Interested in Law School?
You could be early in your college career, just starting to think about legal professions as an option. Or had your heart set on being an attorney your entire life. It's also possible you are near the end of your undergraduate degree and only recently decided on a new direction toward the field of law. In any of these cases, SUNY Plattsburgh is committed to provide you direction as to the next steps in your pre-law considerations.
Applicants to law schools come from a variety of undergraduate majors, not just one
Partially for that reason, there is no single path or person dedicated to pre-law. Students benefit from working closely with their respective faculty, advisor, and Career Development Center counselors -- including connecting with alumni in the field -- as they plan for the next steps in their education and career.
Some students follow a more traditional pre-law path, with majors such as Political Science, Philosophy, Communication Studies, or History. It is not uncommon for law school applicants to study in other disciplines such as music, anthropology, literature, or ecology. (In fact, it's possible that the issues raised in your major -- such as gender & women's studies, environmental science, economics, etc.--were what ignited your interest in causes and issues with legal implications.)
It is important to law school admissions that you immersed yourself in a "rigorous course of undergraduate study" -- one that challenged and interested you, and facilitated a broad based knowledge of the world (like your General Education program does).
Regardless of your undergraduate major/minor, there are key knowledge and skill areas that best prepare you for the demands of law school, including
- Oral & Written Expression: analytical/critical thinking, speech/rhetoric, logic/argumentation, technical writing.
- An Appreciation for History: history of the US, history of political ideals, role of economy in history, etc.
- An Understanding of People & Societies: human behavior, societal behaviors, (inter-)cultural or global issues.
Try Some Exploring...
On the Web: For the most up-to-date testing (LSAT) and Credential Assembly (LSDAS) registration information, go to http://www.lsac.org/
At any stage of law school planning, it's good measure to spend time surfing key websites that describe law school admission trends, timelines for planning & applying, and acceptance rates/average scores for schools of interest.
Your first online stop should be the Law School Admission Council site - an essential portal of information. There is an especially helpful link on "Thinking about Law School" for those of you in the early stages of planning. On the LSAC site, you should set up a secure account that gives you access to:
- Test dates, locations, and fees
- LSAT preparation
- Law school research
- LSAT test registration
- Law school applications
- Ordering publications
- and much more!
Consider these opportunities also as you plan for law school:
- Talk with your academic advisor about your interest in law school; your future path may affect your curriculum choices, such as how you spend your elective credits
- Regardless of your major, consider minoring in Legal Studies (read the overview and click on Course Curriculum), or one of a variety of other minors that focus on foundations (writing, thinking) or connect to a law specialty of interest to you (e.g., women's issues, environment, business)
- Call or visit our Career Development Center (518) 564-2071 for advice or pre-law counseling on pre-law work opportunities, personal essay writing, interviewing skills, and establishing good connections as you build your LSAC credential file
- Call or visit the Academic Advising Office (518) 564-2080 if you are at a curricular crossroads and want to discuss possible directions
LSAT Testing Schedule
The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is administered four times each year (June, Sept/Oct, December, February). The published test centers closest to Plattsburgh are Montreal, QC Canada (1:15 plus border time); Middlebury College, VT (~1:30); Clarkson U in Potsdam, NY (<2hrs); St Lawrence U in Canton, (~2hrs); Vermont Law School (So Royalton), SUNY Albany, and Albany Law School (each ~2:30hrs).
Office Location: Feinberg 101-103
Phone: (518) 564-2080
Fax: (518) 564-2079