Pre-Law Advising Fordham University provides interested students with a pre-law advising program. Pre-law faculty advisors are available for extensive consultation, and students interested in law school should contact one of the advisors well before their anticipated application to law school. The following faculty members serve as pre-law advisors:
Director, Pre-Law Advising, Lincoln Center Campus:
Hillary Mantis, Esq. firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions About Applying to Law School CHOOSING A MAJOR:
What major should I choose?
Within the liberal arts curriculum at Fordham University, it does not matter which major is selected. Law School Admissions Committees do not have "preferred" majors. You should seek breadth in your undergraduate curriculum with depth in one or more areas (i.e., the major). Political Science, English, History, Economics and Philosophy are some of the more “popular” majors, but they are not necessary pre-requisites to law school. In short, you may major in whatever you wish and think you would do well in.
Courses offered at Fordham on law-related subjects are not necessary for admission to law school, although they may be of interest to you.
Will a double major increase my chances of getting into law school?
No. A double major is fine if you want to do it, but it is not tremendously relevant in terms of law school admissions. DECIDING WHERE TO APPLY TO LAW SCHOOL:
How do I decide where to apply to law school?
In recent years, Fordham students have been admitted to many prestigious law schools all over the country. Some of the schools that students have been admitted to in recent years include: Yale, NYU, Fordham, William & Mary, George Washington University, American University, Boston College, Boston University, Emory University, Tulane, and University of California Berkeley.
Where you will be admitted to law school depends in large part on your cumulative GPA and your LSAT score. To get an idea of what the admissions profile/requirements were for each school, you can link to the Official Guide to ABA Approved Law Schools through the law school admissions council web site, www.lsac.org. Each school will give you statistics on their median, lowest 25th percentile, and highest 75th percentile for both LSAT scores and GPA. While activities, recommendations and personal statements add to your overall package, you should be able to get some idea of where you should apply.
Although the curricula in law school is pretty standard during your first year of law school, it varies somewhat from school to school during the second and third years of law school. You can research each school’s specialty on their individual web sites. Also you should look to see what journals they publish and what clinics they offer—you can see, for example, if they have an International Law Journal if you are planning to go into International Law or Entertainment Law Journal if that is your interest.
It makes sense to try to attend law school in the part of the country in which you would like to live after graduation. With the exception of a few top, national schools, most schools are geared more towards jobs in the immediate vicinity of the law school, and their job listings and recruitment programs may be reflective of the region in which they are located. You should take a tour of the law schools you are interested in to see how you feel when you visit the school. If possible, talk to students and administrators, and sit in on classes if that is available to you.
Most students on average apply to 5-7 law schools; however, some apply to as few as one, or as many as 15. It’s really up to you as to how many schools you would like to apply to, it’s important to have a comfort level. Ideally you would like to apply to some safety schools as well as some reach schools. If you need to, you can apply for application fee waivers through the law school admissions council web site.
What factors are considered in admission to law school?
There are two major factors involved in the law school admission decision - a student's grade point average and a student's score on the Law School Admission Test.
Extracurricular activities should be a part of the student's experience, but they have less significance than the GPA or LSAT. Similarly, recommendations and the personal statement are considered, but they are usually not weighed as heavily as the GPA and the LSAT. Students who work may not have time for outside activities and that is perfectly acceptable. THE LSAT AND THE LAW SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS:
How can I prepare for the LSAT?
Read the LSDAS Bulletin carefully. Copies may be obtained in Career Services, or online at www.lsac.org. Prepare for the test either through studying copies of old LSATs which can be obtained through LSDAS, or by taking a commercial preparation course.
When should I take the LSAT?
The LSAT is offered four times a year, usually in June, September, December, and February. The LSAT should generally be taken either in June after your junior year or in the early fall of your senior year. Prepare early—leave yourself plenty of time to prepare and make sure that you are scoring well on practice tests before taking the actual exam.
Shouldn't I take the LSAT once for practice?
Whenever any LSAT scores for a person are reported, all scores are reported. You should take the exam when you feel you are ready and not for practice. Please note: the way that the scores are reported by schools changed in 2006 so that law schools can now report highest scores rather than average scores for statistical purposes.
What is a good source of information on law schools?
The ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools (a new edition published each year) contains valuable, up-to-date information on law schools including median reported LSAT scores and GPA’s for each school. You can link to the Guide free of charge through the Law School Admission’s Council website: www.lsac.org .You can also link to each law school’s web site and admissions home page through this site.
