Law School Resources

Applying to Law School can be a daunting and complex process. As such, it is important to enlist help at every step of the way- from deciding on programs of interest to finalizing your application. Career Counselors assist with all aspects of the Law School application processes.

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How do I decide if I should go to Law School?

Deciding whether or not to go to Law School is a big and complex decision.  A number of factors should be considered, including your career goals, your financial status, your desire to continue in school for another 3 years, and the current legal market. 

How do I navigate the application process?

When applying to Law School, it is important that you start early and stay active throughout the process.  UCS Counselors are able to assist with all aspects of the application process, from creating a checklist and timetable, to streamlining and perfecting your personal statement.

Law School Admission Council Online:  Your starting point to find the answers to your questions. Information on the LSAT exam, LSDAS (application procedures and services), law school forums, diversity initiatives, publications, and more. Bookmark this site -- you will return to it often.

Law School Application Timeline:  This checklist will provide you with a guideline for the application process as well as a checklist of items to include in your application.

PreLaw Insider:  Get advice on studying for the LSAT, choosing law schools, financing your law school years and more.

Financing Law School

LSAC Action Reports:  Find out the success rate of Northwestern students in applying to individual law schools.  Data include LSAT score, undergraduate GPA, major, year of graduation, ethnicity, and state of residence. Data are updated annually and used for advising alumni and students. You must meet with the prelaw advisor to access these data, which are subject to severe privacy restrictions.  Students may not see this document, and identities of individual students are never divulged.

Resources for Minority Applicants:  Information from the Law School Admissions Council for members of underrepresented minority groups.

The Council on Legal Education Opportunity ("CLEO"):  CLEO was founded in 1968 as a non-profit project of the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education to expand opportunities for minorities and low-income students to attend law school and become members of the legal profession by providing pre-law recruitment, counseling, placement assistance and training.

Resources for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Applicants:  Information from the Law School Admissions Council for members of these groups.

The Writing Place: A student-run office to assist you with polishing your writing to make the statement clear, concise, and above all, error-free.

Equal Justice Works:  Resources for those interested in learning more about Public Interest Law, including law schools and programs, debt and loan forgiveness, and finding public interest jobs.

What can I do to prepare while in undergrad?

If you are considering a career in law, then during your undergraduate years, you should develop your intellectual abilities as much as possible, while also exploring whether your initial interest in the law is sufficient to carry you on through law school and a law or law-related career. The best preparation for law school is simply to get the best education you can: there is no specific major that you must choose, no specific set of courses that you must include.

In whatever major you choose, it is important to develop skill sets that will be valuable in law school and as a lawyer.

  • Learn to write cogently, to analyze carefully and accurately, to reason logically, and to speak effectively and articulately are all important skills. These are the skills law schools are looking for in applicants, as they will be crucial to your success in law school and as an attorney. 
  • It doesn't matter whether you develop these skills by analyzing political institutions, metaphysical arguments, underlying syntactic structures, or molecular structures; what matters is that you learn to use your mind effectively in a range of intellectual domains.
  • Look for courses that demand a considerable amount of challenging reading and writing, especially small classes and seminars which can give you opportunities to develop your speaking ability. It is also vital to build strong relationships with a few faculty members who can write detailed recommendations for you.

Gain Exposure to the Legal Profession

Northwestern Externship Program (NEXT): Northwestern alums offer current Northwestern students the opportunity to shadow them at their place of work for one or more days and gain insight into the practical aspects of potential future careers.

Northwestern Pre-law Summer Institute: A weeklong non-credit intensive course taught by faculty of the Northwestern University School of Law. Helps students to sharpen their critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills, gain practical experience, and interact with professionals in the field of law and with law school admissions officers to explore their possible futures in law school and in the legal profession.

Chicago Field Studies: This NU based program coordinates full-time internships for credit in legal fields, as well as part-time internships in social justice, civic engagement, and community research, among other programs.  An internship through CFS can be a great way to learn about a law-related field, gain work experience, and link your academic and professional interests.

Northwestern University School of Law:  Our own law school in downtown Chicago serves as a valuable resource for our undergraduate students who want to learn what law school is like first hand. Call the Admissions Office at 312-503-8465 to schedule a visit to tour the school, sit in on a class, and speak with law students.

Internships and Volunteering Opportunities:  Make an appointment with a UCS counselor to discuss your options based on your specific interests.  Some organizations to explore include the Center on Wrongful Convictions, The Blum Legal Aid Clinic, and various non-profits in the Chicagoland area.

Informational Interviewing:  Talking with current attorneys can not only help you crystalize your decision to pursue law school, but can also provide you with valuable networking opportunities.  Find an attorney in every specialty using CareerNet. Visit the following link to access CareerNet. For a guide on Informational Interviewing, visit the Informational Interviewing link.

Join a Student or Professional Organization

Minorities in the Pursuit of Law and Business (The Pursuit):  A pre-professional organization educating Northwestern’s minority community on opportunities in the fields of law and business. Visit African American Student Affairs website for current information.

Northwestern Mock Trial Team:  A nationally competitive team in the American Mock Trial Association. Tryouts are held each October, and tryout materials are provided for prospective members. For more information, including contact information for team officers, visit the Mock Trial Team website.

Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law Fraternity:  Northwestern’s chapter of the national co-ed organization for undergraduate students interested in law. Information on the national organization is also available online.