Law Studies

General Information

Admission into law school can be a difficult task.  Chances are if you are thinking of acquiring an education in law and all it has to offer, you have a lot of questions.  Hopefully this section will target key areas of uncertainty to assist you in making a proper choice.

 

The Application Process

The law school application process consists of many different tasks that you will need to complete in order to successfully be considered for application.  Listed below is a step by step guide to help you identify what you need to do.

-The LSAT-

The Law School Admissions Test is a standardized test that lasts the better part of a half day and it is used as one part of the application process for students wishing to attend any one of the 201 law schools in the country.  It measures three distinct areas of an applicant, their verbal skills, reading skills, and reasoning skills.   Offered quarterly throughout the year, students have ample opportunities to sign up for it.  For more information on the LSAT, please click HERE.

-The Schools-

The first step towards applying to law school includes selecting about 5 to 6 schools to apply to.  This means you will need to do some research on which schools you want to go to.  Note, most schools have a rolling admissions policy, and offer fee waivers for the application costs, so check that out!  Completing the research part needs to take place at least a year and a half before graduation.  Key information you should consider includes, all raw information (coursework, admission policies, key faculty, costs, timeline and outcomes), their location, the median LSAT score and GPA of students who have been accepted into the program.

Secondly, make a list of schools that interest categorized on three levels.

  • First are your Reach Schools , these schools consist of a LSAT score, and a GPA that are substantially above yours.
  • Second are the High Probability Schools , these schools have LSAT and GPA scores nearly above or below yours.  
  • Lastly are the Safety Schools , these schools have LSAT and GPA scores way below yours, most certainly allowing you easy admission.

 

If you haven’t figured it out yet your GPA is important, mostly any undergraduate degree helps prepare you for law school, but it doesn’t hurt to incorporate senior level courses in English, History or Philosophy to the courses you complete.  Lastly, the personal statement is a part of every application, and the weight that is put on it is TREMENDOUS, it will say more to an admissions committee than your grades, letters or recommendations, and your LSAT scores. Speaking of letter of recommendations, even though a school may not indicate needing any with your application packet, it doesn’t hurt to have one or two included.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

By Gloria Rivera, J.D.

Assistant Dean of Admissions

St. John's University School of Law

 

Is there a preferred major for pre-law students?

There is no preferred major for students interested in attending law school.  The important thing to do is to be sure that you take at least two classes that require a major research paper ( read at least 25 pages ).  It is probably advisable to pursue a subject matter that you like because that will make it easier to do well, which is the most important thing.  Try to avoid “catch-all” curriculums like “pre-law”, and stick to specific subject matter.

 

What undergraduate classes best prepare me for law school?

The best classes are those that are going to require research, analysis, and/or serious writing.  So, for example, math would be a great major, provided you take a couple of serious “paper courses”.  The old standbys, of course are Philosophy, English, and History.

 

Are admissions officers actively looking for older students?

Admissions officers are happy to see older students because they add diversity to the pool of applicants.  However, older students should be aware that “life experience” by itself will not get them in.   Their statistics, especially their LSAT scores, since that will often be the only academic piece that will be contemporaneous, will still be scrutinized.

 

How important are the different aspects of my application?

All aspects of your application are important and must be treated as such.  It is especially important to answer all the questions asked truthfully and completely.  The applicant must be especially mindful of disclosing any academic or criminal transgressions thoroughly.   The writing sample is, of course, crucial.  Additionally, letters of recommendation must be paid very close attention.

 

From whom should I request letters of recommendation?

You should get letters from those who can speak to your analytical and writing abilities from firsthand knowledge, and, if you can give the writer some of your “work product” for specific reference in the letter, so much the better.  Letters from faculty members are best, but letters from supervisors who can speak to your academic potential are also great.

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