Pre-Law

IUPUI Pre-law science student
~Parvinder Nijjar
2012 Alumna | JD Student @IU McKinney School of Law

Interested in a Career in Law?

The School of Science office for Pre-Professional & Career Preparation (PREPs) will support you throughout the process of preparing for law school.

From advising you on pre-requisite courses and professional development activities to helping you through the application process, PREPs can assist you in every step.

Admission to law school is very competitive. You need to plan thoroughly from the start to be successful. The links below include detailed information on everything from the courses to the application process.

If you are an IUPUI School of Science student, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment to meet with a pre-professional advisor. The Make An Appointment link is on the right!

 

Academics

Law schools require no particular major, and there are no prerequisite courses.  It is recommended that potential applicants include courses that emphasize writing, research, critical thinking, and analytical reading.   In addition, consider courses that develop analysis, argument, and quantitative skills.   Consider taking some upper level courses in liberal arts such as Political Science, Economics, and Sociology. Law schools seek broad diversity among applicants; including diversity of majors. 

Your GPA is by far more important than your major.  Choose a major that you thoroughly enjoy, one in which you can excel and one that will give you an alternate career or graduate study opportunity should you change your mind about law school.

Entrance Exams

The Law School Admission Test-LSAT evaluates applicants in the areas of reading comprehension, critical reasoning, logical analysis and writing. The 3 ½ hour exam is the single most important element in your application. At most law schools it is weighed more heavily than your GPA.  This score will also largely determine the level of any financial aid you receive.

The exam is offered in February, June, October, and December. While the October (and less so, the December) exams are fine as far as the timing of the submission of the application goes. Take the LSAT when you are ready, but if possible make plans to take it in June after your junior year. Note that the February exam scores arrive too late for most, but not all, law schools.

Gaining Relevant Experience

Gaining experiences prior to law school can include volunteer work (can be very important to some law schools, especially those that stress service), internships, employment, work in student clubs or organizations, sports, etc.  Activities need not be law-related. Law schools prefer activities that let you develop communication and leadership skills and provide exposure to different cultures.

The professional development activities that applicants bring to a law school are often discussed in the personal statement and interview.

The Application Process

With rolling admissions at most law schools, applying by Thanksgiving is usually beneficial.   The latest you can submit material without fear of being late is around January 1st.  Note that by the time deadlines arrive the school may have relatively few openings left.  Most law schools say that submitting your material at least 6-8 weeks prior to the published deadline is advantageous.