If you are a College of Professional Studies student considering law school, you should explore the information on this page and you should meet with one of the CPS Pre-Law Advisors identified below to discuss your path to law school.
There is no “Pre-Law” curriculum at St. John’s, but the American Bar Association issued this statement on the skills that college students should acquire in college to prepare for law school. Those skills include the ability to closely read and work with dense and difficult texts, the ability to think analytically and the ability to write effectively. You don’t need to pursue any particular major in college to prepare for law school, but you should pursue a major that makes you practice these skills.
Students considering law school are encouraged to take law classes in college through the business law or legal studies programs. In particular, students considering law school are encouraged to take LES 1100, 1101 and 1102, which focus on legal analysis, research and writing.
The law school admissions process and the Law School Admissions Test (the “LSAT”) are administered by the Law School Admissions Council (“LSAC”). You apply to law school through LSAC and register for the LSAT through LSAC. To begin educating yourself about these processes, go to www.lsac.org. Look at the “For Future JD Students” webpage, in particular.
Students typically take the LSAT and apply to law school in the fall/winter before the fall that they will be attending law school. Students typically take an LSAT prep course before taking the LSAT.
There are a number of LSAT prep courses available, and St. John’s does not endorse any particular courses. That said, we know that recent graduates have used some of the following courses: Kaplan (which offers need based financial aid); Testmasters; and Blueprint. There are also some free LSAT study resources on the LSAC webpage here. The Ron Brown Program—discussed below—includes a LSAT prep course. And, Kahn Academy has advertised that they are preparing a free LSAT prep course, and anticipate offering that course in 2018.
The Legal Society and Phi Alpha Delta (the pre-law fraternity) often host pre-law events, including previews of LSAT courses. Consider connecting with these organizations. You can find links to their webpages (which contain contact information for these organizations) on the St. John’s student organizations page here.
Many pre-law students participate in the Ronald H. Brown Law School Preparatory Program run by St. John’s Law School. There are three separate summer programs:
Prep Program Foundations (summer between freshman and sophomore years)—course on professionalism, critical reading and writing, plus an internship.
For information about the Program, including information about cost, financial aid options and the application process, see the Program webpage here.
College of Professional Studies students who successfully complete Prep Program I are eligible to receive nine academic credits pursuant to the relevant special assessment procedures.
When researching law schools, please keep in mind that ABA-accredited law schools are required to publicly post disclosures on things including (i) the LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs of their students, (ii) the demographics of their students (including race, gender and age information), (iii) financial aid, (iv) retention, (v) employment statistics and (vi) bar passage rates. The ABA has links to the pages with this information here.
The LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools also contains a lot of helpful information. That Guide can be found here.
Many students also attend LSAC forums. See information about such forums here. According to LSAC, at these forums you can talk personally with representatives from more than 185 ABA-approved law schools and learn about the LSAT, the law school admission process, financing law school and the practice of law.
Considering St. John’s Law after college?
The College of Professional Studies also has a combined Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor program with St. John’s University School of Law. That program permits you to enter St. John’s Law before completing your bachelor’s degree and to complete your academic training in six years, earning an undergraduate degree from the College of Professional Studies and a Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s Law.
More information about this combined program can be found here.
We invite you to contact the College of Professional Studies Pre-Law Advisors:
James Croft, J.D.