Exploration in the field of law will not only help you continue to confirm your interest in the profession, but also demonstrate a commitment to the profession when applying to law schools. So how can you get involved in areas related to your interests?
How Do I Know If a Legal Career is For Me?
Explore! Ask questions, extern, observe, but thoroughly consider the concepts of law school and a law degree BEFORE putting yourself through the application process and the financial burden and stress of a law school education. Your time as an undergraduate at UVA will certainly help you build skills necessary to succeed in law; but no amount of education will help you enjoy a career that isn't a fit for you.
Think About Your Future Skill Set
The American Bar Association suggests you acquire the skills below prior to law school. Are these skills you have and want to develop?
- Critical Reading
- Oral communication
- Task Organization & Management
- Analytical Skills
- Conflict Management
- Ability to Work With Others
Conduct a Self-Evaluation
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I like to think of ways to solve other people’s problems?
- Do I enjoy working on research projects?
- Do I like writing papers?
- Do I enjoy speaking in front of people?
- Do I like thinking on my feet?
- Do I find history and current events interesting?
- Do I thrive in conflict situations?
- Do I work well under the pressure of deadlines?
- Do I juggle multiple tasks well?
- Do I enjoy a good argument for the sake of a good argument?
If you answered yes to majority of the questions above, you could be a good fit for the legal profession.
|Jefferson Literary and Debating Society||Opportunity for students to engage in debate and discourse on a range of issues, honing public speaking and literary skills, and developing the ability to sustain an argument in debate.|
|Legal Advisory Workshops for Undergraduate Students (LAW for US)||A mentoring program for undergraduate students run by UVA Law School students.|
|Mock Trial||Opportunity for undergraduates to participate in trial simulations in competition with teams from other institutions.|
|Moot Court||Opportunity for undergraduates to compete in a simulated Supreme Court setting.|
|Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity||An international professional law fraternity.|
|Student Councils||Student representatives who work to articulate the views of the student body and further the welfare of students.|
|Undergraduate Black Law Students Association (U-BLSA)||An organization focused on educating and supporting future and current law students.|
|Virginia Undergraduate Law Review||A journal that publishes international undergraduate research on current and historical legal questions.|
|@UVA Student Organizations Directory||Attend the Student Activities Fair or utilize the student organizations directory to identify other organizations of interest to you!|
Madison House Volunteer Programs
|Learning in Action||Seek service opportunities, courses, funding, and resources through Public Service @UVA.|
|Internship Placement Program||Summer and/or year-long internships. Apply to an internship site relevant to your interest in law!|
|Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Research (USOAR)||One-two semester research opportunity for 1st year, 2nd year, or transfer students with eligibility for Federal Work-Study.|
|Women's Center Internship Program||Year-long internship working on 1 of 8 Women's Center programs|
|Virginia Alumni Mentoring||Connect with a UVA alum who works in the legal field through a one-time career conversation or semester-long mentoring.|
|UVA Career Center Resources||
Utilize the Career Center resources to seek additional opportunities:
Get exposure to law through programs that acknowledge and embrace your background and identity. These pipeline programs can help you explore the field, prepare you for the application process, or support you in the transition to law school.
|AccessLex Institute||Diversity Pipeline Program Directory|
|American Bar Association||National Pipeline Diversity Initiatives Directory|
Law schools do not require any specific major or pre-requisite courses for admission to law school. Consider enrolling in courses that will help you explore subject matters in law or provide a helpful background once you get to law school. Such courses should help you develop skills in cultural competence, problem solving, oral communication, written analysis, and critical thinking. A sampling of commonly offered course suggestions are listed below. Be sure to check the Pre-Law Blog each semester before registration for an updated list of course options!
|Philosophy 1410||Forms of Reasoning|
|Philosophy 2060||Philosophical Problems in Law|
|Sociology 1010||Introductory Sociology|
|Sociology 2442||Systems of Inequality|
|Sociology 3820||Social Movements|
|Politics - American Politics 3270||Public Opinion and American Democracy|
|Commerce 3410 and 3420||Commercial Law I and II|
|Media Studies 3405||Media Policy and Law|
|Russian in Translation (RUTR) 3340||Books Behind Bars: Life, Lit, and Community Leadership|
|EDHS 3005||Prevention of Youth Violence|
|EDLF 4620||Human Rights Activism and Education|
|UVA Law School|