Pre-law Advising at Bucknell
A unique mix of majors and an emphasis on experiential learning and critical thinking make Bucknell University one of the best schools for pre-law in Pennsylvania and beyond.
Each year, about 40 to 50 Bucknell students apply to law school, and between 90% and 95% are admitted. But there's no one-size-fits-all track for getting there from here.
That's where the pre-law advising offered by Bucknell's Center for Career Advancement comes in. We can help you identify the courses, extracurricular activities and internships that will put you in the best position to get into your top-choice law schools.
A natural inquisitiveness and knack for solving problems is likely what sparked your interest in the legal profession and Bucknell University. Our office can help you take the next steps.
What Should I Major In to Become a Lawyer?
There is no required major for the purpose of gaining admission to law school.
Students who graduate from Bucknell and begin law school have majored in a range of subjects — from economics to engineering, chemistry to classics, philosophy to political science.
Above all, law schools want students who can think critically and write well. They want someone who understands the forces that have shaped the human experience.
You can sharpen those skills in any number of Bucknell majors, whether in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, management or engineering.
What Do I Need to Do at Bucknell to Study Law?
Your education should include courses that provide opportunities for critical analysis, logical reasoning, and written and oral expression. Law schools will look at the intensity and depth of your undergraduate program and your capacity to perform well at an academically rigorous level.
Law schools will absolutely consider your grade point average, so try to take courses you find intellectually stimulating. These are the courses in which you're likely to excel.
Is Bucknell’s Legal Studies Minor Required to Attend Law School?
No. The legal studies minor won't increase the probability of acceptance at law school, but many students interested in law find the courses in the minor intellectually stimulating.
The legal studies minor requires at least five courses, including one from each of these five categories:
- Case law
- Law & social science
- Legal theory
- Philosophical foundations of law
No more than three of these courses may be in a single department. Courses applied to the legal studies minor may not also be applied to the student's major.
What Extracurricular Activities Will Help Me in Law School?
As with selecting a major, there are no preferred activities from the perspective of the law schools, but your involvement in activities and employment is a great opportunity to develop the skills recommended for law school and a legal career.
Bucknell offers a variety of clubs and organizations, including a Mock Trial team, Bucknell Student Government and a Pre-law Club.
When selecting an extracurricular pursuit, consider these skills that the American Bar Association calls essential:
- Critical reading
- Writing and editing
- Oral communication and listening
- Organization and management
- Public service and promotion of justice
- Relationship-building and collaboration
- Exposure to the practice of law
Is an Internship Required for Getting In to Law School?
No, there is no need to have a legal internship prior to law school, and working in a legal internship does not give an applicant an advantage in the application process.
That said, a legal internship may provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the legal profession or might help you build a professional network that could benefit you later in your career. Our staff at the Center for Career Advancement can help you identify internship opportunities and advice that can launch your career.
How Do I Apply for Law School?
- Before applying
- Reach out to the pre-law adviser to make an appointment to discuss pre-law aspirations.
- Register and create an account on LSAC.org to sign up for the LSAT.
- Six months to one year before applying
- Take frequent practice exams and identify target-school test medians.
- Spend at least three months studying for the LSAT.
- Summer before applying
- Take the LSAT.
- Register for LSAC's CAS (Credential Assembly Service) to send your LSAT scores to law schools during application.
- Reach out to professors and mentors to secure letters of recommendation.
- Draft and edit your personal statement. Make sure to update and refine your resume.
- Fall one year before attending law school
- Discuss school selection and application with the pre-law adviser.
- Set up a Credential Assembly Service account through LSAC.
- Applications generally open in early September. Admissions are rolling for most schools, so it is best to submit a strong application early in the cycle.
What Are My Chances of Getting Into Law School?
Each year, about 40 to 50 Bucknellians apply to law school, and generally between 90% and 95% are admitted.
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