Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should I choose a law school on the basis of law school rankings, such as the ranking published each year in U.S. News and World Report?
  • Is it important to apply early to law schools, or can I wait until the published deadline for applications and simply ensure that I apply just prior to that published deadline?
    • It is important to apply as early as possible (without rushing your application and making it less competitive because you rushed). Plan to take the LSAT early and submit your application early. Law schools receive a high volume of applications and begin reviewing files (and extending offers) well before their published deadlines for application.  Thus, if you apply just before the published deadline, you are applying for a smaller number of still available seats than would be the case if you had mailed your application in earlier.
  • When is the best time to take the LSAT?
    • The most important factor to consider is your preparation.  Do not take the LSAT if you are unprepared.  However, you should plan your preparation time carefully so that you are peaking in time for the June LSAT before your senior year.  It is best to be prepared to take the     LSAT early so that you can turn in a polished, competitive application well before the published deadline for applications.
  • What should I choose as a major if I want to go to law school?
    • Unlike some preprofessional (e.g., premed) programs of study, pre-law preparation does not require any particular major or set of classes. You should choose a major which will both challenge and interest you. For more information, read Basic Tips on Preparing For Law School.
  • Can I find sources of information dealing with minority students and law school admissions?
  • I graduated from UNM some years ago and I'm thinking of making a career change; will law schools view me unfavorably in comparison with younger students who are still enrolled in an undergraduate program?
  • Where can I get information to help me in evaluating my LSAT preparation options?
  • If I have time to consult only three sources on pre-law preparation, which three are the most important to read right away?
    • While it is difficult to generalize, I do think all pre-law students should become familiar with the following three sources:
      • The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) web page. LSAC's web page includes the Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, an encyclopedia of details on individual law schools, including such information as GPAs/LSAT scores of the first year class, faculty size, library resources, bar passage rates, scholarships, tuition and fees, living expenses, grants and scholarships. On the LSAC web page, you will also find LSAT prep information, LSAT sample questions, and order forms for old tests which you can use as study materials. LSDAS registration information is provided as well. LSAC links will take you to ABA-approved law schools, information for minority applicants, and a host of other questions relating to law school admissions.
      • Bryan K. Fair, "Preparing For A Career in Law in the 21st Century". Prof. Fair is Thomas E. Skinner Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law. His essay is enormously valuable in discussing how to select a major that fits your interests and needs; how to engage in the kind of self-assessment that will help you clarify your professional goals; how to stay on track and set priorities during your undergraduate years; and how to prepare for the LSAT. On this last point, Prof. Fair notes: "I suggest that you spend a minimum of six to nine uninterrupted months preparing for the LSAT, preferably during a summer and fall or spring and summer when the impact on your gpa will not be too great."
      • The American Bar Association (ABA) web page and, in particular, the ABA Pre-Law Committee of the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar "Preparation for Legal Education". To quote the ABA Committee's report:

      "Sound legal education . . . must build upon and further refine skills, values and knowledge that the student already possesses."

      I suggest that you read this essay more than once during your pre-law preparation years; it is a powerful reminder of the importance of using your undergraduate years as a time to develop yourself as a scholar.

  • I've read the pre-law advisement web page, but I still have questions. Can I meet with the pre-law advisor?
    • Yes. You may visit me at my office (SSCI 2076). You may call 277-5233 for my office hours. You may also email me to arrange a meeting.