What Is Law School?
Law school programs are academic institutions of training for professionals who wish to become practicing lawyers. These programs award graduates with the degree of Juris Doctor (J.D.). Most J.D. programs take three years to complete full-time.
Is Law School Right For Me?
Law school is a major commitment in terms of its academic rigor and cost. It is wise for students thinking about law school to examine whether their interests, experiences, and skills match up with this specific career path. Here are some questions to consider:
- What would I like to be doing following my law degree?
- Who have I talked to who is currently practicing law?
- What practical experiences have confirmed my interest in law?
- What skills have I begun developing that will make me a good lawyer?
For further reading on preparing for law school, please see: Advice I Wish I Heard Before Law School
Researching Law Schools
After considering the choice of pursuing a law degree, the next step is to begin researching schools. There are several places where you can begin researching law programs:
- LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools
- US News & World Report Grad School Rankings - Top Law Schools
Advice For Selecting Programs
- Select about 5 to 6 schools for which to apply.
- Key information you should consider includes all raw information (coursework, admission policies, key faculty, costs, timeline, and outcomes), school location, the median LSAT score and GPA of students who have been accepted into the program.
- Categorize your list of schools into three levels:
- Reach Schools (Level One): these schools have LSAT scores and GPAs that are substantially above yours.
- Match Schools (Level Two): these schools have LSAT scores and GPAs nearly above or below yours.
- Safety Schools (Level Three): these schools have LSAT scores and GPAs way below yours, most certainly allowing you easy admission.
Applying to Law School
To begin the process of applying to law school, create an account with the Law School Admissions Council. The entirety of your law school application will be completed on this system.
Core Elements of the Law School Application
- LSAT score. Find out more about the LSAT at LSAC.org
- Undergraduate GPA.
- Letters of Recommendation. Most law schools expect at least two recommendations, at least one of which is an academic recommendation (i.e., from a college-level instructor who has taught you for at least one course). The other can be academic or professional (for whom you have worked).
- Personal Statement. The personal statement is a two-page essay in which you try to present a more holistic picture of who you are and what motivates you to be a lawyer. Since it is, by definition, personal, everyone will have a different approach and content. Again, pre-law advisors can help guide you with this process.
- Essays, Resumes and Addenda.
For further reading on the law school application process, please see: Law School Application Checklist
Temple Resources: Law School
Temple provides several ways for prospective law students to prepare for law school.
Pre-Law Society. Students can reach out to the Pre-Law Society and faculty advisor Dr. Paul Crowe in preparation for law school. The Pre-Law Society provides opportunities for students of all majors interested in Law to cultivate the skills necessary to be accepted into law school and be successful in the law profession. Please visit the website of the Pre-Law Society for more information on how to join.
Pre-Law Advising. There are also several pre-law advisors housed within the schools and colleges at Temple University. Please consider consulting the designated pre-law advisors for your school or college.
Fox School of Business: Kamina Richardson, Assistant Program Director in Legal Studies (email@example.com)
College of Liberal Arts: Paul Crowe, Professor and Director of the Pre-Law Program (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For further reading on the pre-law advising process, please see: Temple Pre-Law FAQ