Pre-Law Advising

LAW

Advisor: Dr. Nicholas Steneck 
nsteneck@wesleyancollege.edu

Career Description

A juris doctor (J.D.) degree leads to a broad range of careers that impact people’s lives. Lawyers help with buying homes, writing wills, prosecuting and defending criminals, creating business contracts, and attempting to protect people from litigation. A law degree may also open up law-related careers in government, business, higher education, health care, communication, and numerous other fields. Legal practice is intellectually challenging and requires the use of ethics, reasoning and judgment. To practice law, students must typically complete an undergraduate degree, earn a JD degree from an accredited law school, and pass their state's bar examination.

Becoming a Lawyer

No particular pre-law major is required for entrance into law school, but a pre-law minor is strongly recommended. Students are encouraged to choose a plan of study that builds a strong foundation of academic skills and relevant experiences as preparation for legal education. Law schools are looking for students that have developed exceptional evidence-based analytical writing skills. They also value students who demonstrate the ability to think critically, conduct sound, ethical research grounded in real world issues and problems, and who communicate clearly and concisely, both in writing and verbally. You should choose a major you enjoy, and one in which you will excel. In addition, having a pre-law minor will strengthen your application to law school. Admission to law school is competitive and undergraduate grades matter a great deal, as does a strong Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT) score. Whatever major you choose, pick courses that will allow you to develop strong logical reasoning, critical reading, writing and problem-solving skills. 

Coursework

Law schools differ in their preferred coursework, so make sure to check with the institutions to which you are applying, to verify that you have the undergraduate academic background they prefer or require. Consult the pre-Law Advisor, Dr. Nicholas Steneck, for assistance with coursework, planning, and timeline. 

 
Pre Law Minor Coursework
YEAR ONE Fall Semester YEAR ONE Spring Semester
Gen Ed Electives/ENG 111 Gen Ed Electives/ENG 111
Foreign Language Foreign Language
WISE 101 COM 202
POL 115 Major Coursework
Major Coursework -
YEAR TWO Fall Semester YEAR TWO Spring Semester
Gen Ed Electives/HIS 130* Gen Ed Electives/HIS 135*
Major Coursework Major Coursework
ACC 201 POL 320
YEAR THREE Fall Semester YEAR THREE Spring Semester
Major Coursework/Gen Ed Electives/PDE Major Coursework/ Gen Ed Electives/PDE
BUS 310 COM 340* or PHI 223* or PHI 224*
YEAR FOUR Fall Semester YEAR FOUR Spring Semester
Major Coursework Major Coursework
Gen Ed Electives Gen Ed Electives
COM 340* or PHI 223* or PHI 224* COM 340* or PHI 223* or PHI 224*

*Choose two courses from this list, for a total of 6 hours

This course list is for a MINOR; YOU MUST HAVE A MAJOR in order to graduate from Wesleyan College. 


Four Year Timeline

First Year  
  • FALL: Meet with first year and pre-law advisors to map out curricular plan with law school focus
  • SPRING: Enquire about internship opportunities; contact Wesleyan's Center for Career Development for assistance 
Second Year
  • FALL: Research 3-5 potential law schools to familiarize yourself with cost, LSAT scores, application deadlines, etc. 
  • Meet with pre-law advisor to finalize coursework plans and discuss any questions about potential internships, LSAT, etc. 
  • SPRING: Engage in internship or PDE
Third Year
Fourth Year
  • FALL: Take LSAT (if unable to do so in summer)
  • Apply to law schools well in advance of the deadline
  • Prepare for interviews
  • SPRING: Finish Wesleyan coursework strong 
  • Prepare for matriculation into law school

 

 


 

Resources for Pre Law Students

The resources below are helpful for students preparing for a career in law. Wesleyan's Center for Career Development can help students with deciding if this path fits them, as well as with strategic career planning, creating resumes/CVs, writing personal statements, and more.

  • Law School Admission Council (LSAC) This organization provides resources for LSAT preparation and law school selection, as well as runs the Credential Assembly Service through which you submit all law school applications. Additionally, the LSAC maintains a database of scholarships and pre-law programs for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Scholarship info
  • American Bar Association While primarily for law students and attorneys, this organization has some good resources for exploring careers in law and trends in the field.
  • Council on Legal Education (CLEO) This nonprofit arm of the ABA provides resources to students and works to diversify legal education.
  • LexisNexis - How to Prepare for Law School
  • Mercer University School of Law Exploration Days Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law hosts several visit days, and the Center for Career Development periodically provides transportation to these visit days.
  • Michigan State College of Law Webinars This site links to recorded webinars about law school admissions, the LSAT, financing your legal education, and more.


Gaining Relevant Experience as a Pre-Law Student

Law schools want evidence that students have developed exceptional critical thinking, analytical, research, and oral/written communication skills. These can be gained in a variety of settings, so don’t limit yourself to just interning at a law firm. Also consider opportunities where you can hold leadership roles, or where you conduct extensive research, synthesize large amounts of information, write for a variety of audiences, and analyze information or data. Nonprofits and advocacy organizations often offer experiences where you can practice these skills. Wesleyan's Center for Career Development can help you prepare a resume and practice your professional introduction as you get ready to contact organizations about shadowing, volunteer, or internship opportunities.

 

Local/Statewide Opportunities
  • Bibb County Superior Court Judge Verda Colvin hosts student interns as she has availability. Contact Wesleyan's Center for Career Development for assistance.
  • Use Purple Briefcase to search for employer profiles of advocacy organizations, attorneys, and current internship listings. Sometimes, employers have a profile on Purple Briefcase and you simply need to contact them directly to inquire about internships. Employers who have hired interns or posted positions with us in the past include Middle Georgia Justice; Georgia Women (And Those Who Stand with Us); Bennett Law & Mediation Services LLC; Hogue and Hogue LLP; and the National H.I.R.E. Network
  • Intern with local government offices such as the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office, the Macon Bibb County Government - Veterans Court, the Macon/Bibb Circuit Public Defenders Office, or the State Court of Bibb County. Contact information for these departments is on Purple Briefcase as well as on their websites. They may not have an official internship or volunteer posting, but generally welcome inquiries from interested students.
  • The Georgia Legislative Internship Program is a full-time, paid internship at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. The internship runs from early January through March every year, and is open to current juniors and seniors. Applications are usually due in October each year for the upcoming spring. You must receive college credit for this internship, and because the work is full-time you are not usually able to take other classes. Depending on the position, interns have the chance to perform research, media assistance, legislative tracking, constituent services, bill summary writing, and more. This is a fantastic opportunity for students interested in government, law, and policy. Interested students must submit their completed application to the designated college coordinator in the Center for Career Development. Refer to the program website and contact the CCD if you’re interested in applying.

 

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