Thinking about law school? The NYU Preprofessional Advising Center can help you to make the most of your prelaw experience and help you decide when and where to apply to law school. The Preprofessional Advising Center is your best resource as you prepare for law school, but the ultimate responsibility for your post-graduate planning rests on you. Prelaw advisors can help you determine whether law school is the right fit for you, assist you in the application process, and help assess you chances of admission into your desired programs.
Unlike the prehealth track, there is no “prelaw major” or specific educational requirements for entrance into law school. The Preprofessional Advising Center advises prelaw students to pursue majors and/or minors in areas of their interest, as a strong academic performance during a student’s undergraduate is the best way to ensure acceptance into law programs. 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 admissions decisions are based on a variety of factors. Most importantly, the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score and the undergraduate GPA will place you within the "ball park" of a particular law school's admission criteria. Beyond metrics, admissions officers also take a holistic look at every application and try to create a diverse student body composed of interesting and accomplished individuals. Prelaw students are encouraged to gain professional experiences (whether they be paid positions, internships, or volunteer work) during their time as an undergraduate. These experiences do not necessarily need to be within the field of law, however work experience in the field of law, communications, or government are generally looked favorably upon by law programs. Applicants can also distinguish themselves by getting involved with in on-campus extracurricular and community service activities.
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, individual law school websites, and the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Homepage.
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.