- Should I major in pre-law, and does it matter what I major in?
- What are the important components of the law school application?
- What is the LSAC?
- Should I go to law school where I want to practice?
- What is a dean’s letter or certificate, and how do I get one?
- How should I approach professors about letters of recommendation?
- What is the difference between early decision and early action?
- What is rolling admissions?
- How does a Pass/No Pass class factor into my GPA for law school?
- Will law schools see my senior grades?
- What is law school like?
1. Should I major in pre-law, and does it matter what I major in?
No. You can major in whatever subject most interests you. Law schools care more that you are doing well in your studies than if you are studying a particular subject.
2. What are the important components of the law school application?
Although many law schools use a holistic approach to admissions, your LSAT score and your academic record are typically the two most important components of your law school application.
3. What is the LSAC?
The LSAC is the Law School Admission Council. LSAC is the organization that, among other things, creates and proctors the Law School Admission Test. More information about the LSAC can be found here.
4. Should I go to law school where I want to practice?
It depends. Law schools don’t teach students the laws of a particular state; instead, they teach students general principles of law, rules and exceptions. Many recent graduates find their first jobs after law school through networking and connections made during law school, which often tend to be geographically close to the school. But with more than two-thirds of states adopting the uniform bar exam, it’s easy to make your legal education portable.
5. What is a dean’s letter or certificate, and how do I get one?
Many law schools require a dean’s letter or certification about prior academic and disciplinary history. We can help you with that.
6. How should I approach professors about letters of recommendation?
Professors who have taught you at Willamette tend to be excellent recommenders for graduate school. Be sure to give your professor plenty of time to write your letter. Six to eight weeks should be enough time. You might consider making the request in person and providing your recommender with your resume or a document listing any significant accomplishments while you were in their class.
7. What is the difference between early decision and early action?
Typically, early decision is binding, while early action is not.
8. What is rolling admissions?
Rolling admissions is when a law school reviews files and releases admissions decisions continuously throughout the year.
9. How does a Pass/No Pass class factor into my GPA for law school?
The Law School Admissions Council converts and standardizes all grades on every applicant’s transcripts before sending the transcripts to the law school. If you elected to take a class Pass/No Pass, the Pass grade is not given a value and is not factored into the final GPA given to law schools. A grade of No Pass is converted to an F and is calculated into the GPA. See the Law School Admission Council’s policy on transcript summarization.
10. Will law schools see my senior grades?
Yes. Law schools require a final transcript from each student, typically before the student begins orientation.
11. What is law school like?
Law school is challenging, exciting, intellectually stimulating, and fun. Some law professors use the Socratic method in their teaching, which involves “cold calling” students and asking them questions designed to elicit answers.
The curriculum in law school, especially the first year and a half, is fairly standard across institutions. You can expect to take courses like torts, contracts, civil procedure, criminal law, property, con law, and legal research and writing.
Grading in most law schools is based almost exclusively on one final exam that is either essay or multiple choice (or a combination of the two).