Career Center


Career Center
315-859-4332 (fax)

Graduate School

Pre-Law Advising at Hamilton College

The Career Center’s Guide to Law School Planning


Working Prior to Law School

If you choose to work for a year or more before law school, the process will be somewhat different. You will go through the job search process during your senior year and then will complete the law school application process while you are working.

Consider the variety of places in which you can work:
  • Large private law firms in metropolitan areas.
  • Many students work in DC or their state government offices before law school.
  • If you want to “do some good” for a year or two before starting law school, jobs in nonprofit organizations like the Peace Corps and Teach For America may be for you.
  • Post-Graduate fellowships in any field. The Career Center website lists over 100 fellowship opportunities in many different industries.

Since most law firms hire in the spring semester, it is helpful to begin networking early with individuals at places that you may want to work after graduation.

  • It will be helpful to take the LSAT while you are still in college even if you are planning to take time off because you will be more in the mind set of studying.

Personal Statement

The time you spend working after graduation will probably provide inspiration for your personal statement, or at least part of it. Law schools will want to hear about what you have done and how you have succeeded in the past year or two.

Letters of Recommendation
  • Like the LSAT, it will be easier to take care of your letters of recommendation while you are still at Hamilton.
  • Ask your recommenders to write letters in the spring of your senior year and upload them to your file Interfolio.com so that you will have them available when you want to apply.
  • The benefit of having your recommenders write letters while you are at Hamilton is that you as well as your achievements are still fresh in their minds.
  • You may wish to ask a supervisor from your job during your time off to write a letter because he or she would be able to attest to what you have accomplished since college that pertains to law school. They should also upload their letters to your file on Interfolio.com.

  • Register for LSDAS in August or September of the fall you wish to apply to law school.
  • Request that Interfolio.com send your letters of recommendation to LSDAS.
  • Ask the Registrar to forward a copy of your transcript to LSDAS.

  • Complete applications online when they are available in September.
  • Update your resume and send a copy with your application.
  • Create a different cover letter for each school to demonstrate that you have taken time to research their institution and why you are interested in their law school.

Additional Information