The goal of pre-law studies at UIC is to give students the background necessary to be able to enter an accredited law school after graduation. Law schools require a bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation. Pre-law students must choose an undergraduate major and complete all requirements for that particular degree as there is no specific course work required to apply to law school. The American Bar Association does stress that there are important skills and values, and significant bodies of knowledge, which students can acquire prior to law school, that will provide a sound foundation for a legal education. These include analytic and problem-solving skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities, general research skills, task organization and management skills, and the values of serving faithfully the interests of others while also promoting justice. More information on these skills and values may be found online in the American Bar Association Pre-Law section: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/pre_law.html. Students who wish to prepare adequately for a legal education and for a career in law or for other professional services that involve the use of lawyering skills should seek educational, extracurricular, and life experiences that will assist them in developing those attributes.
The pre-law advisor is available to meet with interested UIC students from any college during individual advising sessions. Students are encouraged to meet with the pre-law advisor to discuss all aspects of the law school application process from LSAT preparation and letters of recommendation, to the personal statement and choosing the right schools. In addition to individual advising appointments, the pre-law advisor presents various workshops, information sessions, and experiential opportunities throughout the academic year. Each semester, a pre-law orientation session is presented, designed primarily for freshmen and students new to pre-law. Other on-campus sessions typically offered include: area law school information sessions, LSAT prep workshop, personal statement workshop, mock law school class experience, financing law school workshop, alumni in the law panel, and a professionalism workshop. Off-campus experiences such as organized visits to the Chicago federal courthouse are also planned each semester.
Interested students should also be sure to take some time to look over the Law School Admissions Council’s website http://www.lsac.org and the UIC pre-law website http://www.las.uic.edu/prelaw. In addition, prior to taking the LSAT, most law school admissions counselors and pre-law advisors recommend completing at least an introductory course in logic, such as UIC’s PHIL 102, as the exam is heavily logic based.
Guaranteed Professional Program in Law
UIC has a Guaranteed Professional Program Admissions (GPPA) arrangement with John Marshall School of Law for entering freshmen and Chicago-Kent College of Law for sophomores. More information on GPPA is available in the Admissions section of the catalog or the GPPA website at http://gppa.uic.edu.