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Grades

Earning good grades in challenging courses demonstrates academic excellence. Compiling an impressive record is a critical first step in the process of getting admitted to the law school of your choice. Avoid using the pass/fail option as it doesn’t give enough information to evaluate your performance in that...

Taking time off before law school

Most people decide to take some “time off” before applying to law school—roughly two-thirds of applicants each year are already out of college, and about half of those have been out for more than three years. People have different reasons for waiting before attending law school: they may crave...

Choosing Courses

The selection of courses that you take as an undergraduate is just as important as how well you do in the courses. Law school admissions committees are looking for students with a broad, liberal arts background. Your General Education requirements will start you off with a good distribution, but it...

Addenda

There are a handful of questions on almost every law school application that require elaboration in an attached statement, or addendum, if the applicant answers the question in the affirmative. The three most common addendum questions involve academic challenges, college disciplinary or criminal records (also known as Character and Fitness...

Choosing a Major

Law schools accept students from a wide variety of majors. There is no pre-law major at UMass Amherst, and law schools do not favor (or disfavor) students who major in “pre-law” or a law-related field. If possible, it is a good idea to pursue a double major, or a major...

Criteria for choosing a law school

What you’re looking for in a law school depends largely on your career goals—why do you want to be a lawyer in the first place? But it also depends on a number of other personal factors, including geographic preferences, intellectual interests, and desired learning environment. The following are...

Undergraduate preparation for law school

There is no prescribed major or set of undergraduate courses for admission to law school. The best guide is to follow your own personal and academic interests so that you will be motivated to excel—in other words, study what you love. In selecting students, law school admissions committees look...

Developing strong writing skills

Strong writing skills are essential for success in law school and as a lawyer. You should make sure that you take at least a few classes in which you will get honest, detailed feedback on your writing. Seek out courses, in addition to your junior writing requirement, where you will...