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Prelaw

(visit Preprofessional Program - Prelaw site)

Although we have located the prelaw page on the Political Science website, be assured, in the words of a American Bar Association statement, “Students who are successful in law school, and who become accomplished lawyers or use their legal education successfully in other areas of professional life, come to their legal education from widely differing educational and experiential backgrounds.” In short, there is no best major or prelaw curriculum you ought to follow.

The surest way to prepare both for the LSAT and for doing well in law school is to major in an area one enjoys and to take intellectually challenging courses from many disciplines. Look for courses that will sharpen your reading comprehension, writing, and analytical skills. Most important, to quote the ABA statement again, “taking difficult courses from demanding instructors is the best generic preparation for legal education.”

Students who want to take law-related courses, either to explore their interest in law or as preparation for law school, often take one or more of the following: Law and the American Legal System, Constitutional Law, Civil Rights and Liberties, Business Law, Law and Economics. Luther also has an active Mock Trial team, which competes from the middle of the fall semester to early in the spring semester.

Law School Admissions
Luther graduates have had a high degree of success in gaining admission to law school. Where one decides to go depends in part on one’s grade point and LSAT score and in part on one’s personal preferences. In talking with students about law school we tend to think of three levels.

Some students desire to attend one of the most prestigious national law schools. In recent years, Luther alumni have earned law degrees at Chicago, Michigan, NYU, Duke, Georgetown, Northwestern, and Harvard. Because the public law schools in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois have national reputations and are more affordable than the most prestigious private law schools, many Luther students prefer to stay home for law school. In any given year there will be multiple Luther graduates studying at University of Minnesota, University of Iowa and University of Wisconsin. In addition, we are fortunate to have a number of first-rate regional law schools, which have served our graduates well. In recent years, Luther alumni have studied at Drake, Hamline, William Mitchell, St. Thomas, Loyola, Valparaiso, Ohio Northern, and Creighton.

The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
Law schools rely heavily on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) in the admissions process. The test evaluates reading comprehension, critical-reasoning ability and logical analysis. Luther is a recognized test center and offers the test in June, October, December and February. Most students take the test either in June following their junior year or in October of the senior year. Because the test does not include substantive sections, there are no particular courses that students need to take in preparation for the test.

For additional information about preparation for the study of law at Luther, contact John Moeller (moellerj@luther.edu), Professor of Political Science.

For information about the application process, see the website of the Law School Admission Council: www.lsac.org