Some students start college having already decided to pursue legal careers. Prospective lawyers may wish to look for Michigan colleges and universities offering a variety of pre-law opportunities. Choosing the "best" college for pre-law studies can be a challenging and subjective process; rather, students should research their options and select colleges that can best prepare them for law school admissions. Prospective students can start by searching for colleges with pre-law academic programs, career counseling and pre-law societies.
Many law schools require completion of a bachelor's degree before the applicant can matriculate; the schools do not, however, require a specific pre-law major or course of study. Even so, pre-law students should look for Michigan colleges offering a variety of majors commonly accepted by law schools. Popular majors for pre-law students include history, political science, English, economics or sociology. According to the University of Michigan's pre-law advising program, well-rounded liberal arts education with development of writing, speech and logical reasoning skills often provides the best foundation for a legal education in the future.
Students should identify Michigan colleges with career counseling services, particularly in pre-professional or pre-law counseling. A pre-law academic counselor can prepare students for law school admissions by providing advice regarding undergraduate course selection, major selection and preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Students interested in becoming lawyers can best prepare by looking for colleges that have invested in pre-law students by developing the appropriate pre-career and professional school resources. Michigan schools such as Central Michigan University, the University of Michigan, Hope College, Alma College and Hillsdale College, as well as others, employ pre-law advisors or directors. Students can also often find pre-law advice through their school's political science department, such as the one at Michigan State University.
Prospective law students may find it best to attend colleges with active pre-law societies on campus, such as Western Michigan University, Michigan State University and other Michigan institutions. A pre-law society is a student-run organization or club for students interested in pre-law studies and future legal careers. Students may benefit from meeting other students with similar pre-law interests. Additionally, students may be able to enhance their law school applications by organizing pre-law events, seeking out pre-law internships through society contacts or meeting lawyers and judges from the Michigan legal community at society events.
Many pre-law students dream of attending the University of Michigan Law School, which was included as one of the best ten American law schools in the U.S. News and World Report 2010 law school rankings. As a prestigious state public university, the University of Michigan attracts many competitive applicants. Students selecting colleges may wish to research the colleges best represented in the law school's current student population, as they may have a better chance of admission if they can attend an undergraduate college that sends many graduates on to law school at the University of Michigan.
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