Interested in a Legal Career?
Have you ever considered pursuing a career in the legal field? A law degree can be extremely beneficial to you regardless of your intended major. In today’s world, almost all career fields are entangled in legal studies in one form or another. Whether you are interested in business, foreign relations, marketing, medical specialties, or others, you will find a law background to be enormously valuable. Allow yourself to compete in today’s booming job market by starting your legal studies now. Enrolling in the PreLaw program here at UW Oshkosh is a good foundation to start building towards your legal studies ambitions utilizing a wide range of offered courses.
PreLaw Advising contact: Jerry Thomas, Assistant Professor
Office: Sage Hall 4619
Office Number: (920) 424-3456
PreLaw Resources and Opportunities
Law School Information Links
UW Madison Law: http://law.wisc.edu/
LSAC (Law School Admissions Council): http://www.lsac.org
This is the website that you’ll use to register and pay for the LSAT and to apply to law schools.
ABA reports of law schools: http://officialguide.lsac.org
This is useful because it contains admissions data on every law school in the country, including the median LSAT score and GPA requirements, as well as demographics, deadlines and application fees.
State Bar of Wisconsin: http://www.wisbar.org/
American Bar Association: http://www.abanet.org/legaled/home.html
PreLaw Preparation Checklist
The following list is a RECOMMENDED agenda to help organize your process of preparing for law school.
Freshman and Sophomore
- Consult with the PreLaw Faculty Advisor Jerry Thomas – firstname.lastname@example.org; Sage Hall 4619; (920) 424-3456
- Strengthen your critical reading, writing and logical reasoning skills by taking classes that are reading and writing intensive.
- Work to strengthen your GPA, but do not pad the GPA with “soft” courses.
- Investigate potential law schools early. Consider the school’s admission statistics, ranking, specialties, size, location, and costs.
- Consider which faculty members you will ask to provide letters of recommendation. Law schools value letters of recommendation from faculty that know your work well.
- Begin LSAT preparation by becoming knowledgeable about the test’s format and question types. Consider a variety of information including LSAT preparation books, sample LSAT exams, and LSAT preparation courses.
- Consult the Law School Admission Counsel website for LSAT registration, fees, deadlines, and testing center locations. (LSAC.org)
- Register to take the LSAT the summer between your junior and senior year. The LSAT is offered in the months of June, October, December and February.
First Semester Senior
- Review law schools’ information. Complete law school applications and scholarship/financial aid forms. Photocopy all forms before mailing. Keep a record of all correspondence you receive from each law school. Keep close attention to due dates for these forms.
- Begin asking for letters of recommendation from faculty and other individuals who are very familiar with your work and academic potential. To ensure quality letters, make your request at least 4-6 weeks before they are due. Provide your recommenders with the following information in package form:
- LSAT scores if available.
- Most recent copy of your academic transcript.
- Typed resume that summarizes your academic and work experience. Make sure to include all academic honors, community service, special projects and clubs and organizations of which you are a member.
- List of law schools to which you are applying
- If you are not happy with your LSAT score, you still have time to retake the test.
- Write your personal statement/essay. Pay close attention to each law school’s directions for how the essay should be prepared and the information they request. The personal statement is not a “one size fits all” essay. Consult with the PreLaw adviser and Career Services. Pay close attention to grammar and writing style.
- Send your college transcripts to LSDAS. Remember to include transcripts from all colleges or universities where you have taken a class.
- Register with LSAC to consolidate all academic materials for the application process.
- Check LSAC to make sure applications are complete. You may need to send recommenders a reminder about letters.
- All application and financial aid materials should be sent by early December if entirely possible.
Second Semester Senior
- Thank your letter writers.
- Notification of acceptance, wait-listing, or rejection can be as early as a few weeks or as much as six months. Be patient.
- Once, accepted, most schools require a tuition deposit to reserve your seat. Be mindful of the deposit and deadlines.
- Be courteous and notify schools where you have been accepted that you will be attending elsewhere. Inform your PreLaw adviser of your results and your decision.
- After graduating, send your final academic transcript to the law school of your choice.
- Send an e-mail to the Alumni Office informing them of your choice of law school. The university is proud of you and would like to keep a record of distinguished graduates.
Is law school in your future? If so, this page will give you information on getting involved with the PreLaw Society, a student group dedicated to providing information about legal careers and legal education. You’ll also find some helpful resources for applying to law school on this page.
PreLaw Society Meetings
All are welcome, and there is no membership fee to join. Come to ask questions and meet other students interested in law school! Emails will be sent out when a meeting is being held.
Emily Beyer, President
TBD, Vice President
In what should I major as a “prelaw” student?
There is no prelaw major; choose any major in which you can seize a high GPA. Law schools accept students from virtually all majors
Should I participate in many, many extra-curricular activities?
EC’s are not completely trivial. But they’re certainly not going to get you into a school where your LSAT is not remotely competitive.
What GPA and LSAT score do I need to gain admission to law school?
Aim for the highest possible: GPA (4.0) and LSAT score (180) Keep in mind that the LSAT is normalized…
For the average score for accepted students at specific law schools, look in the helpful book U.S. News Ultimate Guide to Law Schools.
What is the LSAT?
The LSAT is an examination administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), intended to provide law schools in the United States and Canada with (to quote the LSAC) “a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants.”
It has five 35 minute sections.
- Reading Comprehension (RC)
- Logical Reasoning (x2) (LR)
- Analytical Reasoning
- One Unscored Section (no one knows which is the unscored section. If you count more than one RC or Analytical Reasoning section, one of those is the unscored section; likewise if you count three logical reasoning sections, one of them is the unscored section. No matter what, do your best on each section, even if one of them may be the experimental/unscored section)
- And one 30 minute section
The writing sample is given in the form of a decision prompt, which provides the examinee with a problem and two criteria for making a decision. The examinee must then write an essay favoring one of two provided options over the other. The decision generally does not involve a controversial subject, but rather something mundane about which the examinee likely has no strong bias.
The writing sample is NOT SCORED! But is scanned and sent along with your score.
The writing sample is essentially an extemporaneous essay, hand-written in pencil at the conclusion of a four-hour examination. Between the quality of the handwriting and that of the digital image, some admissions officers regard the readability and usefulness of the writing sample as marginal. Additionally, schools require that applicants submit a “personal statement” of some kind. These factors sometimes result in admission boards ignoring the writing sample.
How long does it take to study for the LSAT?
A few months before the exam seems to be the general consensus, keeping in mind that collegiate level analysis in humanities classes prepares one for the Reading Comprehension section, that the logic games for the LSAT must be studied prior to the exam, that out-of-school reading is necessary in order to quicken the rate at which one reads text during the exam, and that one must focus upon one’s GPA in order to get into law school. However, some may study for a year prior to the LSAT. This is acceptable for students who wish to employ a less vigorous study for the LSAT. Keep in mind the QUALITY of your study is more important than the QUANTITY of studying you perform.
When do I take the LSAT?
It is offered four times per year: June, October, December, and February.