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What to do in undergrad for law school

offtoutofftout Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
Hi guys! I'm a high school senior that will be going to UT Austin next year. I'm going in undeclared because I'm not sure what I want to major in, but it will probably either be History or Economics.

Recently, I've done some research and have decided I want to be a lawyer (not sure what type yet but I know I want to help people). I've taken a practice LSAT online and got a 152 on it, so I hope I can significantly raise my score in the next four years.

So, is there anything else I should do in undergrad to prepare myself for law school other than studying for the LSAT and working hard for a high GPA? Is it possible to obtain a legal internship in undergrad? And could I have a shot at Harvard/Yale/Stanford Law if I work hard or will a degree from UT limit me to public law schools?

I'm also open to any general advice :) Thank you!

Replies to: What to do in undergrad for law school

  • wustl93wustl93 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    I am an attorney and here is what I recommend to young people who say they want to go to law school. You don't have to have any certain major to get into law school, but you definitely need to take plenty of classes that will hone your analytical skills, critical reading skills and persuasive writing skills. A logic class will help with the LSAT, although I think I read somewhere that a few schools are using the GRE, so keep an eye out for whether that becomes a trend. Also, have an idea what kind of law you want to practice and a plan for how to get a job in that area of the law, and have those things in mind before you commit to going to law school. A lot of students say they want to go into law so they can "help people," but it's helpful to identify who it is you want to help. That determines what kind of law you'll want to focus on and where you should look for clerkships and full time employment upon graduating. For example, the underserved (think Legal Aid), small business owners (think corporate law and maybe some estate planning), the elderly (there's a whole field devoted to elder law), and the list goes on. It would be rare for you to get a legal internship (if you mean like a clerkship) as an undergrad, but you might be able to get a job as a file clerk or a runner in a law firm, which will give you some exposure to the field in general. Hope that helps. Good luck, and feel free to PM if you have any more specific questions.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,415 Senior Member
    Law school admissions is mostly a numbers game, but just two numbers matter: GPA+LSAT.

    UT is a great school, and will not prohibit you from say, Harvard Law.

    Just get A's, and lots of 'em. Forget LSAT until after you graduate. Then prep hard and ace it.
  • TwistedBlissTwistedBliss Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    Your major won't really matter when you're applying, but here's some advice:
    If you want to learn how to write, critically analyze various types of information and from many sources, consider multiple interpretations and varying narratives, and ask and answer complicated questions creatively through research, major in history. You will learn incredibly value skills that will help you throughout your entire law education and career.

    And as bluebayou said, a lot of law school admission is just a numbers game, so LSAT and GPA are most of it. UT Austin is still a good school, so you should have no problem getting into a T14 school.
    Check out this link for major/LSAT stats: http://www.phil.ufl.edu/ugrad/whatis/LSATtable.html

    You may also want to play around with this site: https://officialguide.lsac.org/release/ugpalsat/ugpalsat.aspx
    Some schools put a greater emphasis on GPA, others on the LSAT.

    Why not major in history and minor in economics? I'd personally recommend exploring the Philosophy of Law minor at UT Austin when you get a chance, but a double major or a minor is something to consider.
  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,100 Senior Member
    The advice above is great.

    Figure out who you are (Myers-Briggs is helpful with this), what motivates you (what are your deepest values) and how you like to work (alone, with others, nights, mornings, etc.). Generally what you voluntarily do with your time in college is a good predictor of these things, and is a good predictor of what you'll enjoy in a career (and what you won't enjoy). For example, if you can't wait to join the Finance Club and love working in study groups, you'd probably be good in an in-house legal job in an investment fund.

    These days, top law schools prefer applicants who work for a few years after college, so plan on that.

    Thus plan on getting As and doing activities that help you find out the things I list in the first paragraph. The LSAT can come later, after graduation.

  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 2,269 Senior Member
    It might be helpful for you in deciding to go into law to do some internships. There are law-related jobs in the court system, social justice groups, and identity groups. Also if you want to do Big Law then see if you can get a summer internship as a paralegal so that you can see what happens inside of a law office. What they teach you in school and what you see on TV is not very closely related to what you do in practice as an attorney. Also, JD degrees can be used for other positions beyond attorney. You may want to explore that too. It's a big wide world out there.
This discussion has been closed.