Preparing for Law School

Preparing for Law School

In addition to an academically successful undergraduate program, law schools are looking for students with diverse experiences who will contribute to their law school classes and cultures. YU's small liberal arts classes allow students to develop relationships with faculty by attending classes, going to office hours and being TA's and research assistants, with the hopes that these relationships will result in strong academic recommendations for Law School.  Students should make sure to get involved in campus clubs and volunteer opportunities to show their ongoing dedication to leadership and community. 

Your Undergrad Years

What are the most important skills to learn prior to law school and how to gain them.

OPTIMIZING UNDERGRADUATE PREPARATION FOR LAW SCHOOL, by Prof. Thomas Rozinski, Touro College

Get Involved

The Jacob J. Hecht Pre-Law Society is active on both YU undergraduate campuses. Leadership opportunities are offered each year. For more information, contact the Presidents: Yitzchak Carroll (Wilf) or Shanee Markovitz (Beren). 

There are also many other clubs and competitions to join. Click here for a list.

Law schools value community service and leadership experiences.  It isn't the number of clubs and experiences you have, but rather the time you commit and the impact you make that counts. 

Frontiers in Law at Cardozo Law School

Each spring, YU offers its undergraduate students interested in law the opportunity to take a class at Cardozo Law School.  The course, Frontiers in Law, exposes students to different fields of law as well as to professors and practitioners who specialize in those fields.  For more information, please contact the Dean's Office. 

Judicial Internship Program

Yeshiva University offers a unique opportunity for its Pre-Law Students to gain first hand experience interning for New York and New Jersey state judges. Students are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and complete an application and interview process with both the Pre-Law Advisor and the Judge. The internships are offered for the Fall/Spring academic year and for the Summer. For an application, please contact beaudrea@yu.edu.

Internship Funding

Internships are practicums to help you see the potential in a professional area so are not necessarily academic in nature (although they certainly can be!). Here is a list agencies that provide such funding. Students should check with YU's Finance Office or Career Services for assistance in finding funding sources. 

Interexchangehttps://www.interexchange.org/articles/career-training-usa/funding-your-internship-in-us/

PSJD (Pathway To Public Service Legal Careers): https://www.psjd.org/Funding_Sources

JW Saxe Foundation: award of $2,000 for public service project for undergraduate or graduate student in accredited US college or university; project can be domestic or international; Check website if there is still funding.
Deadline is in April: http://jwsaxefund.org/ 

The Ella Lyman Cabot Trust: http://cabottrust.org/general-application-guidelines/

Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship: for recent college and graduate school alumni to apply for full-time, six-nine month fellowships in Washington, DC. Outstanding individuals will be selected to work with nonprofit, public interest organizations addressing peace and security issues. Applications are especially encouraged from candidates with a strong interest in these issues who have prior experience with public-interest activism or advocacy. Deadlines October 1 for following spring semester. Spring fellowship begins between 1/15 and 4/1; and for fall fellowship apply by January, and begin fellowship between 7/15 and 10/1. http://scoville.org/apply/application-information/

Jennifer Cohen Foundation. Provides financial assistance to students, freshmen thru grad level, to enable them to perform community service that otherwise would be financially difficult for them to do so. Service may be through employment or other association with a nonprofit organization, through the development and execution of a person’s own program of community service, or through any other suitable community service activity. Deadline is rolling. http://jjcf.org/

Recommendations

If you are a current student or recent graduate, law schools will expect you to provide at least one (and we recommend two) letters of recommendation from professors.  As small liberal arts and sciences and business colleges, YU's undergraduate institutions are uniquely positioned to offer students the opportunity to build important relationships with their professors.  Students should aim to take favored professors twice and to be involved in academic and professional development opportunities with their professors.  It is important to keep this in mind from your first semester on campus - don't wait until your senior year - it may be too late!