciplines. Choose a course of study that you enjoy and in which you can perform well.
Admissions committees consider the rigor of your undergraduate academic experience — do not be afraid to challenge yourself. To be ready for law school, you want your undergraduate studies to be sufficiently difficult to prepare you for the rigors of legal study.
The American Bar Association recommends numerous skills and values, including
- Analytical and problem-solving skills,
- Critical reading abilities,
- Writing skills,
- Oral communication and listening skills,
- General research skills,
- Task organization and management skills, and
- Values of serving others and promoting justice.
Taking courses to develop these skills is more important than the specific content of the courses themselves.
Applying to law school
Law schools have become increasingly competitive. The 2 primary objective factors in law school admission decisions are
- Grade-point average and
- The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score.
Other secondary subjective factors include
- A personal statement,
- Letters of recommendation,
- Extracurricular activities,
- Work experience, and
- The rigor of the academic curriculum.
KU students apply to a variety of law schools across the United States. In the past 5 application periods, about 75 percent of applicants from KU were admitted to at least 1 law school, compared to the national average of 66 percent. The average grade-point average of KU applicants was 3.32.
KU alumni participate in the Jayhawks in Law School Program, serving as law student contacts for current KU prelaw undergraduates. These volunteers are great resources for KU prelaw students in answering questions about the law schools students are considering.
The University of Kansas is a major educational and research institution with 29,000 students and 2,400 faculty members. KU includes the main campus in Lawrence, the Medical Center in Kansas City, the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, campuses of the School of Medicine in Wichita and Salina, and educational and research facilities throughout the state.
The university has 58 nationally ranked programs and earns excellent ratings in the top college guides. For more than a decade, the Fiske Guide to Colleges has awarded KU four-star ratings in all categories — academics, quality of living, and social life.
KU is a major comprehensive research and teaching university that serves as a center for learning, scholarship, and creative endeavor. KU is the only Kansas Board of Regents university to hold membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, a select group of 62 public and private research universities that represents excellence in graduate and professional education and the highest achievements in research internationally.