No particular major is required for admission to law school.
Students from Defiance College who have attended law school have majored in English, history, communication arts, criminal justice, business administration, and education. The student should select a major of interest and one that is academically challenging.
Regardless of the academic major, it is important to take additional courses which require writing, and others which broaden and enrich one’s background and understanding of United States history and government. Helpful electives are principles of accounting, logic, and argumentation and debate. It is essential also to have earned a 3.5 or higher grade point average in your undergraduate program.
Law School Entrance Examinations
In the Fall semester of the junior year, the student should obtain the booklet published by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). The Law School Admission Council administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), which is required by all American Bar Association (ABA) approved law schools.
The LSAT is offered four times per year. Students are strongly urged to take it in June before their senior year or the next October.
Not only does LSAC administer the entrance exam, it also offers the Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools. The guide assists the student in preparation for the exam, applying to law school, and the study of law. The student’s academic advisor, the Office of Career Development, and the Pre-Law advisor will gladly assist the student at this juncture. Booklets and an LSAT study guide are available in the Office of Career Development.
The LSAT examination should not be taken lightly. It will challenge every student’s academic abilities. Students interested in attending law school should consider intensive preparation for the LSAT well in advance of the examination date. LSAT preparation materials are available through LSAC or retail bookstores. In addition, accredited study courses are available to assist the student. A registration fee is connected with these courses.
It should be noted that the LSAT may be taken more than once. The scores are combined and averaged, however, making it difficult to significantly raise your score on repeated attempts at the exam.
A student interested in law should acquire a solid educational background which includes the humanities, history, social sciences, mathematics, and language skills. English studies are of proven special importance. A recommended program of study for a pre-law student would include courses in literature, speech, a year of accounting, a course in logic, and advanced courses in composition or creative writing.
Many of the suggested classes are offered as a Fall - Spring sequence or as an alternate year offering. Dependent upon the student’s area of study, suggested class offerings may be required as electives throughout the student’s study at Defiance College.
- Reading Comprehension
Courses should be taken to develop reading comprehension and the ability to synthesize abstract ideas and thoughts.
- Analytical Skills
Courses should be taken to develop critical thinking and analytical skills required in the study of law.
- Communication Skills
The study and practice of law requires the professional to express his or her thoughts clearly and effectively. Communication skills must focus on both verbal and written skills.
One exception exists pertaining to the major and course requirements discussed. A student interested in becoming a patent attorney must examine the special requirements imposed by the federal patent bar. The patent bar requires that a student possess a bachelor of science degree in chemistry, engineering, biology, or a similar science or technical area. Furthermore, the student is required to graduate from an ABA accredited law school and successfully complete the patent bar exam in addition to being admitted to a state bar.
After College — What’s Next?
The Office of Career Development at Defiance College offers a variety of information for the prospective law student. Catalogs of many law schools across the country are on file, along with resources to help you write your personal statements. Through a computer program, it is possible to search for a law school which matches one’s criteria for size, location, and available financial aid. The Director of Career Development will help you distinguish between the qualities of law schools and locate the law school that is right for you.
Students should also watch for annual events such as Law Day and law school open houses that are held throughout the academic year.
Being admitted to law school is dependent upon the grade point average (minimum of 3.5) and good scores on the LSAT.
Scholarships, usually in the form of partial tuition grants, are available for top students who apply early. You may be eligible to apply for the Ohio Regents Scholarship, which is awarded each year to one DC graduate who attends a professional or graduate school in Ohio the year following graduation as a full-time student.
Some of the law schools attended by DC graduates include the University of Toledo, Thomas M. Cooley, Capital University, Mercer University, University of Dayton, and The Ohio State University.