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Pre-Law at Cottey

Description

Students planning to attend law school will find that Cottey’s liberal arts curriculum prepares them well. They are encouraged to choose a major that challenges and interests them and in which they will excel. The American Bar Association (ABA) does not recommend any particular major before attending law school. They do, however, encourage students to gain exposure to the legal profession through internships and shadowing or mentoring opportunities with lawyers.

Some Cottey students opt for majors traditionally associated with preparation for law school, including Business, English, International Relations, and Liberal Arts. It is just as acceptable to major in fields such as Criminology; Environmental Studies; Organizational Leadership; Health and Biomedical Sciences; Psychology; or Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

Law Scholars Program with Indiana University

An agreement between Indiana University and Cottey College provides talented Cottey students and alumnae the ability to attend Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law as Cottey Law Scholars. Cottey College students or alumnae admitted to Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law will be eligible for a formal mentorship program and a minimum scholarship amounting to approximately 50% of tuition ($45,000 for in-state residents and $75,000 for out-of-state residents).

Students admitted through this program will have a minimum UGPA and LSAT score at least equal to the median for the entering class of the prior year. (In recent years the median UGPA/LSAT for Maurer Law School’s entering class has been 3.72/162). The expectation is for Maurer Law School to accept two Cottey applicants each year (assuming sufficient qualified applications), and any student admitted through this collaboration will be referred to as a Cottey College Law Scholar during her time at the law school.

Please contact Cottey pre-law advisor Dr. Sandra Chaney at schaney@cottey.edu for details.

Four-Year Undergraduate Checklist for Law School

Freshman Year

□ Begin taking core courses to improve skills in writing, reading comprehension, and critical analysis.

□ Begin maintaining a strong GPA. To apply to law school you will need at least a 3.0, but higher is better.

□ Meet with the campus pre-law advisor: Dr. Sandra Chaney, RBAC 218; tel. extension 2176; schaney@cottey.edu

□ Examine the American Bar Association’s (ABA) website for details on undergraduate preparation for law school.

□ Investigate whether or not law school is truly right for you and explore its financial costs.

 

Sophomore Year

□ Decide on your major and explore possibilities for an internship during your junior year to gain first-hand knowledge of the type of work involved in the legal profession. Consider summer work in a legal or social justice capacity.

 

Junior Year

□ Set up an internship, preferably one familiarizing you with the legal field.

□ Create your free account with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). This non-profit organization provides invaluable information about preparing for law school. Through LSAC you will later register for the LSAT and submit your application to law schools. LSAC also has information about law school forums that you may attend, either in person or online, to meet law school representatives and learn about the legal profession.

□ Investigate law schools that are a good match for you using the ABA’s Official Guide to Approved Law Schools and by visiting the websites of law schools you are considering. Law schools publish their criteria for admission (GPA, LSAT scores) and their areas of specialization. The ABA’s list of approved law schools is available through their website.

□ Consider Cottey’s Law Scholar Program at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. To be considered, be admitted to Maurer School of Law (accepted students’ median undergraduate GPA: 3.72; and median LSAT score: 162 of 180). If accepted, Maurer provides a mentor and a minimum scholarship of 50% of tuition (valued at approx. $45,000 over 3 years for in-state residents and $75,000 over 3 years for out-of-state residents).

□ Register for the LSAT by the end of your junior year. To do this, you must create an account with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) by visiting their website. The LSAT is administered several times a year. Specific test dates are listed on the LSAC website. You must register to take the LSAT in advance. It is advisable to take the test in June (after your junior year) so you can apply to law school early in the fall when there are fewer applications for more spaces. This allows you to take advantage of most law schools’ rolling admissions. If you score poorly, you can take the test again in the fall. If you wait until December to take the LSAT, it may be too late to be accepted to law school the following fall term. Most schools will have already admitted the next year’s class. The fee for taking the LSAT is $200. You may take the LSAT no more than three times in one year (testing cycle runs July – June), no more than five times in the current and past five testing years, and no more than seven times over a lifetime. Do not take the LSAT as if it were a practice test. Take it only after you have seriously studied and practiced. The LSAC website provides free tools for studying and taking practice tests. All of your LSAT scores earned in the prior five testing years will be reported to the law schools to which you apply.

 

Senior Year

□ If you did not take the LSAT in June after your junior year, or scored poorly on it, take it in the fall. To do so requires registering for the test in advance, before returning to Cottey for your senior year.

□ Upon receipt of your LSAT score, review your selection of law schools. Begin obtaining letters of recommendation from faculty who know you well (a supervisor, too, perhaps). Properly complete all forms. If your GPA is below a 3.0 and you did poorly on the LSAT, consider alternatives to law school.

□ Using your LSAC account, register and submit your law school application and supporting materials to LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Most ABA-approved law schools require the use of the CAS; the fee for using it is $195. Through the CAS you will complete an electronic application to law school and submit your transcript, letters of reference, the all-important personal statement (for guidance with this see Dr. Chaney), and other materials. After submitting your complete application, the CAS sends it to the law schools to which you apply. For more information on the CAS and additional fees, visit this portion of the LSAC website.

□ Expect to hear law school admissions decisions beginning in late fall and through the spring. Be patient. And be honest. Failure to supply complete and truthful information will prevent you from admission to law schools in the US and can result in disbarment if discovered subsequently. Save all important forms and correspondences between you and law schools. If accepted, look into financial aid and housing as soon as possible. Do not miss financial aid deadlines. Most available aid comes from law schools, and usually is awarded on a first come, first served basis.