Pre-Law

Hiram College does not identify any specific package of courses as preparation for law school because there are a variety of courses and fields of study through which students can acquire the skills necessary to achieve success in law. Advice can be very helpful, though, in assisting you with planning your curriculum and preparing to take the LSAT.

Students interested in a pre-law course of study are encouraged to seek advice about law school and the legal profession from Professor Koritansky of the political science department (Office: Koritansky Hall, phone: ext. 5144, e-mail: .)

As an undergraduate, you should consult with your adviser about courses that will enhance your skills in critical thinking, ethics and writing. Many courses fill this role including courses in philosophy, political science, biomedical humanities and team-taught IDs.

The Hiram Pre-Law Club plans activities for students interested in the legal profession. These often include visits from current law students and practicing lawyers, judges, and paralegals, and excursions to meet law school admissions representatives. Watch for posters around campus advertising their events.

LSAT applications and review books, samples of personal statements and law school catalogs are available for your use in the Career Center. Below are some websites you will also find helpful.

Visit the Law School Admission Council for links to all law schools and LSAT information.

Several universities offer test preparation courses at reasonable costs.

Commercial companies provide excellent service but at a greater cost :

Law School is expensive and a major investment in your future. Use these resources to make an informed choice about financing and choosing schools.

Our Top 5 Suggested Financial Aid Resources

 

1. The LSAC. www.lsac.org

The Law School Admission Council recently created a video about Financing Law School, which you can view on their website at: http://www.lsac.org/jd/finance/financial-aid-overview.asp. This presentation is very thorough in explaining the nuts and bolts of law school financial aid. Just make sure you set aside some time—it lasts about 45 minutes.

2. Access Group, www.accessgroup.org

Access Group was a nonprofit that used to distribute law school loans. Sadly, they are no longer in the loan distribution business, but their resources are fantastic. We especially recommend the FREE Financing Your Legal Education workbook, which you can download here: http://www.accessgroup.org/Student-Loans/learn-about-loans/index.htm. In addition, the website has a Wise Borrowing series of articles and videos to help you make intelligent borrowing decisions.

3. U.S. Department of Education, http://studentaid.ed.gov

In addition to finding the FAFSA form here, you can also find information about Direct Stafford Loans, which most law students use to finance their legal education. Be sure to click on the section for graduate and professional students, as some of the information for undergraduates is irrelevant for grad students. The loan repayment plans and calculator can be particularly helpful for comparing the costs of schools. http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/OtherFormsOfRepay.jsp

4. John Marshall Law School’s financial aid website, http://www.jmls.edu/students/scholarships/

Even if you do not attend John Marshall, this is one of the best listings of law school scholarship opportunities. (And if you are interested in JM, check out the scholarships they sponsor.) Click on the “external scholarship opportunities” to view a selection of Chicago-area and nationwide legal scholarships.

5. Annual Credit Report.com, www.annualcreditreport.com

Why is this website important? For two reasons: First, some law students will need to take out private loans because they will max out their federal loan eligibility. Private lenders generally use your credit score to determine an interest rate, so the better your credit, the lower the interest rate. When you consider the impact of compound interest over 20+ years, even .5% difference in an interest rate can save you thousands of dollars!

Second, even if you do not end up taking out private student loans, knowing and understanding your credit score is a life skill that will help you qualify or get better rates on mortgages, car loans, insurance, and credit cards. It’s also a good idea to see if your credit report contains mistakes, which are relatively common.

We also encourage you to look at the financial aid websites of law schools that you’ve applied to, or schools that interest you. You can find out a lot of information about how the school distributes their aid programs.

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