February 27, 2003
By Hannah Landis
Reprinted with permission from the Daily Vidette.
While ISU does not have a structured pre-law program, students seeking admittance to law school are finding the general preparation they receive at ISU helps pave the way for success in law. Of approximately 150 students applying to law school last year, around 60 percent were admitted to one or more law schools. And graduates have gone on to attend some of the most prestigious law schools in the nation. Last year, one graduate was admitted to Yale University Law School, ranked number one by U.S. News and World Report.
“Illinois State has a lot to offer students who are considering careers in the law,” said Robert Bradley, professor of Politics and Government and pre-law adviser.
“Students can take advantage of excellent curriculum advisement, a program to help them prepare for the Law School Admissions Test and mentoring by Illinois State alumni who have gone on to careers as attorneys and judges,” Bradley said.
He said students interested in law and going to law school can seek his advisement and gain information on what it takes to do well on the LSAT and get into law school. This fall semester will be the grand opening of a pre-law advisement center, Bradley explained, which will serve as an office devoted to providing information for pre-law students. While there is no one major that is substantially going to help students, Bradley said, it is important for students to gain experience in writing and heavy reading through their classes, as well as knowing something about government, economics and some exposure to logic.
“I tell students they should take one course where they have to read a fair amount of court opinions,” he said.
“It is beneficial to gain some idea of what is involved so the student can decide if law is the field he or she truly wants to follow and learn the terms of the trade. In a lot of ways law is like picking up a foreign language,” he said.
ISU Law Club also provides students with information through a forum for interested students to interact together.
“What we like to do is inform people who have an interest in law, what law school is all about, what you need to get into law school and ultimately if you really want to do this,” said Aaron McNeill, a junior political science major and president of the club. Around 50 students are involved in the club that typically hosts an event each month.
They have organized activities such as a visit to the Law School at the University of Illinois. This spring the club plans to tour the law program at Northern Illinois University. Today an ISU alumnus from Northern will be at ISU to discuss what law school is like. The Law Club is sponsoring the event in the Political Science Resource Lab in the basement of Atkin-Colby at 5 p.m. Students interested in taking preparation courses for the LSAT can contact Bradley. Registration ends the second week in March and courses commence March 22. Bradley said the fee of $125 covering four Saturday sessions is affordable compared to most available LSAT preparation programs.