The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Preparing for a Legal Career

Photo of students at the Boston Statehouse

Preparing for Law School

Get Advising Support

If you are considering (or sure of) law school, schedule an appointment with Pre-Law Advising. You can learn at Pre-Law Advising about careers in the legal field, the application process, and get support as you apply.

  1. Log into Navigate.
  2. Select "Make an Appointment."
  3. For appointment type, select "Advising."
  4. For available offices, choose the most appropriate "Pre-Law Advising" option.

Become a Strong Applicant

In addition to earning a strong LSAT score, which you can discuss with the Pre-Law Advisor, you'll also want to demonstrate to schools why you want to be a lawyer. Your application will be much stronger if you show how committed you are to your goal. You don't need every single activity you do to align with this one goal--you aren't a robot and it's great to play intramural sports, sing, paint, etc.--but you do want to have some activities that allow you to explore the passion that you have. This is both helpful for getting into law school and for making sure the passion you think you have is, in reality, what you want to do for the rest of your life.

Example of a Strong Applicant

Imagine your goal is to represent the rights of people who are low-income. Ways to demonstrate that goal include the following:

  • Join a club on campus that focuses on helping those are low-income
    • Horizons for Homeless Children
    • Medicine, Education, and Development for Low-Income Families Everywhere (MEDLIFE)
    • First-Generation Low-Income Partnership (FLIP)
  • Volunteer at a local nonprofit that serves individuals who are low-income
    • Amherst Survival Center
    • Craig's Doors (homeless shelter)
    • Amherst Community Connections
  • Do research with a professor focused on serving those who are low-income
    • Apply to research with Professor Davis about the impact of being low-income on college persistence
    • Apply to research with a sociology professor about the root causes of financial disparities 
  • Intern in the summers at a law firm that supports those in need
    • Intern with Greater Boston Legal Aid
    • Intern with an attorney in your home town who does a lot of pro bono work

Gap Time Jobs

Before you spend the time and money to go to law school, you should be as sure as possible that it's the right career path for you. If you are still working to improve your application or need a little more time to determine if you want to be a lawyer, consider applying to roles including but not limited to: