Which major should I choose?
Students are often concerned with choosing the "right" major for law school. In reality, there is no required or even recommended course of study for pre-law students. Law schools like to draw their incoming class from a diverse array of academic disciplines, and what will be most critical is that you have done well in a rigorous course of study with a heavy dose of writing. You should, therefore, pick your major according to your skills and interests. Pre-law majors that are designed solely to prepare students for law school are regarded by many law schools as too narrow to provide a well-balanced education; most prefer a broad liberal arts background. A business major or minor is also well-respected and is a good chance to learn some business basics if you plan to go into corporate law.
What sort of skills should I be developing in college?
Writing ability: Writing ability is important in law for many reasons. A successful lawyer must be able to draft clear and precise documents, and to craft coherent and convincing arguments. Expository writing courses and course with expository writing components will help you develop these skills.
Critical thinking: Ideally, all of your academic courses at Yeshiva University, especially Talmud, will help you develop your critical thinking skills. Additionally, a particularly valuable course is Philosophy 1100: Logic.
Knowledge of governmental institutions. Surprisingly, many law schools teach very little about the mechanics of the legislative and judicial processes. It will be useful for you to have some background knowledge of American governmental institutions and processes.
Knowledge of accounting and business finance. Legal education includes the study of business law and tax law. A student with some knowledge of business finance will have an advantage in these courses.
Public speaking. Whether they're preparing a client, in the classroom or negotiating behind closed doors, attorneys need to be able to present arguments clearly and persuasively. Courses in public speaking, communications or drama can help you improve these skills. The Langfan Constitutional Oratory Competition and the debate team can also help you hone your public speaking abilities.
What factors matter most for getting in to law school?
GPA and LSATTwo primary factors affect your chances of being admitted to the law school of your choice: your grade point average (GPA) and your Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score. Law schools vary in the weight they accord to each, but some schools give the LSAT significantly more weight. Thus, it is important both to keep your grades up and to prepare thoroughly for the LSAT. Most schools will take account of trends in your undergraduate performance; if you had a bad first year and then improved your grades, it will be noted.
Other Admission FactorsPersonal and academic integrity: The College is required to submit a recommendation to each law school you've applied to. That recommendation will include any violations of Yeshiva University's social and academic integrity codes. In addition, the law school applications require you to report any criminal convictions.
Letters of recommendation: Many law schools require two or more letters of recommendation. These letters should be from professors or employers who know you well enough to comment on your abilities, work habits and character. Vague letters from people who do not know you well are not helpful. In almost all cases, two of the three letters should be academic.
Work experience: Law school are interested in work experience that shows motivation and the capacity to succeed in a non-academic environment. Especially if you are waiting several years after graduation to apply to law school, as many students do, this work experience will be considered.
Personal statement: Your personal statement gives you the chance to set yourself apart from other applicants. What accomplishments have you made? What unique experiences have you had? What difficulties have you overcome? Use the personal statement to show the admissions committee what is special about you. Make sure to show the personal statement to your pre-law adviser. For more help with the personal statement, please view the "Resources" page.
What do I need to know about the LSATs?
All American Bar Association-approved law schools require applicants to take the LSAT.
Registering for the LSAT: Applicants can register for the LSAT by visiting the Law School Admissions Council site.
Timing of the LSAT. The law school admissions test is given four times per year: in June, late September/early October, December and February. Generally, students should take the test in June after their junior year, or October of their senior year, whichever affords more opportunity to study. The June test has a distinct advantage for sabbath observers. It is offered to everyone on Monday and therefore is a disclosed exam, i.e., about a month after you take the June exam, you will receive a copy of the exam with correct answers together with your answers. This is critically important information if you decide to retake the LSAT. Other LSAT exams are given on Saturday with special accommodations for sabbath observers to take a substitute exam the following Monday. These administrations are not disclosed. The December test comes at a time when students are generally swamped with coursework, and the February test is too late to meet the deadline of many law schools.
Plan to take the exam once only. Many law schools will take all your scores into consideration when making an admissions decision, even if they are only required to report the higher score.
How Do I Prepare For The LSAT?
Some students choose to study for the LSAT on their own. This requires a lot of self-discipline. If you choose to go this route, you can purchase test prep materials from lsac.org. Most students, however, find that the structure of a course works well for them. There are many companies that offer courses in the New York area. Each company has different strengths and weaknesses and may work well for one student but not another. Students should investigate each company and make an informed decision about which course best meets their needs. Yeshiva University does not endorse any particular course or company.
What is the proper timetable to prepare for law school?
First Year/ Sophomore YearSchedule appointment with the pre-law adviser by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring of Junior YearRegister for June LSAT and CAS.
Summer After Junior YearTake June LSAT. Obtain law schools catalogs and admissions materials from LSAC, which has links to all schools.Receive LSAT score (four weeks after test). Register for October LSAT if appropriate.Request letters of recommendation
Fall of Senior Year Meet with pre-law adviser to review selection of schools and work on personal statements. Take October LSAT if appropriate. Prepare applications according to deadlines.
Spring of Senior Year Choose from your acceptancesComplete FAFSA for financial aid (opens Jan. 1)
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