Question: I am interested in applying for law school. What advice do you have for me?
Answer: I get this question quite often, especially from people who have an interest in agricultural law. A law degree opens up a great number of doors for graduates and law school was a great experience for me! Here are a few pointers for potential law school applicants.
1. Chose a major that you are interested in. Many people are surprised to learn that you do not have to be a “pre-law” major to go to law school. There is, in fact, no required major. My degree is in Agribusiness Farm and Ranch Management and I had fellow students with degrees in history, theatre, speech, literature, and elementary education. The key is to find a major that interests you so that you do well and have the GPA you need for that law school application.
2. Do well on the LSAT. The LSAT is the admissions test for law school. I will not sugar coat it…your score on this test is important, so you want to do well. There is a “mock LSAT” offered on most college campuses once each semester. I highly recommend participating in this. You actually take a mock exam and it is scored for you. This will be a good baseline for you to know where you are and how much studying you need to do. There are numerous LSAT books that have practice tests in them. I highly recommend taking as many practice tests as possible before the real deal. There is also an LSAT prep course offered, but since I did not take that class, I cannot speak to how useful it is.
3. Research the schools that you are interested in. There are a lot of great law schools out there, but it is important to know what you are looking for. If you are interested in ag law, you probably want to go to a school that offers courses in that area. Each law school has its own strengths, so it is key to do your homework in deciding where to apply. Once you have a pile of acceptance letters, I also recommend trying to visit your top two or three schools to try and get a feel for what it would be like to go there. When I was looking at schools, I knew right away after visiting one of my top options that I would not fit in well there and would not be happy.
4. Use your resources (this means email me!) I can’t tell you how many people helped me during the law school application process. A number of law students, attorneys, and judges all gave me helpful advice and support during this time. From what I have seen, this is the norm in the legal community, so it’s a great idea to ask for advice from your contacts. If you are interested in a certain law school, contact an alum from that school. If you are interested in criminal law, talk to a criminal lawyer. As for me….I am a firm believer in paying back the kindness that I was shown, so if you are interested in ag law, or have any questions about law school in general, please feel free to drop me an email anytime and I will be happy to help in any way that I can!