This website provides general information relevant to the law school application process. Dr. Joe Gardner, Associate Professor of Political Science, serves as the university's pre-law advisor. Schedule an appointment via email.
Sign up for the pre-law listserv to receive updates about events and opportunities relevant for the Gonzaga pre-law community.
You may also use ZagsIgnite to schedule an appointment with one of our career professionals to discuss your specific career or graduate and professional school application questions.
There is no specific “pre-law” major. Law schools do not require or prefer certain undergraduate majors, and strive to admit students from a variety of backgrounds.
Students are encouraged to work with academic, faculty, and career advisors to select a major that fits your strengths and interests, and can also help prepare for a future law career. Consider coursework that will enhance your reading comprehension, writing, research, and analytic skills; these are key for taking the LSAT and preparing for law school.
Grade Point Average (GPA) is just one factor law schools review as part of the admissions process.
Involvement in clubs and organizations, volunteer and service opportunities, study abroad, research, work experience, and other co-curricular activities can help boost your resume and develop skills and qualities that will prepare you for future graduate study. Some common pre-law activities are listed below, along with contact information for their respective faculty advisors.
- Debate Team: Glen Frappier, Senior Lecturer of Communication Studies and Director of Debate, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mock Trial: Matthew Bahr, Ph.D., Interim Advisor, email@example.com.
- Model United Nations: Dr. Stacy Taninchev, Associate Professor of Political Science, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seek opportunities to learn more about the legal field. This may include job shadowing, informational interviewing, networking, internships, work experiences, and other professional activities. Consider identifying and building relationships with professors or other mentors in a particular field of study or career interest.
Current students can also access additional resources at our Downloadable Documents page.
Most law school applications open in early fall, with deadlines extending to early spring But be sure to understand different terms that may relate to deadlines, including priority deadlines and rolling admissions. This often means that applications are considered for admission as they are receive and therefore, the earlier your application arrives at the school, the more seats in the class are available. Typically, you want to apply by the priority deadline if possible.
Many schools require you take the LSAT by November or December for admission the following fall. However, taking the test earlier (in June or September / October) is advisable.
When researching and selecting schools, discover information through online research, open houses, and graduate fairs. Refer to the LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools for specific school information, including program specialties and applicant data. Consider attending a Law School Forum, hosted by the LSAC.
Most law schools still require the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) but there are a growing number that accept the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Always check admission requirements at prospective schools.
The LSAC Credential Assembly Service serves as the “common application” for most law schools in the United States. This service compiles all of your material into a law school report for the law schools you choose. Register at least 6-8 weeks prior to your first law school application deadline.
Essay or Personal Statement
A personal statement or essay is your opportunity to share your background and your motivation. Law schools want to recruit people who are qualified for reasons beyond grades and scores. The essay or personal statement is your opportunity to tell the committee what sets you apart from others.
Letters of recommendation help give the admissions committee additional insight into your personal qualities and potential for continuing intellectual and professional growth. The most effective letters of recommendation are written by professors or work supervisors who know you well enough to describe your academic, personal, or professional achievements honestly and objectively.
A resume highlights your academic endeavors, work experience, community service, and any additional information you think is relevant for a law school admissions committee.
Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you previously attended are likely to be required. Contact your institution’s Registrar’s office, and be sure to request the transcripts well in advance of deadlines.