Welcome to the prelaw world! There is a lot to learn and do, people to meet, and preparations to make for one of the most interesting professions in the world—LAW. I have spent the last 23 years advising students on how to prepare for law school and have been to 116 of the 202 ABA-approved law schools in the US. I have served as a president of a regional organization of prelaw advisors (WAPLA) for six years and as the chair of the national organization as well (PLANC). I know many of the law school admissions deans around the country and work closely with them to discuss the opportunities for UVU prelaw students. I hold many events throughout the year to enhance student understanding of the world in which you are about to enter.
FIRST OF ALL, IT IS NEVER TOO EARLY TO START: Preparation for the rigors of legal education and law practice requires well-developed logic skills. On the Forms page of this website there are tools to help you expand your logic and reading skills, which are heavily tested on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Preparation is best initiated as soon as possible and hopefully long before one takes the actual test. The same is true for high quality law school applications. An early start results in your best application.
SECOND, YOUR COURSEWORK DECISIONS ARE CRITICAL TO GAINING ADMISSION TO THE SCHOOL OF YOUR CHOICE AND THRIVING IN LAW SCHOOL: Taking courses that demand extensive reading and writing are necessary. Spending time in the UVU Writing Labs to enhance your writing skills while getting feedback about your critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills is very important. Do not work towards an early graduation in order to save time, take easier classes so that you can work or play more, or avoid the hardest classes in your major and in GE coursework. Take them as much as possible. Take fewer and harder classes and spend more time than you thought could ever be spent, not only to improve your grades, but more importantly, to enhance your skills.
THIRD, CHOOSE YOUR MAJOR WISELY: While no decisions are made SOLELY based on majors or minors, law deans and admissions committees are looking for evidence on your transcript of coursework that has required extensive reading, research, and writing. Choose a major you love, one that may give you other career paths should you choose not to pursue a law degree, and/or that expand your knowledge of a subject while giving you ample opportunities to read and write and read and write and read and write!
FOURTH, THERE ARE OTHER ACTIVITIES, BESIDES COURSEWORK, NEEDED TO CREATE AN EXCELLENT LAW SCHOOL APPLICATION, SUCH AS: Becoming a TA or an RA for a professor; publishing your best writing in an on-campus journal (there are at least 7 in existence at UVU); completing a legal/non-legal internship; doing community service regularly; taking prelaw courses; and participating in the UVU Christine M. Durham Prelaw Club where you can meet attorneys and professors of law. This will broaden your experience, provide a variety of viewpoints, and deepen your educational preparation for law school. This not only increases your admissibility, it gives you new skills that you will need in law.
FIFTH, NETWORK WITH AS MANY ATTORNEYS AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN: You should work hard to get to know 100 lawyers by the time you graduate from law school. Networking gives you insight into the profession of law that very few have before they graduate. Shadowing attorneys is even better. If you expand your network prior to going to law school, you will be a better law student, get a job more easily when you graduate, and thrive in the profession of law, however you choose to use your degree.