The decision to pursue a legal education and a career in law is part of a complex process, but it does not have to be difficult. As you prepare, remember to continuously answer the following questions for yourself:
- Why do you want to go?
- What do you want to do?
- Do you know the reality of the career?
- Is it the best investment of your time and money?
Please review the information below and consult with your advisor.
Although Political Science is by far the most popular major for Pre-Law students, law schools have no preference for your major. Their concern is with the quality of your educational experience and the skills you have developed along the way. Humanities majors like English and History, for instance, develop the critical reading and writing skills law schools prize.
Find a major that interests and engages you, and be sure to discuss these choices with your advisor. Consider developing your academic plan in a way that helps you develop the skills required for law students by the American Bar Association.
Be sure there is academic rigor in your plan and remember that your GPA is important. Don’t be overly ambitious and overload yourself, but also don’t seek out “easy” choices for course selection.
Honors programs and courses are great choices, especially since most include a writing component. Writing is a critical skill in the law profession, so take every opportunity you can to hone those skills.
Minors and electives are a great way to supplement your degree and provide variety and interesting focus to your major. Minors like English, History, and Religious Studies can be great choices for students who are majoring in a field without a lot of writing intensive courses.
Engage in leadership opportunities through campus organizations and university programs like Ignite and LeaderShape.
Start early getting to know faculty. Your letters of reference are very important, and quality recommendations only come from strong relationships with the referral source.
Your application is reviewed through a holistic process. Your LSAT score and GPA are the most important, but other factors such as your work experience, service and leadership, personal statement, recommendations, and contribution to the school’s diversity also contribute. See your advisor to discuss how you will make all those components the best they can be, and be sure to meet with an academic coach at the Student Success Center to talk about strategies to be a solid student.
You can discuss your personal statement through the Writing Center and in conference with your advisor and references. Get involved in Phi Alpha Delta and the National Black Law Student Association to build a network of fellow students with similar interests.
Your application requirements will vary by school, but you will always need a competitive GPA and LSAT score, personal statement, and letters of reference. That information is all shared through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service. See more here.
The 3+3 program is an accelerated BS to JD program that is an exclusive agreement between the College of Arts and Sciences and the UT College of Law. Students in this program have the opportunity to finish three years of undergraduate work, and if accepted, begin their first year of law school in lieu of their fourth year of undergraduate study.
For more information, schedule an appointment with your advisor. To learn more from UT Law, visit here.