Handbook

Introduction

Thinking about law school? The NYU Preprofessional Advising Center can help you to make the most of your prelaw experience, and can help you decide when and where to apply to law school.

The Preprofessional Advising Center is your best resource as you prepare to apply to law school, but the ultimate responsibility for your graduate school planning rests with you. Prelaw advisors can describe what you can expect from law school, suggest relevant books and articles, and provide statistical data and information about the probability of your admission to selected schools.  That said, we cannot predict whether you will enjoy the law, whether you will be be admitted to law school, whether you will be a good lawyer, or whether you will be able to secure employment post-graduation from law school.

There is no such thing as a “prelaw major” and, unlike medical school, there are no specific educational requirements for entrance into law school.  Law schools seek students with intellectual ability, well-developed thinking and writing skills, a strong work ethic, and leadership potential.  While at NYU, instead of focusing on specific law-related courses, we suggest that students focus on gaining a set of critical skills that will be helpful to them when they are preparing for the LSAT, going through law school, and working as a practicing attorney.

These skills include, but are not limited to:

  • Writing Skills: courses that emphasize essay exams, research papers that require revising in response to constructive criticism, and oral presentations
  • Presentation and Communication Skills: classes that require in-depth classroom discussion can help students learn to articulate their ideas and think on their feet
  • Analytical Skills: courses that require critical and analytical thinking and problem solving will help students on the LSAT and in law school
  • Critical Reading Skills: classes that engage students in carefully reading, understanding and critically analyzing complex written material of substantial length

Law schools base admissions decisions on a variety of factors. Most importantly, the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score and the undergraduate grade point average will place you within the "ball park" of a particular law school's admission criteria. Beyond the "numbers," however, admissions officers attempt to create a diverse student body composed of interesting individuals. You can distinguish yourself by gaining professional experience (paid or volunteer), participating in extracurricular and community service activities at NYU or in the community at-large, and by getting to know the faculty with whom you are studying and upon whom you will eventually call to write letters of recommendation.

When you are ready to begin the application process, usually in the spring semester of your junior year, our office can provide guidance as you register for the LSAT and make your final choice of law schools. Of course, you must assume ultimate responsibility for learning about the testing and admissions process and researching individual law schools. The most prepared prelaw students utilize all possible resources, including preprofessional advisors, reference books kept on reserve in our office, individual law school websites, and the homepage of the Law School Admission Council.

You are encouraged to review the NYU prelaw website, plan your coursework with your assigned academic advisor, and consult with a prelaw advisor as you begin the law school application process. Please note that NYU alumni are also welcome to utilize the services provided by the Preprofessional Advising Center.