You’ve seen all the movies and TV shows- “Legally Blonde,” “A Few Good Men,” “Suits,” etc. Accuracy of these films aside, something in your life has made you want to submit to the rewarding yet slightly torturous experience of law school (don’t worry I’m in the same boat as you). When I first came to the University of Colorado I had a clear vision, I was going to get good grades, a good LSAT score, craft a killer resume and personal statement and get into my dream school. What I was surprised to learn, is that there is so much more to being a pre-law student than checking off boxes to get into law school- it’s truly a personal journey. Here are four things any pre-law student should know when entering their freshman year.
- Don’t force it, find something you’re passionate about.
College, law school, finding a career- it’s hard, but one thing you can do to make all of that hard work worthwhile is to find something you’re passionate about that applies to the legal field. At the end of the day, what you ultimately decide to do with your life is up to you, so finding something that is fulfilling and meaningful to you will make your day-to-day much easier. For some, that could be volunteering with animals, for others, that could be volunteering for a political campaign. Doing something just to do it, or because you think it will look good on your resume, will ultimately be more difficult and less rewarding than taking the space you have in undergrad to explore your interests.
- Leverage your resources.
CU Boulder has so many great resources to help students on their pre-law journey. I recommend scheduling an appointment with the pre-law advisor, even if you aren’t sure if law school is right for you or if you’re still early on in your undergraduate time, just to introduce yourself and start forming that relationship. There are also so many great mentoring programs that CU offers to connect you to local professionals. This semester, I participated in the Boulder-CU Leadership Program and was connected with a great mentor who owned her own law firm in the Boulder area. She was such an invaluable resource to me and an even better friend!
- Study what you want.
There are a variety of majors that are regarded as classic “pre-law majors” such as Political Science, Philosophy, Economics, and English, but if none of these sound appealing to you, don’t stress. Many law schools agree that there isn’t a particular major undergrads should pursue, so it’s important to select something that appeals to you the most.
- Time management.
This is one of the elements of college I want to emphasize the most: you can make time to do everything you want so long as you balance how you spend your time with your values. For me, I struggled with managing my time all throughout my first year of college, but as I started to use a checklist on top of a weekly planner, I found it much easier to finish my to-do list and then spend the rest of my day how I wanted. It can sometimes feel overwhelming to commit yourself to taking a full course load and pursuing extracurriculars, but so long as you find a method that works for you, it is possible.
Coming into college as a pre-law student can be intimidating, and maybe even a little scary. If this is you, don’t worry, CU is a great institution that has so many mechanisms to help you along on your journey.