|Can I graduate with a pre-law degree?
No. St. Bonaventure University does not offer a pre-law degree. We do offer a minor in Law & Society
which is available to all students and includes many courses suggested for law school preparation by the American Bar Association.What majors will help me get into law schools?
Law schools accept students from any and every major. When trying to decide on a major, select one that suits your interests and strengths. The best guide is your own interest and inclination. You will make better grades in subjects your like. In general, pre-law students should seek to improve their writing, reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and analytical thinking skills through their coursework.
There are important skills and values, and significant bodies of knowledge that you can acquire prior to law school and that will provide a sound foundation for a legal education. These include analytic and problem-solving skills , critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities, general research skills, task organization and management skills, and the values of serving faithfully the interests of others while also promoting justice. If you wish to prepare adequately for a legal education, and for a career in law or for other professional service you should seek educational, extra-curricular and life experiences that will assist you in developing those attributes.
Will a double-major increase my chances of getting into law school?
No. A double-major is fine if you want to complete one, but it is irrelevant in terms of law school admission.
Are foreign languages required for admission to law school?
No. Learning a foreign language can sharpen your analytical skills, increase your understanding of English and enhance your appreciation of other cultures. But, strictly speaking, study of a foreign language has little impact on the admission decision. On the other hand, if you plan to practice international law, or expect to travel internationally, a foreign language may be beneficial. All St. Bonaventure Arts and Sciences majors are required to complete a foreign language through the sophomore level.
How important are extracurricular activities?
This varies from law school to law school but they are usually not a major consideration in admission to most law schools. However, reasonable participation in campus activities can help you develop valuable communication, social, and logical skills. Don't neglect extracurricular activities that will help to separate you from other applicants with similar numbers. Any responsible leadership role you have taken helps to show admissions committees you have varied talents beyond your academic ones. Study abroad, honors you accumulate, work experience, internships—can enhance your application, but not if it is at the expense of your G.P.A.
How early in my undergraduate career should I begin pre-law preparation?
You should start gathering information on pre-law preparation as soon as you begin considering the possibility of a legal career. Whether you are a freshman, an alumni, or someone in between, the Law School Admission Council's website (www.lsac.org) provides useful tips and a checklist for those beginning to think about pre-law options. In addition to reading suggested materials online, you should consider emailing your pre-law advisor and making an appointment to discuss your particular questions and interests.
What should freshmen and sophomores concentrate on?
- Take a wide range of classes to help identify your scholarly interests. Choose your major carefully to ensure that you are selecting something that is challenging, demanding, and interesting to you.
- In your classes, think about how you can develop skills as well as learn content. Explore ways to enhance your concentration, listening, note-taking, test-taking, writing, critical thinking, textual analysis, research, and general communication skills.
- Think of ways to take responsibility for your own learning. Make a promise to yourself to attend all your classes, to come to classes having read all assigned materials, to set up a study schedule for all your classes, and to use time immediately prior to your classes to get focused on the work for the day in each of your classes. By keeping this promise, you are giving yourself the best possible chance to excel at St. Bonaventure.
- Spend some time exploring materials on pre-law preparation, law school, and the legal profession.
- Consider visiting and/or joining a student and/or community group in order to be a part of the larger life of the university and community, but remember that grades (not extracurricular activities) are your priority.
- Make an appointment to meet with the pre-law advisor to get advice and answer specific questions.
- Develop time-management skills to ensure that you still have time for fun as well as work.
Should I go to Law School?
Preparing for Law School
The Application Process
Waiting for a Decision
Paying for Law School
American Bar Association
Boston College Law School Locator
National Assoc. for Law Placement
Law School Profiles
National Jurist Pre-Law Magazine
LSAT Test Prep
Get PreppedLSAT FlexPrep
Financial Aid Finder