Interested in law school? This page provides information for our current undergraduates, as well as for prospective undergraduate students who may be attending the University of North Dakota in the future. Current UND undergrads are encouraged to contact Dr. Ben Kassow via email, phone, or in person. The earlier students get in touch with him in their preparations for law school, the more help he can provide.
Which majors are considered "pre-law?"
The American Bar Association (ABA) and law schools in the U.S. do not officially recommend any particular major for pre-law studies, nor do they require a prescribed pre-law set of courses to be admitted to law school more generally. Typically, law schools are looking for applicants who:
- demonstrate an ability to analyze information (broadly defined)
- have the potential to "think like a lawyer"
- are experienced public speakers and
- can write effectively and succinctly.
There are a variety of academic majors that can effectively prepare students for law school, including both undergraduate majors offered by our Department, Political Science and Public Administration. Nationwide, Political Science programs are likely to serve the most pre-law students. To prepare for law school, students should engage in activities and courses they find useful and fulfilling and that will help them to attain the skills necessary for success in law school.
When should I begin planning?
It's never too early or too late to beginning planning for law school, but students who wish to move directly from undergraduate studies to law school should ideally begin planning their path to law school by the end of the fall semester of their third year.
If the cost of law school is a large concern for you, it may be useful to know that some law schools are increasingly offering more substantial merit-based scholarships to some students. Several of our recent majors have obtained competitive, merit-based scholarships at law schools around the country.
What are LSAC and LSAT?
Law school applications are standardized and managed through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). The LSAC also administers the required test for admissions to law school, the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). The LSAC has a useful website that gives law school applicants general guidance regarding which law schools might admit them based on grade point average (GPA) and LSAT scores.
How do I apply to law schools?
To apply to law school, applicants must send their official transcripts to the Credential Assembly Service, which is part of the LSAC. Students must also take the LSAT, in almost all cases. Plan to take the LSAT in the summer prior to your senior year or in the fall semester of senior year. Most law schools do not accept LSAT scores taken later than December of the year in which a student applies.
The University of North Dakota Law School's admissions staff is also available to answer students' questions about the law school admissions process, as it relates to UND's law school, specifically.
Should I study for the LSAT?
Students do usually find it's beneficial to devise a study plan to prepare for the LSAT. They might study on their own or through a commercial LSAT preparation course. UND offers a two-part LSAT prep course via Ed2Go as part of Extended Learning. Each of the two parts costs $99. There are other commercial courses for the LSAT available; Dr. Kassow is happy to provide students with more information about some of those.
Any more advice?
An enormous amount of information is available on the internet that relates to careers in the law, as well as the law school process. Several links that may be helpful:
- University of North Dakota Law School
- Above The Law
- Internet Legal Research Group
- FindLaw Rankings
ABA-accredited law schools in the region (ND, MN, SD, MT) include the University of North Dakota, the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), the University of St. Thomas, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, the University of South Dakota, and the University of Montana.