Gonzaga’s mission of preparing servant leaders committed to social justice means that Gonzaga pre-law students have many opportunities through coursework, co-curricular engagement, and professional development to think deeply about how they can pursue social justice and contribute to their community through the legal profession.
Gonzaga Pre-Law Advising offers ways for students from all majors who are interested in pursuing law school to learn more about law, whether a legal career is the right path for them, and how to prepare to apply to law school.
Support for current students and alumni includes:
• Individualized support through 1-on-1 appointments
• Workshops and other events to help students gain knowledge the legal profession and how to apply to law school
• Support with developing law school application materials, including resumes and personal statements
• Opportunities to connect with alumni mentors in law school and the legal field
Gonzaga Pre-Law Advising
- Pre-Law Advising facilitates workshops and other events to help students gain knowledge about the legal profession and how to apply to law school. Typical events include:
- Intro to Pre-Law
- Gonzaga School of Law Preview Day (in collaboration with the Gonzaga School of Law)
- Financing Your Legal Education
- See ZagsIgnite for dates and additional details.
Preparing for Law School
• Students are encouraged to work with advisors to select a major that matches their strengths and interests and helps them prepare for a future law career. Courses that enhance reading comprehension, research, writing, and critical analysis skills are beneficial; these abilities are crucial to success on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and as a future law school student.
• Law schools tend to admit students who have a clear motivation to study law, have done well in their undergraduate studies, and scored well on the LSAT, although some law programs are beginning to accept the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in lieu of the LSAT.
• Pre-law students in the School of Business Administration will benefit from courses in the Law and Public Policy concentration. This concentration includes various courses which involve legal issues such as corporate taxation, regulation of securities trading, business ethics, mergers and acquisitions, and antitrust policy and regulation. All of these courses provide pre-law students a unique insight into how business functions within the framework of the legal system.
- Seek opportunities to learn more about the legal field. This may include job shadowing, informational interviewing, internships, mentoring, and work experiences.
- Resources that can assist students in learning more about the legal profession and clarifying their career goals include:
- Law schools evaluate candidates based on their resume of co-curricular, professional, and life experiences. Students often develop valuable skills through involvement with clubs and organizations, service, study abroad, research, work, and other experiences.
- Choose to get involved in meaningful activities and experiences. There is not a prescribed or required set of “pre-law” experiences, so what will stand out in your eventual law school application is your genuine interest in how you spend your time, how you find ways to contribute, the skills you develop, and connections between your experiences and your career goals.
- Some examples of common experiences among pre-law students include:
Gonzaga University School of Law 3+3 BA / BS / J.D.This program consists of three years in an approved undergraduate major* and entrance to the Law School in the fourth year, resulting in a B.A. / B.S. and a J.D. from the Gonzaga University School of Law in six years rather than seven. The 3+3 program requires successful completion of 98 credits from Gonzaga University by the end of their junior year (six semesters). Upon completion of these 98 credits, the student should have met all relevant undergraduate degree requirements, except for the final 30 undergraduate credits required under the 128 credit undergraduate degree policy. The additional 30 elective credits will be fulfilled using completed law school courses. Students complete the application to the Gonzaga School of Law in their fifth semester. Because of the pre-planning this pathway involves, interested students should contact a pre-law advisor in Career and Professional Development during their first semester.
*Gonzaga's 3+3 Program applies for some, but not all, majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. Some majors are credit-intensive and/or highly sequenced. Students in those majors may not be able to complete the major in three years and would not be able to participate in this program.
Law School Application Process and Resources
- Students hoping to start law school immediately after college graduation should apply beginning the fall of senior year. However, many students take time between college and starting law school to continue exploring the profession, strengthening their candidacy, and gaining additional work and life experience before applying to law school. Law schools accept applicants that are well-rounded.
- Most law school applications open in September-October. Although final deadlines extend to early spring, candidates are encouraged to apply in the fall if possible. Law schools tend to utilize “rolling admissions,” which means applications are considered as they are received, and the number of available spots decreases after the priority or preferred deadline. Applying by a school’s priority deadline may offer earlier review of your application materials and access to merit-based scholarships.
- Many schools require you take the LSAT by November or December for admission the following fall. However, taking the exam earlier (in June or September / October) is recommended to allow for any re-testing.
- A personal statement is your opportunity to share your background and your motivation for attending law school. The essay is your opportunity to share what sets you apart from others. Most law schools also allow for an optional diversity statement asking about an applicant’s identity and background, previous hardships, or potential to contribute to a diverse and inclusive campus environment. Other essays or written material may include:
- Additional short essays (optional or required) ask candidates to address additional topics including why they are a good fit for the school, interests, and hypothetical questions.
- An addendum is a short, objective explanation for a discrepancy or complication in your application, including GPA or academic irregularities, disciplinary or legal issues, or gaps in resume. It may simply provide needed context or proactively address a potential red flag the admissions committee may question.
- Letters of recommendation help give the admissions committee additional insight into your personal qualities and potential for continuing intellectual and professional growth. The strongest letters are written by professors or supervisors who know you well enough to describe your academic, personal, or professional accomplishments honestly and objectively.
- A resume or CV highlights your academic endeavors, work experience, community service, and any additional information you think is relevant for a law school admissions committee.
- Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities you previously attended.