Welcome to Pitzer College’s Pre-Law Advising. Whether you are considering a career in law, preparing for the LSAT or applying to law school, we are here to help.
As a student of the liberal arts attending Pitzer College and the greater Claremont Colleges, you receive excellent academic preparation to pursue a career in law. Students often ask if there is a certain major that law schools look more favorably upon during the admission process. The American Bar Association and its 203 accredited and approved law schools do not require nor recommend any particular undergraduate major for those preparing for law school. Pitzer College does not offer a Pre-Law major. However, students are often encouraged to take a class in logic. Scripps College is the only 5-C college with a designated major in Legal Studies. You may take Legal Studies classes at both Scripps College and at Claremont McKenna College.
An important determinant for law school is your grade point average. It is best to select a major with courses of interest that you find intellectually stimulating. Through your undergraduate course work, focus on the following core skills recommended by the American Bar Association:
- Analytic and Problem-Solving
- Critical Reading
- Writing and Editing
- Oral Communication and Listening
- Task Organization and Management
- Public Service and Promotion of
- Relationship-building and
- Background Knowledge
- Exposure to the Law
For more information visit the American Bar Association’s Pre-Law: Preparing for Law School page.
Pitzer College provides individual pre-law advising and on-campus events focused on these three primary areas:
- Studying for and taking the LSAT
- Applying to law school, and
- Deciding upon the law school that is right for you which includes issues such as cost, types of experience offered and possible employment opportunities following law school. (See detailed information below.)
Upcoming Law Related Events
Visit the Handshake Calendar for all upcoming law related events.
Make an appointment on Handshake with Brad Tharpe. For quick questions she can be emailed at Brad_Tharpe@Pitzer.edu
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
- CLEO The Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO) is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization that was founded in 1968 to expand opportunities for minority and low-income students to attend law school. Since its inception, more than 25,000 students have participated in CLEO’s programs and joined the legal profession.
- CLEO Pre-Law Programs
- Road To Law School (RTLS) seminar aims to provide Freshman an overview of the key components of the law school application process.
- Sophomore Super Saturdays pre-law seminars are designed for Sophomore college students. Juniors may be admitted on a space available basis. The seminars aim to help students further develop logical reasoning, reading comprehension and writing skills – the skills needed to become a competitive law school applicant.
- Juniors Jumpstart LSAT seminars aim to help participants understand the importance of systematic and timely preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
- Pre-Law Summer Institute and other CLEO programs can be found on this page.
- Diversity in Law School: Why it Matters, Discover Law (LSAC)
- LatinoJustice (Formerly PRLDEF) LatinoJustice works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education.
- Legal Education Access Pipeline, a 9-month fellowship program – LEAP
- LGBT Bar/Lavender Law and Annual Conference
- National Black Pre-Law Conference – The 16th Annual National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair 2020
Pre-Law Student Fellowships
Munger, Tolles & Olson Law Fellows Program in Los Angeles, CA – The MTO Fellows Program is a ten-month initiative aimed at preparing 25-40 aspiring diverse students for admission to and success in law school. The program seeks applicants from all backgrounds and strives to increase the diversity of the legal profession. All MTO Fellows will participate in the LSAT Preparation Course, monthly Saturday workshops (in downtown Los Angeles) and The Fellows Network, a strong network of law students, practicing attorneys and MTO alumni for on-site gatherings and other events.
UCLA Law Fellows Program – Legal Scholars Programs – These programs are usually in conjunction with a law school (ex. UCLA Fellows Program), a city (ex. the City of Temecula) or a company (ex. Facebook) to support pre-law and the first year of law students.
Diversity Statements in Applications
LSAT Test Prep Sites
for Law School
The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions, Straight Advice on Essays, Resumes, Interviews and more by Anna Ivey, Former Dean of Admissions, University of Chicago Law School,(Book)
Law School Application Timeline*
We encourage students to apply early! Even with “rolling admissions,” law schools fill up quickly. Financial aid is often prioritized to those who apply early and can run out before the end of the application season. If you want a seat secured at a particular law school and the best possible financial assistance package, apply early!
- Continue exploring the legal field
- Attend Pre-Law workshops provided by all the Claremont College schools
- Attend workshops or talk with a Pre-Law advisor about the application process, including how to write your personal statement.
