The Political Science department houses Dominican’s pre-law advising program. Professor Ann Charney Colmo, the pre-law advisor, provides guidance and resources to any Dominican student in any major who is interested in a legal career.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is one of the most important components of being accepted into law school. This exam consists of six timed sections, five of which are multiple choice. The sixth section is a writing sample. You have 35 minutes to complete each section. One section is always experimental and so won’t be scored, but there is no way to know which section that is.
Unlike some standardized tests, you can prepare for the LSAT. One important element of preparation is practice. Prof. Charney Colmo runs a mock LSAT each spring. The mock LSAT replicates actual testing conditions in every way possible, including timing of all test sections and allotted breaks and the writing sample.
All students who are considering law school should take the mock LSAT beginning in sophomore year, if possible. Use those results to guide your preparations for the next mock LSAT and, eventually, the LSAT itself.
Prospective law students should know that applying to law school is a complicated process. You will need to allow plenty of time to complete the process, as well as a system to keep track of the many deadlines.
The personal statement is an important part of the law school application. Law schools want to know how well you write and how motivated you are. This is the place to convince each school that you deserve one of their admission slots.
Here are some pointers:
- Focus on your strengths – be as specific as possible, using concrete examples that demonstrate the qualities law schools seek: ability, creativity, commitment, ethics and more.
- Be creative – this is your chance to shine.
- Edit carefully – if you plan properly, you’ll have time to let your statement “rest” before sending it in.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation from professors who know you and your work well are another important element of your law school application. Plan carefully who you will ask and allow at least four weeks for them to write the letter.
Provide each of your references with the information they need to write the best possible letter:
- An unofficial transcript
- Your resume, including a statement that you intend to go to law school.
- Refresher information on the courses you’ve taken with this professor, including copies of papers and other written work.
- The law school’s recommendation form – remember to waive your right to access your file to ensure the school treats the letters as candid assessments of you.
- A stamped envelope – always a courtesy! Remind the professor to write the letter on official university letterhead, however.