- Career Exploration
- Jobs and Internships
- Graduate School and Pre-Professional Programs
- International Study and Work
- Public Interest Opportunities
Keep yourself informed! To receive direct information about special law-related events and opportunities, select all "law" categories under Career Preferences in your Quest profile.
And be sure to watch the Career Center calendar for information about law school workshops, visits by law school representatives, and other events.
Is there a "Pre-Law" course of study?
Students often ask if there are specific courses or a particular course of study they should take in order to have a better chance of getting into law school. The answer, on the surface, is no. Although LJST, Political Science and Economics are three of the most common majors for applicants, law schools accept applicants regardless of their major and across the full spectrum of majors. They do, however, like to see a combination of strength in one or two major areas, along with a good breadth of other course choices. If you are intent on attending law school, choose courses which encourage your life as a reader and a thinker--law schools choose their students based on evidence of “being able to do well in law school,” which is sometimes interpreted as “being capable of thinking like a lawyer.”
One very important element of your law school application will be your resume, as an indication of the non-academic work and activities which, along with your coursework, make up who you are as a law school candidate. Become actively involved in the things which truly interest you, but beware of more casual “dabbling” in activities just to beef up your law school resume. Law schools are interested in seeing “the whole person,” and will appreciate a background which shows depth and commitment to the world around you.
Should I apply to law school now or later?
Think carefully about this decision -- circumstances vary from student to student.
If you're feeling unsure as to whether or not you wish to attend law school the fall after you graduate, it may be best to give yourself time before going through the law school application process, which is expensive and time-consuming. Consider carefully whether your senior year academic commitments and other activities might be compromised by this process -- applying to law school in your senior year is often considered to be as much work as taking an additional course.
If you're considering waiting to apply, you should know that, historically, people who have been out of college for a year or more have a slight edge in law school admissions - law schools have appreciated candidates who have a bit more experience and maturity. However, Amherst's graduating seniors do very well in the applications process, so don't let this deter you if you genuinely wish to go right on to law school.
Many seniors apply to law school knowing that they want to defer. Many law schools don't like this practice much, and some offer deferrals only for compelling reasons. (You must check with individual law schools about their deferral policy – these can vary widely from school to school.) It is considered better to wait to apply until the year before which you want to begin law school, for a number of reasons. Obviously, there are circumstances in which a graduating senior would want or need to defer a law school acceptance, but, in general, it is better not to apply with deferral as a goal.
How do I go about the application process?
These web pages should provide most of the information you need to understand the process and complete your application. The Prelaw Advisor is available to talk with you about questions specific to your own situation and to assist you in many ways. Read these web pages thoroughly. If you have further questions, make an appointment with the Prelaw Advisor by calling the Front Desk of the Career Center, x2265, or drop by during the Prelaw Advisor's Open Hours from 2 - 4 p.m. on Thursdays during the academic year.