Is Law Right for Me?

The Preprofessional Office Prelaw department was created to advise all students who are considering becoming a lawyer. We can help answer just a couple of questions, provide suggestions to help you determine if attending law school is right for you, and even walk you through the application process. If you are feeling unsure, this is a great place to go for more information and to help you make an educated decision about your future.

Is Law for Me?

You may be a big fan of Law & Order. Maybe you like to argue. Maybe you want to make a lot of money. These are not reasons to go to law school.

Ask yourself why you are considering law school: “How deep is my interest in law?” “Do I like to research, read, and write?” “Am I willing to go into a sizable amount of debt?” “Will law school and being an attorney satisfy my professional needs and ambitions?”

Not sure how to answer these questions? We can help! We offer opportunities to speak with prelaw advisors, get in contact with current law students, and attend student development courses. Additionally, we counsel about specifics such as interning at law offices, obtaining letters of recommendation, performing community service, and becoming involved in any other extracurricular activities that will help you improve your chances of gaining admission.

We are available to all BYU students and alumni. We strongly encourage you to come in and meet with our advisors to help guide you through both your undergraduate and application experience.

For detailed information about whether or not law school is right for you click here (Is Law School Right for Me? )
For more prelaw handouts click here (Handouts)
For all other questions including info about our office click here (Contact us)

Law School 101

To attend law school you must first receive a four-year college degree. You can study any major you wish, but pay attention to maintaining a high GPA. Many students apply to law school the fall of their senior year of college. Additionally, with your application you must take the Law School Admissions Test (the LSAT).

Law schools are always looking to put together a diverse class. We encourage you to get involved to diversify and expand your resume (and your life!). Join a club, get some work experience, volunteer or work in the legal field, and involve yourself in service and leadership.

Law school is a three year program that generally begins in August and runs during the fall and winter semesters for three years. For the first year, most students are enrolled in “core” legal classes that help teach you how to “think like a lawyer.” During the second and third years of law school you are encouraged to take classes in which you are most interested.

We assist you by providing several student development courses designed to help you improve your skills before enrolling in law school. We strongly encourage you to come in and meet with our advisors to help learn more about law school.

For detailed law school 101 information click here (Law School 101)
For more prelaw handouts click here (Handouts)
For all other questions including info about our office click here (Contact us)

Undergraduates

BYU does not offer a prelaw major, and there is no required coursework for law school, but we do offer some student development courses to help students decide if law school and a legal career is right for them. These courses offer a broad overview of the legal profession or delve deeper into topics such as legal literature, constitutional research, mediation techniques, and others.

We also strongly encourage that you take classes to hone your reading, writing, and research skills while here at BYU. While law schools will accept any major, these skills will be particularly helpful in taking the LSAT and in your law school and legal experiences.

For detailed information about prelaw classes click here (Recommended Prelaw Classes)
For detailed information about undergraduate preparation click here (Considering Law )
For more prelaw handouts click here (Handouts)
For all other questions including info about our office click here (Contact us)

Nontraditional Students

It’s hard to define just what a “nontraditional student” is, but generally this can include factors such as age, delayed enrollment, working full-time, and having dependents other than a spouse. If you have or are considering starting a family during law school, some questions need to be considered when deciding how to approach your law school experience: “How will law school affect our family finances?” “If both spouses will be attending school, how will we manage childcare?” “What are our priorities in getting through law school? (class rank, debt, getting through quickly, location, etc.)” “Will my spouse be working? Will I work after my first year?”

Nontraditional law students can also include students with disabilities. Schools want to help their students and will generally do whatever is reasonably necessary to help students have an equal opportunity for success. See the handout linked below for specific internet resources.

Remember, we want to help you succeed! If you are a nontraditional student, we can help you plan and prepare for law school, regardless of your situation.

For detailed information about Nontraditional Law Students click here (The Nontraditional Law Student)
(Nontraditional Careers with a Law Degree)
(International Students)
For more prelaw handouts click here (Handouts)
For all other questions including info about our office click here (Contact us)

Internships

Each fall and winter semester, we place 20-30 prelaw students with various types of law firms in Utah County to shadow attorneys. During this internship, you are able to see what attorneys do on a daily basis and become involved in a few of their projects, all while receiving course credit from BYU. The legal internships we provide are not paid, though in the past some students who have done excellent work for a firm have been hired on completion of their internship.

Visit our office to sign up for the pre-law newsletter (or email us at prelaw@byu.edu), or go to our Facebook page and “like” BYU Prelaw. These are our best ways of communicating with you about when and how to apply for legal internships. Below you can find more information about receiving credit, filling out paperwork, and how to proceed if you want to set up your own internship.

For detailed information about Pre-law Legal Internships click here (Prelaw Legal Internships)
For more prelaw handouts click here (Handouts)
For all other questions including info about our office click here (Contact us)
Get an application (Here)

Joint Degrees

A joint degree program allows you to pursue a law degree and a graduate degree simultaneously. With this option you would complete both degrees a full year faster than if you were to pursue them separately. Students must apply to each program separately, which means students must also take the GRE/GMAT along with the LSAT.

There are a couple things to keep in mind when considering joint degree programs. While joint degrees can be advantageous for some jobs and may broaden career opportunities, they do not necessarily make a job applicant more qualified than another who does not hold a joint degree. These programs take extra time and extra funds, and pros and cons should be weighed carefully in making a decision.

The handout linked below contains specific resources about schools and their degrees offered, as well as those offered here at BYU.

For detailed information about joint degrees click here (Researching Joint Degrees Programs)
For more prelaw handouts click here (Handouts)
For all other questions including info about our office click here (Contact us)

What should I be doing?

Applying to law school can be a confusing process, but we can help you plan what you should be doing to become a competitive law school applicant. You may have decided long before college that you would like to attend law school, and so you have strong grades, are involved in extracurricular activities and have been on track for law school. However, you may not decide until your junior year that you would like to pursue a legal career and feel rushed to get on track to apply. We can help you plan for the LSAT, get your letters of recommendation, review your personal statement, and all the other aspects of the application process- no matter what stage you are in!

Generally, we encourage freshmen to focus on doing well in classes and taking advantage of any opportunities to get involved. Sophomore year is a good time to begin getting involved in PLSA activities, sitting in on some law classes, and taking some prelaw student development classes. Juniors are encouraged to identify professors they would like to write letters of recommendation or evaluations for them and start building a relationship, study for and take the LSAT, and begin working on resumes and personal statements. Seniors need to focus on applying to schools, deciding where to attend, and paying deposits.

For a detailed Pre-law Student Timeline click here (Prelaw Student Timeline)
For more prelaw handouts click here (Handouts)
For all other questions including info about our office click here (Contact us)