Join Date: Jul 2007
Post-Graduate Series Part Five: Law School
Post-Graduate Series Part Five: Law School <o></o>
BY DANIELLE LORENZ; MACINSIDERS<o></o>
A popular venture for a lot of students in Political Science and History is to go to Law School. [Insert some anti-lawyer joke here] Like other post-graduate applications, the competition is intense, and many who apply do not get accepted. However, if you are interested in pursuing a law degree you should know what the requirements are for your application.<o></o>
Unlike other universities, McMaster doesn’t offer courses in Criminology, or offer a pre-law program. Mac offers some classes related to law and it is a good idea that you take as many as possible. Students in law school come from a variety of academic backgrounds; and Political Science, History, Business, Philosophy as well as languages are examples of programs you may want to major in. These classes provide a broad general knowledge for what you may need to be a lawyer. <o>
</o> However, if you are thinking about going into a particular kind of law, you will need intensive background in your field. For example, if you want to go into Environmental Law, you should have knowledge of the Environment. If you want to go into Corporate Law, having business knowledge would be an asset. Some law specializations are: Administrative Law, Civil Litigation, Constitutional Law, Corporate Law, Criminal Law, Environmental Law, Family Law, Immigration Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, Labour and Employment Law, Real Estate Law, Securities Law and Tax Law.<o></o>
One mandatory thing for all applications is the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test. The test is a way to measure logical and verbal reasoning skills. The minimum score you can get accepted into Law School with the LSAT is 155; however, it is safer to achieve a mark of 160. The test is marked out of 180. If you are thinking about writing the LSAT, there are many preparation books and test centres you can contact.<o>
</o> Programs in the United States and Canada have the same general application process. You need your LSAT score, and you fill in an online application at the school. Unlike medical school, there is no interview in your application; it is based solely on your application package. If you are accepted your will be notified via a letter in the mail. <o>
</o> One of the aspects to your application is your letters of reference. The number of referees varies by school, but in general you need two or three. Some schools want you to have only academic references, while others want you to have a mix of academic and personal reference. Again, this varies depending on the requirements of the specific school. <o>
</o> Due to the number of applicants that apply for Law School (or any other school for that matter) you may be wondering how you can make yourself stand out from other applicants. Although your LSAT score and your grades have the most impact, you may want to get yourself involved in other activities. You can do volunteer work through campus organizations or ones not affiliated with campus, you can be a member of campus clubs, you can help with committees like Charity Ball, be a Welcome Week Rep, participate on SRA etc. This kind of experience shows that you’re a well-rounded individual, which is something that law schools look for. Many of the applications have space for extra-curricular activities, so it’s best to actually have something to put in there!<o>
</o> What I find is the most discouraging thing about applying for post-secondary education is that you have to pay. Depending on what country and which school you are applying to makes a difference in the application fee you will need to pay. To apply to law school you’re looking at somewhere between $25 and $100, which by many standards is quite inexpensive, although if you are applying to several schools the total starts to really add up. <o>
</o> Another discouraging part of the application for law school is the cost of tuition. If you compare the cost of law school to that of an undergraduate degree you are going to pay somewhere between double and four times the amount. Tuition fees range from approximately $15,000 to $30,000. However, there are many scholarship awards for you, but you must apply for them as well.<o>
</o> If you are seriously considering law school as an option start planning early, as it will benefit you in the end!
Special thanks goes to Lori Lue for her help with this article.
Last edited by lorend : 12-15-2008 at 06:07 PM.