Pre-Law Society: Getting into Law School

By Heather Barodi

Our second meeting of the semester was another success. With a total of 70 members (a spring record), the organization continues to grow and meet the needs of one of the University’s most diverse organizations.

The meeting began with us updating our finances, approving minutes, and discussing upcoming opportunities, including: Mock LSAT, Mock Law class, the 10th Court of Appeals, and many others.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Pre-Law Society, PLS, Legal Kats, Kattorneys, South Texas College of Law, Dean Alicia Cramer

With this preliminary work out of the way, we introduced our guest speaker, Dean Alicia Cramer, who oversees admissions for South Texas College of Law (STCL).

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Pre-Law Society, PLS, Legal Kats, Kattorneys, South Texas College of Law, Dean Alicia Cramer

Dean Cramer wasted no time with tips to get into, not just STCL, but also other law schools in which students might be interested.

Her first point that she stressed was that doing well in our undergrad years matters a lot.  Your grades, LSAT, major, grade trends, organizational leadership, and experience can all influence whether you are accepted to law school.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Pre-Law Society, PLS, Legal Kats, Kattorneys, South Texas College of Law, Dean Alicia Cramer

Dean Cramer stressed that being prepared for your LSAT and taking it once was a key strategy: poor scores, even if they are replaced by higher scores, stay on your record.  She did recommend prep courses, highlighting the free Khan Academy, which she has seen benefit many students.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Pre-Law Society, PLS, Legal Kats, Kattorneys, South Texas College of Law, Dean Alicia Cramer

Dean Cramer also told us that the personal statements should stay to a 2 ½ page maximum, unless otherwise stated. She said think about it like an interview on paper, so say what is important, but do not repeat your resumes, since the schools will have it. Be concise with your statement and do not lose sight of what your topic is.

SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Pre-Law Society, PLS, Legal Kats, Kattorneys, South Texas College of Law, Dean Alicia Cramer

With all the new found knowledge and tips we obtained from Dean Cramer, we ended with a Q&A session just in case students had some questions on topics we had missed.  More than most sessions, the students engaged and asked good questions, a sign, perhaps, of our students becoming closer and more engaged.,

Our next meeting will be March 18.  We will meet in CHSS 252, where we will follow-up Dean Cramer’s presentation with a workshop on law-sch0ol selections–with us serving as the selection committees and reviewing actual resumes and letters of recommendations.

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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