The “Top 10” List (And One BONUS) Of Commonly Asked Questions:
In Chapter 2 of Law School Bound I discuss the answers to 10 questions commonly asked by pre-law students. The Law School Bound book contains extensive commentary.
Here I will identify the questions and give very short answers. Please note that the answers are my necessarily my personal opinions. Obviously, you should discuss these issues with your pre-law advisor.
Does it matter whether you have a bachelors degree?
A. Yes. U.S. law schools require that you have a bachelors degree. Many Canadian law schools require a bachelors degree. In addition, it is much harder to get accepted to law school without one.
Will a graduate degree help?
A. At many law schools a graduate degree is a positive factor. The difficulty is in identifying the exact way(s) in which it is positive.
Does it matter what “pre-law” school you attend?
A. Generally not. The law schools are much more concerned about your grades.
Does it matter whether you carry a full load of courses during your undergraduate years?
A. Yes. Some law schools have commented directly on this. If you do NOT carry a full load of courses you should explain the reason.
What about trends in grades?
A. Upward trends are clearly positive. Avoid downward trends!
Should you know what kind of lawyer you want to be before you start law school?
A. No, No and No! I advise you to use law school as an opportunity to explore areas of interest.
Should you take law or law related courses during your undergraduate years? What kind of pre-law courses should I take?
A. There is no specific pre-law curriculum. You can and should take the courses you find interesting. It is neither an advantage nor disadvantage to take law related courses. I encourage you to seek out, those and only those courses that you like!
A fantastic resource exploring this question is at:
Can, will or how can my undergraduate program be useful to a legal career?
There is an area of law that governs every area of human activity. Hence, every undergraduate program is, in some way, relevant to a legal career.
Am I required to attend law school in the province or state in which I wish to practice? How do I actually become a lawyer?
A. The answer is NO. Law school is separate from the licensing process of becoming a lawyer.
For U.S. bar admission requirements see: http://www.abanet.org/legaled/prelaw/prep.html
For Canadian bar admission requirements see: http://www.flsc.ca
Will a “law related” summer or part-time job help me get into law school?
A. Probably not. But, it won’t hurt either. Since, you may want to work anyway, why not check one out.
And a Bonus Question:
How should I select law schools?
A. There is no one answer to this question. But, the biggest cost of law school is the time it takes. By taking advantage of joint degree programs you can earn more than one degree during those law school years.
A first article on joint law degree programs: http://www.prep.com/LW.pdf
A second article on joint degree programs: http://osgoode.yorku.ca/media2.nsf/0/e108170e7921e81285256f95005c0dd1?OpenDocument