Top Ten Tips for Pre-Law Students

1. Assess yourself and your fit for law school

  • What are your motivations for attending law school?
  • How much time—and research—did you invest before deciding to pursue a law degree?
  • What are your career plans after you graduate from law school? For data and information about legal employment within the U.S. check out the National Association for Law Placement
  • Need assistance with this tip? Feel free to schedule an appointment on Handshake with the UCI Career Center's pre-law advisor

2. Familiarize yourself with the application process and the Law School Admission Council's (LSAC) website

3. Attend law school events

  • UCI Career Center workshops like ‘Applying to Law School,' ‘Resume Basics,' and ‘How to Get an Internship' are offered throughout the academic year. Log in to Handshake to register for upcoming workshops
  • The Career Center's Law School Fair occurs annually during the fall quarter and brings law school admissions representatives to UCI
  • Register through LSAC's website for a Law School Forum, a free event that allows attendees to speak with representatives from U.S. and Canadian law schools

4. Conduct research and informational interviews with legal professionals

  • View videos through the Anteater Career Network an online platform that profiles different professionals, including a lawyer
  • In order to conduct informational interviews, tap into your personal network (ask relatives, friends, roommates, etc.) to see if you can get connected with any lawyers; have conversations about what their job and law school is really like
  • Utilize LinkedIn (a professional networking site) to try and connect with current legal professionals to interview, including UCI alumni
  • Also check out professional legal blogs like Blueprint and Law Dragon Campus which both post regularly about tackling the LSAT exam, tips regarding the admissions process, trends within the legal field, as well as the latest news about law schools around the country

5. Gain first-hand experience before applying to law school

  • Getting an internship or job within a legal setting will expose you to the field. What kinds of work do you observe the lawyers within that organization performing? What skills are essential?
  • Find opportunities through Handshake, the UCI Career Center's internship/job search platform
  • Consider applying to other Career Center affiliated programs to gain internship experience UCDC and the Job Shadow Program may offer legal-related opportunities

6. Research available resources, and figure out how you're going to pay for law school

7. Contact and visit local law schools

  • Ask your local law schools about what kinds of financial aid and scholarships are available
  • Some schools like UCI's School of Law offer prospective students the opportunity to sit in on a law school class and receive a tour

8. Meet with the Division of Career Pathways' pre-law advisor

  • Contact us or log onto Handshake to schedule an appointment
  • During an appointment you can get assistance with learning about the overall application process and timeline, in addition to what materials are required for a complete application
  • Discuss whether or not earning a law degree aligns with your future career goals
  • Receive brainstorming tips regarding the personal statement

9. Prepare academically and develop relationships with faculty

  • No particular major is required in order to apply to law school. Rather, maintain a strong GPA and select a major, or elective courses, that help you develop your critical thinking and reading, writing, editing and research skills. Refer to ABA's pre-law section for additional advice
  • Go to office hours and get to know faculty members while you're at UCI because law school applications require letters of recommendation from faculty that can speak to your academic strengths
  • Your professors may also be able to provide feedback about your personal statement

10. Consider joining UCI student groups