Pre-Law Advising

If you are thinking about applying to law school in the future, you may find it helpful to attend programs sponsored by the Pre-Law Advising Network (PLAN), Cornell and ILR Career Services, the Office of Student Services, or one of the numerous pre-law organizations such as the Minority Undergraduate Law Society (MULS).

Things to Keep in Mind

  • There is no pre-law major at Cornell, nor are there courses that all pre-law students must or should take. Course work that develops critical thinking, analytical skills, writing and quantitative abilities all serve as strong preparation for the study of law.
     
  • Activities and work experience are important although not key factors in law school admissions. Decisions on most graduate school applications are more heavily based on an applicant's GPA and LSAT score. Faculty recommendations, typically two or three, are also important in the process, particularly when a student is being considered for law school scholarships.
     
  • An increasing number of ILR graduates decide to work for 1-3 years before applying to law school, a pattern reflected campus-wide as well as nationally. Over the past two years (2012 and 2013), ILR's Career Services Post-Graduate Report reflects this trend, showing only 12 percent of ILR graduates going directly to law school.
     
  • Application materials should be submitted to law schools through LSAC in the fall semester, usually between Thanksgiving and the published deadlines, with Early Decision/Early Action deadlines being sooner. Keep in mind that law school decisions may be made on a rolling basis, which means that early submission of applications is preferable.