When I began my undergrad at BYU, I knew what I wanted to do. I was prepared to go to law school but had no idea how to do it. I assumed all I needed was good grades and a good LSAT score. But I wish that I slowed down enough to develop a stronger plan. This article is for those freshmen who are looking to develop a plan for their undergraduate to prepare them for law school. So, here are 5 tips I believe will help you develop a plan to prepare for law school.

5. Decide which field of law you want to be your career.

Believe it or not, this is a very important question to answer early on. Certain fields of law are only offered to people with certain majors. For instance, to practice intellectual property (IP) law, you must receive a license from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). To receive a license from the USPTO, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) field in addition to a Juris Doctorate. So, knowing what field of law you want to utilize is very important. Many decisions in your undergraduate (including which major you select) can be very beneficial.

4. Choosing what organizations you would like to be a part of in law school.

This could be important because your undergraduate extracurricular activities could be beneficial to these groups. Do you want to compete on the moot or trial court team? Then you should find the debate club on your campus. What about joining the Student Bar Association (SBA)? Then look to be a part of student leadership as a part of your undergrad.

Not only will your experience in these groups be beneficial for your experience in law school, but they will also help build up a strong resume when it becomes time to apply to law school.

3. Choosing a proper major for the field of your choice.

Alongside point number 5, choosing a proper major is essential for your legal career. However, having the right major is also essential for applying to law schools. The top 5 majors applying to law school are:

Political Science with 12,967 applicants and a 77.07% acceptance rate.

Psychology with 3,850 applicants and a 73.71% acceptance rate.

Criminal Justice with 3,673 applicants and a 59.16% acceptance rate.

English with 3,402 applicants and a 79.42% acceptance rate.

Economics with 3,235 applicants and an 82.69% acceptance rate.

For a complete list of applicants by major, click here.

I was also a political science major who had every intention to go to law school. Why did I choose political science? Because I felt like I understood government, I assumed law school would be all about government, and assumed political science would be all about government.

Although you can certainly choose political science as your major, you will certainly stand out more if you have a major that is less common. STEM majors appear to have high acceptance rates and language majors have extremely high acceptance rates.

I am not saying to select a major because law schools will look at it more when applying. Law schools admit most majors equally. I’m suggesting playing to your strengths. I would not be surprised if language majors have higher acceptance rates because those students develop stronger relationships with their professors. Or if STEM majors work harder to prepare for the LSAT. Or if English majors prepare better personal statements. Select a major that will make you better at what you want to study.

2. Begin developing relationships with professors in your major

It is important to understand that you will be able to obtain stronger relationships with professors who are teaching in your major. You will have more classes with them and, as a direct result, see them more often throughout your undergraduate career.

How do you develop a relationship with your professors? Here’s a step by step process:

  1. Go to your TA’s office hours to ensure you perform well on your assignments and tests
  2. Go to your professor’s office during hours with purpose. Make sure you have something to discuss, such as a question on a reading.
  3. If you perform well in their class and enjoy the professor, become a TA or RA so you are working closely with the professor.
  4. Work hard
  5. Repeat with 3-4 professors

Developing these relationships is important for several reasons. First, you should always strive to be a good, honest, and trustworthy person who develops healthy relationships. Second, these relationships help you build connections in your field of choice. Third, these relationships are essential for obtaining letters of recommendation to apply for law school.

1. Begin with the end in mind

All of these points are built on one foundational principle, “beginning with the end in mind.” If you begin your journey with the end of your journey in mind, the path is easy to follow. Select your goal, develop your plan, and you will be successful on your law school journey.

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