LSAC hosts a Law Forum held in NYC every fall. Almost all the law schools send representatives, and you should try to attend.
There is also a multitude of information available online. Check the LSAC website, www.lsac.org, has many resources itself and also contains a list of resources available.
When do I apply to law school?
In September a year before you plan to enter law school, you should do three things: (1) obtain catalogues and application forms to explore each school and research their admissions requirements; (2) sign up for the September/October LSAT, if you did not take the June test; (3) consult with a Pre-law Advisor. If you have not already asked Professors for letters of recommendation, you should do that now as well.
Applications should be completed and sent to the schools to which you are applying as early as possible in the fall. Most law schools accept students on a rolling admission basis. It is to your advantage to apply as early as possible.
How do I apply to law school?
Beginning with the 2005-2006 application season, you can apply to ALL ABA-Approved law schools online through LSDAS. You will want to register for the service about 5-6 weeks before your first application is sent out. They will collect a copy of your transcript, letters of recommendation, and personal statement and forward all of these materials onto each law school that you apply to.
What about recommendations?
Though some law schools do not require letters of recommendation (LOR), most do require one to three letters, usually two from professors and one from a dean. If you have already graduated and are in the workplace, you can include a recommendation from your employer.
The people you ask to write recommendations for you should be persons who know you best in terms of your academic experiences, motivation and personal growth and maturity. If you are approaching an instructor, you should hope that he or she will be able to say something about your unique qualities as a student in his or her class, whether you were a participant, and whether you showed more than a casual approach to the academic material. People who work with you in activities outside the classroom should be able to indicate that you were an active leader or participant.
The point is that people who will write recommendations for you should know about those aspects or your life and work which should be included in the letter. It is imperative that you ask for the letter of recommendation in person and give them plenty of time to write it.
The best potential recommenders are faculty members with whom you took more than one course, and who know you well. Letters from members of congress, judges, members of the clergy, and family usually carry little weight.
Give the reference forms or letters of recommendation forms to the faculty members and administrators well in advance of the deadline [5-6 weeks]. Provide a form that can be sent to LSDAS. Students should not ask the recommender to fill out a separate form for each school.
Your request should be accompanied by a list of courses taken, along with the names of instructors and grades. A copy of a paper written for that professor might also be useful, as would a personal statement if you have one prepared.
LSDAS now allows you to have multiple letters of recommendation on file and to select which letters you would like directed to each school that you are applying. What should I say in my personal statement?
The most important thing to remember in writing your personal statement is, that just as important as what you say, is how you say it. In fact, if you do not convey your message in a logical and grammatically correct way, not only will your credentials become suspect, but also your message will be lost or misunderstood. Keep in mind that admission officers do not know who you are. Your statement is their only contactwith you asa person. Through this statement,for better or worse, you will come alive to them. You have to make the statement representative of the best of yourself, which can only be achieved by honest thought and precise language.
You should aim to convince the admission officers of your motivation for the study of law. This might be approached through a statement describing how and when you became interested in law school, and what experience you have had that makes you feel you would be suited for the legal profession. However, you are not limited in your choice of topics at most schools and can write about any subject that you feel would make for a compelling personal statement.
Some details of the college activities in which you participated might also give indication of your motivation and maturity as well as of your abilities. The same is true of work experiences you have had. Try to point out things about yourself and your background that make you unique as an applicant and that may not be brought out in any form except your personal statement. You may bring a draft of your Personal Statement to the Pre-law Advisor for comments and advice.
3-3 Program The 3-3 Program enables students to move on to Fordham School of Law after three years of study at Fordham College. The B.A. or B.S. is awarded following the completion of the first year of law school. Participation requires that students:
Complete all core and major requirements and at least 92 credits before beginning law school.
Have a very strong LSAT score. It is preferable that the LSAT scores be available by December of the academic year in which the application is made.
Maintain a superior grade point average, including transfer credits.
Students who meet these criteria become eligible to be considered for application to the Fordham School of Law during their junior year. Interested students should meet with their academic advisors early on to make sure they complete all necessary undergraduate courses and credits.
Students who intend to participate in the 3-3 program must have an interview with a Pre-Law advisor, who may then forward your name to the Director of Admissions at Fordham's School of Law. Admission is not guaranteed and is very competitive. You should meet Fordham University School of Law’s criteria for admissions which can vary from year to year.
Pre-Law SocietyThe Pre-Law Society is a student organization whose purpose is to gather and disseminate information and services to students interested in law. They offer programs, workshops, and activities throughout the year. Both campuses have a Pre-Law Society which is open to all current students at that campus.