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Pre-Law Student Checklist

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Interested in law but unsure what you should be doing to prepare?  Review the checklist below to make sure you’re on track for success.


Freshman Year

  • Maintain a high GPA.  Earning excellent grades is one of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for success in the law school admissions process.  You should also look for courses that emphasize writing, analysis, and critical thinking.

  • Research law school and the legal profession.  Start looking into different areas of legal practice and what law school entails.  Reflect on whether law school would be a good fit for you. 

  • Join the Student HenLaw Society.  Sign up for the HenLaw Society RSO on StUDent Central to get emails about upcoming events and connect with other students interested in law.

  • Join the HenLaw Alumni/Student Network.  Register for UD CAN and join the HenLaw Alumni/Student Network under “Groups”.  Get notified about on-campus events, scholarships, and job opportunities, and connect with Blue Hen alumni in law.

Sophomore Year

  • Consider a Legal Studies minor.  You do not need to major or minor in anything specific to get into law school or to do well once you’re there.  However, the Legal Studies Program is a great way to gain exposure to different aspects of law.

  • Look for internships.  Get exposure to the legal profession through real experience.  Stay connected to the HenLaw Alumni/Student Network on UD CAN to hear about opportunities. 

  • Seek mentors.  Use UD CAN, the HenLaw Alumni Network, or LinkedIn to connect with alumni who have careers in the legal field.  Meet and learn from practicing attorneys through informational interviews, job shadowing, networking events.

  • Start building relationships with professors.  The best letters of recommendation come from people who actually know you.  If there’s a professor you like, make an extra effort to distinguish yourself.  Contribute in class, go to office hours, and look for ways to go above and beyond the minimum requirements.


Junior Year

  • Write your law school personal statement.  The personal statement is your opportunity to tell law schools who you are beyond the numbers.  Ask a variety of other people to review it, and leave plenty of time to revise.

  • Develop a study plan for the LSAT.  Depending on your target score, plan to study for 3-6 months before sitting for the official test.  Practice by taking full-length, timed exams, and consider taking the free official LSAT prep course by Khan Academy. 

  • Register for the LSAT early.  Create an LSAC account.  Once you’ve decided when you’re going to take the LSAT, reserve your seat at a convenient test center before it fills up!

  • Ask for letters of recommendation.  Use good judgment when asking for letters of recommendation.  Only ask a professor if you’re sure that they'll write something positive about you, and give them plenty of notice (at least four weeks). 

Senior Year

  • Consider taking time off.  Law schools are beginning to recognize the value of applicants with work experience.  Taking a year or two off to work in a professional environment allows you to build crucial skills for the workplace that cannot be gained through internships or part-time work.

  • Take the LSAT.  Plan on taking the LSAT once, but leave time to take it twice.  Typically, November is the latest that you should take the LSAT if you are applying in the current cycle.  If possible, take the LSAT during the summer before the current admission cycle starts.

  • Register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS).  Similar to the Common Application for college, most law schools require you to use CAS through LSAC to apply.  Make sure to request your transcripts early, as they can be delayed due to high volume.

  • Apply to law schools early.  Applying law school early in the admissions cycle increases your chance of acceptance and scholarship money.  (However, if you apply Early Decision, you are unlikely to get merit-based financial aid unless the school guarantees it to ED admitted students.)  Aim to submit your applications by December.

  • Look for outside scholarships.  There are several scholarships available for students going to law school, including the Jacobsen Scholarship and Ricky Barbour Memorial Scholarship at UD.  Look for these opportunities on the HenLaw Alumni/Student Network on UD CAN.

Check out our FAQ for more information.  If you’d like to schedule an advising appointment, email us at pre-law@udel.edu or book an appointment through Handshake.

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