Welcome to Fall 2017!

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umass prelaw (12)

Welcome to UMass, whether it’s for the first time or for another great year!

In this note, you’ll find all you need to know regardless of where you are in your consideration of and preparation for a legal career: what you should be thinking about at this point, and how to get the information and assistance you need. It’s all organized by your current needs, so scroll down to find the section(s) you’re looking for.

I’m applying this fall for Fall 2018 admission to law school!

You’ll find detailed information about the entire application process right here on the Pre-Law website. Bookmark it, and refer to it often. But if you have any questions or doubts about any aspect of the process—large or small—just send me an email. I’m always happy to help.

I also offer feedback on your personal statement, other essays, and resume, as well as help in deciding where to apply, and, in the Spring, which admission offer to accept. When you need more than a simple answer to a straightforward question, just schedule yourself for an appointment and we’ll talk.

Remember: all of my advising services are available to alums as well as current students. If you’re no longer in the local area, we can schedule a phone meeting. (If you’re an alum without access to SPIRE, please just email me for an appointment.)

Take note of opportunities to meet with law school representatives to gain additional information: the law school forums in NYC (Oct. 20-21) and Boston (Nov. 10), a mini law school fair right here on campus (Oct. 30), and several visits from individual law school reps (all listed on the events calendar here).

Follow the UMass PreLaw Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep up to date on additional opportunities, including admission rep visits to campus, law school open houses, and news about legal education, the law school application process, and the legal profession.

I’m graduating in December or May and I want to find a law-related job.

A law-related post-grad job is a great way to help you decide whether law is the right career path for you, before you invest a lot of time and money in law school. Depending on your college or school here at UMass, you have a variety of resources available to you in your job hunt:

The UMass Career Services Office should be your first stop. Check out their website for hours and the different services and resources they provide.

For those of you in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, check out the Career and Professional Development services and the SBS Career Explorer tool.

Isenberg students can obtain assistance from the Chase Career Center.

Other college and schools also offer career advising and resume assistance—ask in your respective advising center.

And look for a workshop coming this Fall specifically on the post-grad legal job search.

Don’t forget to sign up for LinkedIn, and set up a professional-looking profile. All of the offices above can provide additional help in creating your LinkedIn profile, and in using it to the best advantage.

LinkedIn is one of many ways you can identify and connect with alums in law who might be helpful to you in your job search. The alumni tool is the best way to do that. If you haven’t yet, join the over 700 UMass alums in law in our PreLaw/Lawyer-Alum Networking group. See below for some additional networking options.

I’m a sophomore or junior, and I want to make sure I set myself up for a great law school application.

First thing to do is to check out the UMass PreLaw website pages on undergraduate preparation for law school.  These pages are extremely comprehensive, and will provide you a lot of information regarding what you should—and should NOT—be thinking about.

One of the primary activities you’ll want to undertake is researching legal careers to learn more about lawyers really do (and whether you’ll like it). The two best ways to do this are (1) to obtain a law-related internship, and (2) talk to as many lawyers as possible.

For internships, start with the resources listed above, and also look for the occasional announcement via the PreLaw blog and social media sites. More resources and tips are listed here. Remember that law-related internships won’t necessarily help your eventual application to law school, but they will absolutely help ensure that your decision to attend law school is better informed.

To talk with lawyers, connect via LinkedIn (see above) or attend one of the many career panels or speed networking nights we schedule throughout the year. Subscribe to the Events listings to keep up with all the opportunities.

The Alumni Association’s Alumni Advisor Network is a fantastic way to connect with alums in a wide variety of fields, and to get some free expert advice.

Finally, there are over two dozen lawyers and law school grads right here on the UMass campus! Appearing soon on the website: a full list of those stealth JDs and their bios. There’s a huge range of experiences and backgrounds represented among them, and you should be sure to take advantage of this great campus resource.

I’m an entering freshman or transfer student, and I’m not yet sure what I should be asking you. Am I way behind?

Welcome to UMass!!

And no, you’re not behind! There’s no set schedule for applying to and attending law school—in fact, more than two-thirds of applicants work for one or more years before they apply. So take a deep breath.

What this means is that you’ve got time to get used to college (if you’re a freshman) or UMass in particular (if you’re a transfer). And you should take this time! This is a tough transition for most people, and it deserves your full attention.

When your adrenaline is returning to normal levels, check out this blog post I wrote for NSO (in case you missed it). It gives a full rundown of the opportunities available to you here at UMass, and what you’ll want to focus on this first year.

For all of you, it’s important to stay connected the Pre-Law Advising Office.

Follow UMassPreLaw on Facebook and Twitter
I use the UMass Pre-Law Advising Facebook page to share information from the blog, from a range of law-related sources, from law schools, and from other offices on campus. If I think it’s going to be useful or of interest to someone considering law school, I post it on Facebook and/or tweet about it. Sometimes both, sometimes one or the other, so it’s a good idea to subscribe to both. Make sure you interact occasionally (“like” or share posts, for example) with the Pre-Law Facebook page—if you don’t, FB’s algorithm will drop the page’s update from your news feed.

Pro tip #1: Hover over the “Liked” button on the FB page, until the drop-down menu appears. Then click on “Get Notifications.”  This will ensure you get a notification every time I post something, just like every time your parents tag you in some old, embarrassing picture from grade school. Only better.

Pro tip #2: If you’re applying to law school this year, you should also follow the pages and/or Twitter accounts of all your target law schools. Many schools often post updates with helpful information about the application process, scholarship opportunities, or events on their campuses that can help give you an idea of whether it’s the right school for you.)

Add yourself to the email list
I promise I won’t spam you. Once or twice a month, I use the list for general updates and reminders, and occasionally for important time-sensitive announcements. Make sure you’re receiving these!

Share the joy of pre-law info and advising
I regularly do presentations for or with the Commonwealth Honors College, the Student Legal Services Office, and the Career Services office; in dorms, for clubs, and at majors meetings in a number of Departments.  Invite me to speak to your group!

Let me help you promote your law related event or activity
Just send me the info, and I’ll post and share it right away.

Here’s to another great year—go UMass!