Whether to Apply

Supreme Court chamber

Anyone with a bachelor's degree is eligible to apply to law school; no particular major, minor or set of undergraduate courses is required. The College does offer many courses related to the law, as well as a minor in Crime, Law and Society and a concentration in Politcs, Philosophy and Law, within either the Philosophy or Political Science majors. However, law schools assume that they can train anyone to become a lawyer, assuming that person has strong skills in reading, writing and speaking, along with a strong work ethic.

To assess these abilities, law schools rely heavily on undergraduate grade point averages and a standardized test, the LSAT. A crucial question is thus whether your grades and LSAT scores are good enough to give you a chance to be accepted by the kind of law school you'd like to attend. Strong letters of recommendation, an excellent personal statement and distinctive academic, work or volunteer experiences can all enhance your chances of admission, but your GPA and LSAT score will still play a central role.

Almost every law school requires three years of study as well as heavy tuition payments. Especially at the start, the academic experience of law school is demanding and often intensely competitive. Extensive financial aid is available at many institutions, but in most cases that aid is largely in loans rather than grants or scholarships. It is usually possible to borrow the entire cost of law school (including living expenses), but, of course, that borrowing means debt upon graduation. Such a debt may constrain your lifestyle and choice of employment in significant ways. The following sites offer more information on law school financing: 

Law school is professional school; it is training for a particular career. It is a bad idea to go to law school just to avoid searching for a job, or to continue your studies purely out of intellectual interest. You should go to law school because you want to become a lawyer. Still, a legal career can be quite flexible. There are many kinds of lawyers. Lawyers work in private practice, in both large and smaller law firms, in private industry of nearly every kind, in all branches of government, in advocacy and public interest organizations and in academia. You should think carefully about the kind of lawyer you might want to become. Consider where those lawyers might have gone to law school, what they do on a typical day and how well they are paid. Only then can you decide whether the initial costs of law school, both financial and personal, can be justified by the eventual rewards of your chosen career path. Further resources for thinking about these questions can be found here: 

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