- Obtain LSAT information https://www.lsac.org/lsat
- Obtain Credential Assembly Services (CAS) registration information from the LSAC website and register for CAS https://www.lsac.org/applying-law-school/jd-application-process/credential-assembly-service-cas
- Register for the June or July LSAT. The LSAT is offered 7 times a year https://www.lsac.org/lsat
- Allow one to three months to prepare for the LSAT
- Consider taking a test prep course to help you prepare for the LSAT
- Consult faculty regarding letters of recommendation
- Start gathering information about law school (See below)
- Arrange a visit to a law school by working with their admissions office. You can request a tour of the school, get connected with a current student, or ask to sit in on a law school course
Summer after Junior Year
- Take the June or July LSAT
- Receive LSAT score (3-4 weeks after test)
- Review law school choices in light of LSAT scores
- Register for October (or other date) LSAT if
- Continue requesting letters of recommendation and
checking on their status
- Begin writing your personal statement
Fall of Senior Year
- Finalize letters of recommendation
- Order your Pitzer College official transcripts
- Finalize personal statement; get them proofread by faculty, the Writing Center, Career Services and other law related professionals
- Take the October LSAT if necessary
- Request financial aid information from law schools
- Complete and send admissions applications before Thanksgiving, if possible
Spring of Senior Year
- Contact law schools to see if applications are
- Complete and submit financial aid materials
- Evaluate admissions offers
- Thank all recommendation letter writers and inform
them of your plans
How to Choose a Law School?
Selecting the right law schools to apply to involves research and introspection. While a school’s reputation can be important, it’s easy to rely solely on their rankings. We recommended that you gather information about both law schools and yourself to arrive at your own criteria and help you make an informed decision.
- Attend Pre-Law Workshops, Panel Discussions, one-time visits and other related opportunities where law school representatives are present at The Claremont Colleges. Meet the representatives and ask questions
- Attend the LSAC sponsored Law School Forum in Los Angeles or other metropolitan cities in the fall to speak with law school representatives about the application process, the LSAT, financial aid, diversity and the legal profession. https://www.lsac.org/lawschoolforums
- Use LSAC Law School Links, to research law schools and program specifics, https://officialguide.lsac.org/release/OfficialGuide_Default.aspx
- Conduct informational interviews by calling or visiting law schools. Most all schools will have a representative who is currently in law school or who just graduated to talk with all potential law school applicants. (Add Information Interviewing handout.)
- While you are visiting the school, sit in on a class, if possible.
- Network with other Pre-Law students and legal professionals by attending events hosted by Pre-Law organizations such as the Los Angeles Bar Association https://www.lacba.org/, For People of Color , Inc. https://forpeopleofcolor.org/ and the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO), https://cleoinc.org/.
Deciding Where to Apply
gathering information, here are factors to consider.
- Admissions considerations – Look at the schools entering class profiles to assess LSAT scores and GPA and how your numbers compare. (See 509 Reports below.) It is not totally about the “numbers”! Students with lower than average LSAT and GPA scores have often been admitted with a strong personal statement and a vision for what they will do with their degree in law. Divide your chosen schools into 3 categories: 1.) Dream schools that are a “stretch”, 2.) Core schools where your application will be competitive, and 3.) Safety Schools where you will likely be admitted.
- Diversity of the student body and faculty
- Financial Considerations
- Location – Where would you like to start your practice? Is weather a factor for you? Do you need to be near your family?
- Availability of specific law classes, experiential education and clinical programs of interest. All law schools provide different opportunities for you to prepare for your law practice and profession.
- Career Services and placement rates
- Campus facilities (housing, library, classrooms)
- Faculty (legal training, areas of interest, accessibility, diversity)
- Extracurricular activities (Law Review, moot court, student clubs)
- Academic programs (clinical opportunities, joint degree offerings, study abroad options)
Check out Standard 509 Reports, plus Employment Outcomes and Bar Passage Outcomes
- The American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education, has up to date reports on all ABA approved schools. The reports include data about tuition and fees, living expenses, GPA and LSAT scores, and grants and scholarships which can help you compare law schools before applying.
- Review the California State Bar Association website. A very interesting site with bar pass rates for ABA and non-ABA accredited schools in and out of the State.
*Timeline and Choosing a Law School, et.al, UC Berkley, 2019