Social Sciences Advising
Center for Advising and Retention
Stay on track with the help of your advisor in the Center for Advising and Retention (CAS). Your experienced advisor is invested in your future and supporting you in your academic goals. Make your virtual or in-person appointment today.
You may come from a varied background, not considered law school before, or have been on a path toward becoming a lawyer for some time. Our pre-law advising information will help you formulate plans for your future career and professional development. Regardless of your major, you might also be interested in pursuing a minor in pre-law at Clayton State. While our minor in pre-law is not a preparatory program for law school and does not guarantee admission to law school, the array of courses it offers will give you a better understanding of basic legal principles and will help you to hone your critical thinking and writing skills.
The required or target LSAT score will vary from law school to law school. You should check with each one. Know the requirements of your top three choices and shoot for the top score. If your score is out of line with your desired school’s requirements and you are quite sure you can do better (perhaps illness hampered your previous performance), only then would we encourage you to re-take the exam.
For more information visit LSAC.org
Be professional in your personal statement. Do not write how you speak. Visit the Clayton State University Writers' Studio for help. Edit carefully. This personal statement gives a unique opportunity to make an impression on the admissions committee. Make sure your entire application package but especially your personal statement is free from grammar, punctuation, typographical or any error of any kind.
Also be mindful of your presence on the Internet. It is not outside of the realm of possibility that a law school will check out your social media presence. Clean up your social media pages or better yet, do not post questionable content. Nothing you ever post on the internet ever fully goes away. Also, let your friends and relatives know that you are applying to law schools and to act (post on your page) accordingly.
In order to not start out your legal career drowning in debt, start looking for scholarships immediately after you know that you will go to law school. An abundance of scholarships are available. The internet has made searching for scholarship very easy. Make it a priority. Just look for scholarships in your spare time—even just minutes a day – you will be surprised at what is out there. Also, the institutions to which you are applying may be able to offer scholarships. Don’t be shy about inquiring as to the possibilities
Be mindful of the cap on taking out federal loans and responsible in taking out the loans. Start saving money as soon as you are sure you will go to law school. Use as much of your own money as possible to pay for law school. Loans can seem like an easy way to pay for law school but those loan balances and interest add up quickly and the day for repayment will come sooner rather than later.
For more on financing a law school education check out the following link: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/paying
Your Clayton State University professors are the best prospects for providing recommendation letters. Cultivate a positive relationship with your professors—especially those who teach classes in your major and in whose class you have excelled. Employers are great prospects to provide recommendation letters as well.
Help the person you would like to provide a recommendation write a stellar recommendation letter for you. Provide the person you have selected with all the relevant information so that he may tailor the recommendation letter to the law school. Provide and fill out LSAC form which must accompany the recommendation letter. Provide the addressed envelope with a stamp. You may even want to forward to him or her a shell of a recommendation letter to get him started. Also, once you have asked someone to submit a recommendation letter on your behalf, do not be shy about following up. If your person is worth having write a recommendation letter for you, he or she is probably very busy. Also, do not rely on one person. Have a stable of people you will ask—have backups for your backups.
Ask for recommendation letters strategically—perhaps get a recommendation letter from an alumnus for the law school to which you are applying.
Law school applications become available between the end of August and the beginning of October. Most schools state deadlines somewhere between February 1 and June 1. However, most law schools start admitting students shortly after applications becomes available (in October and November). It is important to note that many schools use rolling admissions—beginning to accept students as soon as the admissions period begins. If you wait to submit your applications on the deadline (usually in the Spring), many schools may have already admitted enough people to fill their classes and may already have a long waiting list. As a result, unless your application is really stellar (with a GPA and LSAT scores on the high end for that school's admission's standards), it will probably be much more difficult to be competitive for admission late in the application cycle.
There are five ABA accredited law schools in Georgia: Mercer, Emory, Georgia, Georgia State, and John Marshall. A “good” law school is relative. It is important to go to the best law school you can get in to. Another consideration is to go to law school in the state (general geographic area) in which you will practice. Doing so is important for networking and job prospects. It is a fact that almost from the first day of law school, your primary goal (second only to getting good grades) is getting a job. Go to a law school that is highly ranked. At the end of the day, all other things being equal, go to the law school that has the highest ranking. Also, some law schools have reputations for producing lawyers better in some disciplines than others. For instance, some law schools produce better litigators (lawyers who frequently appear in court). If you aspire to be a litigator, give special attention to applying to those law schools.
While it is not necessary to have work experience, we strongly encourage at least some exposure to the work world—especially a legal office. Take advantage of the internships offered here at Clayton State University. The Legal Studies program offers a class where students can intern for school credit.
Life experience is underrated. A portion of success in law school and in practicing law is due in no small part to life experience. Also, seek out and pursue a relationship with mentors. Their value for success in law school and in practicing law cannot be over stated.
The Law School Admission Game - Levine
Law School Confidential - Miller
Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams - Fischl, Paul
Grammar, Punctuation, and Style: A Quick Guide for Lawyers and Other Writers - Cupples, Temple-Smith
Pre-Law Student Perspectives
- What is your advice for undergraduates who think they want to go to law school?
- Was there anything that surprised you about law school when you started as a first year?
- What do you like about law school?
- What has been the most challenging part of law school?
- How has the Clayton State University Legal Studies program helped prepare you for law school?