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Pre-Law Information

There are at least five variables that come into play when law schools evaluate prospective students: GPA, LSAT scores, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and valuable life experiences such as internships, jobs, extracurricular, and volunteer activities. There are other factors that might play into the equation, depending on the particular law school.

When reviewing an applicant's academic record, law schools look closely at rigor of course selection, and GPA earned. Therefore, choose a major that excites you so that you will do well and enjoy your time at Trinity. Rather than trying to figure out what the admissions committee wants, it is best to study subjects you feel passionate about and in which you can excel; earn excellent recommendations from professors, employers and internship sponsors; and prepare yourself thoroughly for the LSAT.

The best preparation for law school is taking undergraduate courses in many different areas that are academically challenging. No specific majors or courses are required or even suggested before you enroll. Because your law courses will require you to read, analyze, and write, you should be sure to take many courses that give you practice at those skills. Admissions committees prefer that applicants major in traditional liberal arts and sciences fields, and sometimes look with disfavor on candidates who design their majors or choose more modern or progressive majors.

Study abroad, internships, and work experience that show significant responsibility can enhance your application. Extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership abilities can also have this effect.

While law schools do not require you to have legal experience, an internship in a legal setting can provide you with the hands-on experience and access to practicing attorneys to help you assess whether law school is the right decision for you.

The following list of skills and knowledge areas recommended for law school have been defined by the American Bar Association:

WHAT SKILLS DO I NEED TO SUCCEED IN LAW SCHOOL?

Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills

Includes critical thinking, tolerance for ambiguity, ability to structure and evaluate arguments, ability to apply principles or theories to new situations and developing solutions to new problems.

Critical Reasoning Skills

Includes experience reading and critically analyzing complex texts, whether in literature, politics, economics, history, or philosophy and the ability to read and assimilate large amounts of material in short amounts of time.

Writing Skills

Ability to express oneself clearly and concisely, mastery of language, grammar and syntax. Includes analytical and interpretative writing and writing works of substantial length.

Oral Communication and Listening Skills

Ability to speak clearly and persuasively, to understand and interpret others’ communications quickly, and to respond in an organized, critical, and composed manner.

Research Skills

Ability to complete projects involving substantial library research and the analysis of large amounts of information. Skill at planning a research strategy, analyzing, organizing and presenting a large amount of material, as well as familiarity with computerized tools of research.

In general, you should consider taking courses in the following areas, as your major permits: English, Literature, History, Political Science, Philosophy, Economics, mathematics, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, non-Western studies, languages, natural sciences.

 


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