Interested in Applying to Law School? Read This.
Is a bachelor’s degree required for law school? Does work experience need to be an internship experience?
In her latest piece for US News, Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach, an admissions consultancy, answers these questions and discusses pro tips for freshmen considering law school.
IS A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE REQUIRED?
According to Kuris, while typical law school applicants might have a bachelor’s degree, it actually isn’t required.
“As for applying to law school with an associate degree: In general, most law schools allow you to apply without a bachelor’s degree, and most states allow you to qualify for the bar exam without a bachelor’s degree,” Kuris writes.
However, experts warn, it’s important to double check whether a law school is ABA-accredited.
“There are also educational programs that can fast track a bachelor’s degree as well as degree completion programs for students with community college credits,” according to LawyerEdu.org. “One important criterion to keep in mind: choose an accredited school. An unaccredited degree may prove worthless to the law student.”
DO I NEED A LAW-RELATED INTERNSHIP?
Having law-related work experience is always a plus when applying to law school.
However, experts say, if you don’t have it, you can still highlight other types of work experience.
“…what law schools care about most is that you are using your time well, demonstrating your maturity and capability to handle rigorous work,” Kuris writes. “The specifics might depend on your personal situation, which is one reason law schools look beyond your resume to personal and diversity statements and letters of recommendation to see you as a whole person.”
Often times, Kuris adds, having work experience where you demonstrate growth and leadership is more important than your title.
“Rather than obsess over landing an elite summer internship, focus on making the most out of your summer plans,” Kuris writes. “If you thrive in your position, your boss may give you a stellar recommendation letter. Ideally, a law school candidate should have at least one recommendation letter from a direct supervisor or employer outside of school.”
Check out the full US News Q&A here.