What do Lafayette graduates who went on to law school say about consulting with Dean Clemence?
“When I met with Dean Clemence during my junior year at Lafayette, I knew that I wanted to go to law school. I had no idea how to reach that goal. Through her advising, I was given the guidance to develop a plan for managing my way through the LSATs, my personal statement and the application process. The LSATs can be a stressful time and through her guidance, I was able to put my complete focus on the test. By the time I began developing my personal statement, I was at a point where I had many ideas but no focus. With Dean Clemence’s help, I was able to refine my writing in a manner which allowed me to portray my story in an appropriate manner to law school selection committees. When it came time for my application to schools, my familiarity with Dean Clemence allowed for me to have a guide for choosing the school that was right for me. Now that I am graduating from Lafayette, due to this guidance I will be going to the law school which is the right fit for me.”
Kyle Fisher ’15 Government & Law
The Pennsylvania State University- Dickinson Schools of Law- Penn State Law ‘18
“I almost made the mistake of completely foregoing assistance from Dean Clemence. I’m very thankful that she urged me to meet with her. Dean Clemence helped me see just how easy it was to apply to law school. She took a big, daunting process and simplified it. She helped me make a timeline for when I should have certain milestones accomplished, and she was patient with me when I inevitably got behind schedule. Her help was near unquantifiable. But, there was one area where the value was apparent and tangible. Her assistance with my personal statement helped me write an incredible essay. She not only helped me understand what the essay was supposed to accomplish, she also was honest with me when I fell short of the best essay I could write. As a result, I ended up writing an incredible essay. You want to go to law school? Work with Dean Clemence!”
Juannell Riley ‘15 Government and Law/Philosophy
Columbia Law School, Class of 2018
“Dean Clemence was extremely helpful in working with me on my personal statement and applications to law schools. I came in with a rough draft of what I wanted to say, and we were able to tweak and fine tune my essay so that my personal statement would be the best reflection of myself, and would make me a compelling applicant. I was especially pleased with how available Dean Clemence was while we were working on my essay, and how she was able to work with me to bring energy and an interesting angle to my personal statement that would have been missing without her advice. Dean Clemence was also very helpful and honest in assisting me in filling out applications and deciding where to apply, as well as my chances of being admitted to these schools, which made the application process significantly less stressful. I also greatly appreciated Dean Clemence’s support and encouragement throughout the entire process.”
Melissa Heller `11 Government & Law
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Class of 2014
What is the guidance given to prelaw students from the American Bar Association (ABA)?
“The ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education. Students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline. You may choose to major in subjects that are considered to be traditional preparation for law school, such as history, English, philosophy, political science, economics, or business, or you may focus your undergraduate studies in areas as diverse as art, music, science, mathematics, computer science, engineering, nursing, or education. Whatever major you select, you are encouraged to pursue an area of study that interests and challenges you, while taking advantage of opportunities to develop your research and writing skills. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for legal education. A sound legal education will build upon and further refine the skills, values, and knowledge that you already possess.” (Taken from the Statement on Pre-law Preparation).
Because there is no particular academic program identified for law school preparation, Lafayette students are encouraged to take full advantage of the many resources made available to them; first among these are faculty advisors. Students who make a habit of consulting with their advisors and course instructors throughout their academic careers about areas of interest and curiosity can expect to make an informed choice about going to law school and to be best prepared for law school and a legal career.
How can my participation with the Gateway Career Center help me consider law school and a legal profession?
Students are strongly encouraged to participate consistently in the Gateway Program where they can learn more about themselves, externship and internship opportunities, and interact with alumni with their academic interests employed both in and out of the legal professions. Staying open to the many alternate career options available for people drawn to the idea of being an attorney can help students be more steadfast in taking the step into law school and, sometimes, students discover that becoming an attorney is not actually necessary to fulfill their career goals.
What can I learn from exploring the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website?
The Law School Admission (LSAC) website has developed a good place to start as you explore skills needed to succeed in law school, what lawyers do, what to expect in law school, and all the steps you need to take to successfully apply. As you make efforts to learn about law school and the legal professions, make sure you test your perception that everyone in law school must have just graduated from college. In any particular year across the U.S., it is typical for about one-third of the applicant pool to have graduated from college the year before. That should be encouraging to students who might like to explore the world of work and further develop the value and relevance of pursuing a legal education.