Prelaw

The prelaw program is composed of 18 hours selected to promote skills important for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Since law schools encourage a variety of majors, you will major in a degree of your choosing. Your prelaw advisor will give guidance and advice for course enrollment and assistance in applying to law school. The program gives each graduate access to NU Alumni in the law profession to provide an extra layer of guidance about law school and the practice of law.

Degrees Offered See the program-specific requirements. (PDF)

Minor in Prelaw
Study material for class

Prominent Careers

About 73 percent of American lawyers are in private practice, most in small, one-person offices, and some in large firms. Roughly eight percent of the profession works for government agencies. About ten percent work for private industries and associations as salaried lawyers or even as managers. Approximately, 1 percent works for legal aid or as public defenders, and 1 percent work in legal education. A law school education is a good, solid background for many professions. In fact, many teachers, business people and writers working today obtained a legal education before pursuing their respective careers.

Through the years, Newman University has had a steady stream of graduates who have gone on to law school. Most of the students have chosen to continue their studies at either Washburn University or the University of Kansas while others have chosen out-of-state law schools throughout the Midwest. Many of these students have returned to the Wichita community to practice law.

More Information

Courses for the Prelaw minor and courses for the student's major are delivered in the traditional classroom format.

Consultation with the Prelaw Advisor, for both course selection and law school application, is typically a one-on-one session for the purpose of responding to each student's unique situation.

The prelaw advisor may be the primary advisor for the student. In that case, the advisor would work with the student to plan for course enrollment for each semester. In many cases, however, students may have a primary advisor associated with the major of their choice; then, the prelaw advisor may operate as a secondary advisor, especially to help students in the selection of courses for the prelaw minor.

The Role of the Prelaw Advisor

1. Course enrollment

The prelaw advisor recognizes that there are certain skills, values and knowledge that a student can acquire prior to law school that will provide a sound foundation for a legal education. These include analytic and problem-solving skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities, general research skills, task organization and management skills, and the values of serving faithfully the interests of others while also promoting justice. The prelaw advisor will work with the student in developing an undergraduate curriculum that encompasses these valuable skills necessary to a successful legal education. The prelaw advisor may also recommend additional education opportunities and extracurricular activities that may enhance a student's abilities in one or many of these core areas.

2. Advisement for the law school application process.

The prelaw advisor will also assist the student in completing the steps required for the law school application process. This would include, among other items, preparing for and taking the LSAT, arranging reference letters, developing and writing a personal statement and submission of law school applications.

3. Facilitate exposure to law schools.

The prelaw advisor coordinates campus visits of law school representatives. In past years, representatives from University of Kansas and Washburn University have come to Newman to meet with students. In addition, the prelaw advisor will provide information about opportunities to visit law schools and encourage students to make such visits.

 

Applying to Law School

Although there are numerous factors that a student should consider when applying for law school, the following factors are critically important:

  1. Law school applicants are required to complete the LSAT. The LSAT is a particularly critical component in the process; and decisions about acceptance are often based in large part upon the score. A good score is extremely important, thus students must take steps to prepare for the test.  Preparation can be done individually with the aid of test preparation materials, or students can elect to complete an available test preparation course.
  2. Grade point average (GPA) plays an important part in law school acceptance.  From the very beginning of their academic careers, students should work to obtain the best grades possible to maintain a competitive GPA.  Since law schools review the courses you choose, it is important to choose classes that provide challenges and the requisite foundation for a legal education.    
  3. As a part of the application process students are required to prepare a personal statement.  The personal statement is an essay that provides the student an opportunity to discuss numerous subjects, including: why the student wants to attend law school; why they are applying to a particular law school, etc.  The personal statement is an opportunity to set him/herself apart from other candidates by use and expression of his/her own words.     
  4. Law school applicants are required to obtain letters of recommendation, usually three, as part of the application process.  Students should anticipate early in their academic careers that they will need to ask faculty, employers, former employers, and mentors for letters.  Letters of recommendation are an important tool in the application process because they provide the law school with another person’s perspective of the student’s overall abilities and fitness for law school. At the appropriate time, students should ask references to write letters and provide them with all the material and information that will facilitate the preparation of the letters.

The prelaw advisor can be a source of information and support as students work their way through the process of applying to law school.