The study of law, like most post-graduate professional programs, is exciting and filled not only with opportunities and rewards, but with many challenges. Students who are interested in a career in the law need not look to one particular undergraduate major or another. Students should look for a major where they will find personal fulfillment and ensure the development of those skills that are necessary for the practice of law. It is those same skills that the law school admissions officers will expect to see reflected in the application for law school. Any program of study should enhance written and oral communication skills as well as critical thinking. Without considering any particular major, you should ensure that your program of study includes: perceptive reading, critical reasoning, analytical thinking, and the development of a strong command of the English language.
Before your first day at Kutztown University, you are assigned an advisor, regardless of whether you have declared a major or not. If at any point you consider a career in the law, it is also important to talk to a pre-law advisor who can provide specific advice on attending law school and pursuing a legal career. Not all lawyers practice law, but all practitioners have attended law school and passed the bar. Every pre-law advisor will provide you with the time and information to help you decide if law school is the next step.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Committee of Pre-Law Advisors is a group of professors from many of the departments at the university. Each of these professors will ensure that they make time to meet and counsel you on the study of law. The two pre-law advisors who chair this committee are: Keith Logan and Judith Rauenzahn. They may be contacted by clicking on the links below. The names of additional pre-law advisors will be listed later in the year. Either of these advisors can provide you with the names of the other pre-law advisors, including any who may be in your program department.
As you already know, the internet is a great source of information. We suggest that you take the time to explore many of the resources that are available to you regarding the study of law. Several of those sources and appropriate links are listed below.
Key On-Line Resources
The following are a few key resources that will provide excellent information about preparing for law school:
- Rutgers School of Law - Camden: PLUS Program (Deadline April 15th) http://camlaw.rutgers.edu/plusprogram
- Steven and Sandy Sheller Scholarship (Application)
- Kaplan's Free Practice LSAT Test: http://www.kaptest.com/practice
- Kutztown University Pre-Law Society: http://kunited.collegiatelink.net/organization/prelawsociety
- Florida State Law Summer for Undergraduates Program: http://www.law.fsu.edu/summer_undergraduates/documents/interestedinlawschool.pdf
- Law School Admissions Council: http://www.lsac.org/
- Law School Admission Test: http://www.lsac.org/JD/LSAT/test-dates-deadlines.asp
- Pre-Law Student Resources: http://www.ilrg.com/
- American Bar Association: http://www.americanbar.org/aba.html
- ABA Resources:
- National Law Journal: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/index.jsp, and
- National Jurist: http://www.nationaljurist.com/
- Duncan School of Law: http://www.lmunet.edu/law/
- Law School Fee Waiver Information Compilation: Google Document
- New York City Bar Student Pipeline Programs: http://www.nycbar.org/SLEOP
- National Association of Law Students with Disabilities: http://www.nalswd.org/resources.html
Preparing for Law School
The two criteria that are likely to determine where you go to law school are your grade point average and your LSAT score. Several other factors that will help with the admission process are the following:
- When and where you apply,
- Why you want to go to law school,
- Extra curricular activities,
- Personal Statement that is included with your application, and
- Letters of Recommendation.
The LSAT is offered four times each year - June, October, December, and February. The LSAT National Test Dates for the 2012-2013 academic year are: June 11, 2012, October 6, 2012, December 1, 2012, February 9, 2013, June 10, 2013, October 5, 2013, and December 7, 2013.
Finding a Law School
While everyone has their own approach to choosing a law school, this is not the time to reinvent the wheel. Boston College's Law School Locator is an invaluable tool. Use it to identify schools where your grades and test scores are competitive for admission. After you check the site, most of your questions will be answered.
Have a Plan "B" (or "C," etc.)
Whether you are 100% certain about studying law, practicing law, becoming a J.D., M.D., Ed.D. or Ph.D., you may not hit a home run with your first swing. Don't give up. But there may be numerous reasons why it is not a reality your first time at bat. Money, family matters, competitive admissions to your first choice school, etc. may all reflect events that were not planned. You have to prepare for alternatives. This is where your undergraduate major is so important; what else might you do before law school. With the average age of a law school applicant being in their mid-twenties, it is clear that not everyone is fortunate enough to go straight from college to law school. Some of us even attended to law school in their late (very late) twenties. All of this is meant to encourage you to plan ahead – along with the study hard and do well, while inventing a new smart-phone app that makes you a millionaire.
Check all the available resources and if you have any questions, give us a call or stop in to our offices. Good Luck and enjoy Kutztown University!
- Saturday, June 16: Washington, DC Law School Forum
- Tuesday, April 17: Cracking the LSAT
- Tuesday, April 24: Educational Debt and the Financial Aspects of Planning for Law School
- Wednesday, May 30 - Friday, June 29, 2012 Free College Prelaw Summer Institute
- University of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law 2012 Law Day
- Spring 2012 Event Schedule
- Campbell Law School Info Session
- Mock LSAT at Widener
- LSAT 101 Webinar
- John Marshall Law School
- Philadelphia Law School Fair 2011