The Law School Track
For those students who wish to attend law or graduate school immediately after graduation, it is especially important to complete any significant extracurricular activities by the fall of one’s senior year so that they can be noted on your applications and in your letters of recommendation.
Law school applications will be made in the fall semester of your final year. The application will require letters of recommendation from three professors (full-time faculty, not adjunct faculty), and you will need to have taken the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) by the end of the fall semester. The application will also require a personal statement, and you may be able to complete other activities not listed below that will help you write such a statement. For example, if your goal is to become a lawyer specializing in the environment, a record of environmental-oriented service activity or a science minor could give your personal statement credibility. Be sure to discuss such possibilities early on with your faculty advisors.
First and Second Years
- Register for the Political Science department’s VSpace site (see Erik Trump).
- Complete as many of the Political Science required foundation courses as possible.
- Introduce yourself to the Pre-Law advisor (Robert Lane). Look at sample personal statements. Discuss ways to make yourself an attractive law school candidate.
- Introduce yourself to your other professors. Seek advice about fulfilling your law school dreams.
- Consider taking Robert Lane’s “Law School Preparation” course (1 credit) in (fall of your second year).
- Once you have completed 40 credits, consider applying for a Roberts Fellowship (leadership training and travel). Applications are made in winter semester.
- If you will be a true junior in the fall, consider applying (winter semester) for Robert Lane’s annual fall trip to the Chicago Law School Advisors Conference. The trip is paid for by scholarship and offers a great opportunity to get information from law school representatives and visit Chicago-area law schools.
- Consider taking Robert Lane’s “Law School Preparation” course (offered in fall only).
- Meet with Pre-Law advisor and get advice about studying for the LSAT. Study!
- Meet with professors from whom you plan to seek letters of recommendation. Talk to them about your law school plans and solicit their advice.
- Get a “graduation audit” from the Advising Office and meet with the Political Science department chair to make sure that you can graduate on time (late fall).
- Complete an internship with an elected representative (may do in spring or summer).
- Consider a one-credit internship (PS396) in a legal setting. See Robert Lane.
- Apply for Robert Lane’s Chicago trip (winter).
- If you are prepared, take the LSAT during the summer.
- Begin the law school application process at the start of the fall semester.
- Meet with Robert Lane to review the application process.
- Take the LSAT (be end of fall semester)
- Solicit letters of recommendation from your professors.
- Take courses that will develop your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.
- Plan to apply to law schools after graduation? Solicit letters of recommendation before you graduate.
- Apply for graduation (at the Registrar’s Office) in the fall semester.