Requirements for Law School
Minimum requirements for entry to law schools are set by each institution. Law schools take particular account of grades, scores on the LSAT and involvement in extracurricular activities that require responsibility and leadership. Acquiring a broad-based liberal arts education will satisfy the kind of curricular background law schools seek, but students may wish to take courses which emphasize the development of skills in communication, both written and oral, and logical analysis as well as law-related courses.
Planning for Law School
Any time that students have questions about application, testing, or other facets of prelaw studies, they should contact their assigned Career Center advisor for more information. During their junior year, students interested in heading straight to law should begin serious planning for the application process by meeting with their assigned career advisor. General procedures, LSAT advice and timetables are reviewed at this time.
Many students choose not to apply during their senior year, but pursue other interests for a year or two after graduation, then go on to law school. During their senior year, students can meet with their Career Center advisor to discuss their selection of schools, and preparation of essays and applications.
Jurisprudence, Law and Justice Studies
Jurisprudence, law and justice studies is a minor with coursework that will provide you with a foundation for understanding how the theory, practice, and meaning of law stimulates civic engagement. Expect to find classes as varied as Genetics and Society, Constitutional Law, Psychological Bias in the Justice System, and Seminar in War Powers – Law, Policy and Practice.
Strategies for Success
Preparation for law school demands focus on academic achievement, including development of skills in writing, speaking, and logical analysis, but not to the exclusion of other facets of campus life. Prelaw students at Hamilton participate in volunteer organizations such as HAVOC (Hamilton Action Volunteer Outreach Coalition), athletics, student government, and the more than 70 student clubs and organizations that flourish on campus. Moreover, students benefit from cooperative learning as students enrolled in the same courses often study together and contribute to each other’s understanding of the material. Focus on academics and participation in campus life each help to optimize students’ chances for success in entering their career of choice.
- A meeting for first-year students interested in pursuing careers in law is held during the fall semester. During that meeting, students subscribe to an email list so that they can receive information of interest through campus email. After that meeting, initiative is left to the student.
- Students are encouraged to meet with their Career Center advisor at any time. The Career Center has a full range of materials useful to students interested in studying law. Appointments can be scheduled through Handshake.
- Students should actively participate in programs offered by the College and Career Center related to careers in law, for example the Career Center’s Connect Team programming or law school information sessions. Career Center programs can be found in Handshake.
Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center
Many students interested in careers in law participate in the programs of the Levitt Center, Hamilton’s public policy think tank. The center is a resource for students interested in developing the knowledge and skills needed to understand and address persistent social problems in innovative, effective and ethical ways.