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Journals

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Pre-Law at Hamilton

March 30, 2008   When I entered college four years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to major in. I also had no idea what I wanted to do career-wise. Around sophomore year, I began thinking seriously about law: a pretty lucrative career that incorporates writing, speaking, acting and possibly my foreign languages. Thus, my research into being "pre-law" began.

Most schools don't have an actual pre-law major or curriculum. You can major in physics, foreign languages or music and go to law school. However, being an English major works to my advantage as good writing skills are really important in law school admissions. Hamilton has a really great advisor at the career center who focuses on helping students get into law school. Jeannine is a very peppy, outgoing and knowledgeable lady who can answer any question you have about LSDAS, the LSAT or personal statements.

The LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) is often more important than your college GPA in getting into law school. Hamilton allows Kaplan to teach their LSAT course on campus, and I took the class with about ten other students last semester. It's nice that the class is right here in the science center for us — there were kids in the class who had to drive from Utica College because it wasn’t offered there. One of my roommates, Katie, was also taking the class. It was great to have someone to study with and vent to about how difficult the test was.

It's also convenient that the actual LSAT is offered at Hamilton in KJ auditorium. The day before the LSAT was one of the most stressful days of my life. I was sure I was not prepared enough to take the test, despite the 100+ hours I had studied. I was so stressed that I went to bed sick at 4 p.m. and didn't get up until 6 a.m. the next morning. My roommates said I looked like death. However, it was very comforting to sleep in my own bed the night before the test instead of a motel room like many other test-takers. In the morning, we had access to our usual eggs-yogurt-oatmeal power breakfast. It was nice to not get hungry during the five hours in the test room. My 14-hour-long nap before the test reenergized me, and I went into the test with a lot of adrenaline rather than stress. This is pretty strange, but I was actually excited to finally take the test.

Now that our LSAT scores are back, I have a much better idea of where I may get admitted to law school. This week I visited the Boston College and Boston University law schools with two of my best friends, Jack and Murph. Seeing the schools with them, rather than with a parent, was nice because we will all probably attend law school in the future. Having their opinions about different aspects of the schools also made me more open to liking the less attractive aspects of the schools (like BU's ugly law tower or BC's less urban location).

Both schools' admissions staff were really friendly, and we were shocked at how excited they were about Hamilton. When we said we went to school at Hamilton College, the Dean of Admissions at BC said, "Hamilton! Oh, that's a great school!" Keep in mind, this is while we were surrounded by kids from UC Berkeley and Cornell. I'd heard before that law schools really like Hamilton students, but experiencing that excitement first-hand was very encouraging. I know I have a better chance of being admitted because my school is respected.

In short, if you're thinking about going to law school, Hamilton isn't a bad place to get your liberal arts degree first.