Pre-Law at Belmont
Belmont University encourages students to prepare for law school during their years of undergraduate education. The University offers several opportunities for students to plan for their future careers in the field of law. Belmont University offers a pre-law student organization, convocations and speaker panels, graduate and law school fairs, and pre-law advising.Useful Pre-Law Websites: American Bar Association and Law School Admission Council
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Should I choose a specific major in order to go to law school?
A. Law schools accept students from a variety of disciplines. Belmont University encourages students to choose majors that best suit their own talents and interests. Many law schools prize diversity of disciplines and do not seek out any particular major or minor. Students are advised to take a variety of classes during their time at the University. Classes that require critical thinking and writing skills will be useful to students in their preparation for law school. While no classes are specifically required or advised, there are numerous courses that might be helpful to prospective students. Some students might opt to take some of the following classes:
|Introduction to Sociology (SOC)||American Literature (ENG)|
|Introduction to American Government (PSC)||British Literature (ENG)|
|Introduction to Philosophy (PHI)||Economic Inquiry (ECO)|
|Intermediate / Advanced Composition (ENG)||American Experience (HIS)|
|American Constitutional Law (PSC)||American Political Thought (PSC)|
|Crime and Deviance (SOC)||Criminology (SOC)|
|Sociology of Prisons (SOC)||Voice and Diction (COM)|
However, please keep in mind that there are many possibilities for coursework. Talk to your advisor in your home discipline about your options. You may also decide to meet with a pre-law advisor.
For more general information, go to the ABA website.
Q. Are there any student organizations on campus that cater to students with interest in pre-law?
A. Belmont Pre-Law Society is a student organization on campus that sponsors law-related convocation programs and the law school fair. The society can be found on facebook under the student group name Belmont Pre-Law Society. The organization advisors are Dr. Mitch McCoy (Foreign Languages) and Professor J. Haskell Murray (Management and Business Law).
Q. What factors do law schools use to determine acceptance?
A. Law schools use many factors to decide acceptance into their programs. Initially, grade point average and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores are a good indication of the likelihood of acceptance. But student activities, recommendations, and student essays may also weigh in decisions made by law schools. Students are encouraged to keep up their grades and prepare for the LSAT. But students can also better their chances of acceptance by making themselves stand out through extracurricular activities, club memberships, leadership roles, and strong essays. The personal reflection essay is an opportunity for students to express themselves and differentiate their application from hundreds of others. All of these components are examined by law schools in the admissions process.
Q. When should I take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)?
A. Students should take the LSAT in June following their junior year. At the latest, student may take (or retake) the LSAT in the fall of their senior year.
Q. How should I prepare for the LSAT?
A. When choosing classes to take at Belmont, students should pick course work that provides them with analytical thinking skills and writing abilities. Students should also consider taking numerous practice tests in order to prepare for the LSAT. Doing so will acquaint students with the format of the test. There are many books available that students can use to prepare for the exam. These books are widely available and relatively inexpensive. Some students opt to take commercial LSAT preparation courses. Many of these classes do improve scores. Representatives are often on campus and can provide students with materials and information regarding course schedules and cost. These commercial courses often guarantee results and many students have positive experiences, but these courses can be expensive and time consuming. Students can prepare on their own with past test forms and preparation books available in bookstores and libraries.
Q. How do I apply to law school?
A. Prepare for and take the LSAT in June after your junior year. Approach your professors for recommendations. Many professors have several requests each semester, so you will need to give them plenty of time to prepare their recommendations. Most accredited law schools use electronic applications. In order to apply, go to www.lsac.org. The website is incredibly user-friendly and makes law school application very simple.
Click here to view the PDF version of the Pre-Law brochure.
For pre-law advising inquiries, contact the following advisors:Dr. Mitch McCoy (Foreign Languages)
Dr. Susan Jellissen (Political Science)
Professor Rush Hicks (Music Business)
Professor Cheryl Slay (Music Business)
Professor J. Haskell Murray (Management and Business Law)