The pre-law pathway is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in law, attending law school or learning more about legal areas that may be relevant to their professional careers.
Merrimack’s pre-law pathway sets students up for success by focusing on experiential learning with a variety of experiences that foster the development of critical thinking and analytic skills.
Students benefit from Merrimack’s approach to personalized advising while also collaborating with peers, faculty and industry experts to learn from different perspectives. Merrimack’s pre-law programs are designed to fit any major.
Other Important Elements of Pre-Law Preparation
As a student interested in pursuing a career in law, experiential learning is key to gaining experience through exposure to real life scenarios you may encounter in the field.
- Students are put into teams of two, and argue constitutional issues in a hypothetical case as though the case were on appeal to the Supreme Court.
- Merrimack’s alumni network serves as mentorship to prepare our students for competition at the national level.
- The American Moot Court Association holds a national competition in which Merrimack participates every year.
Career in Law Event
- Hear from Merrimack alumni about their journey from undergraduate to post-college employment.
- This event is typically held once per year in panel format.
Merrimack provides its pre-law students with personalized advising sessions to map out each student’s custom path, either towards law school or a law based career. No paths are the same, so your advising session shouldn’t either. Group advising is also offered, which helps provide feedback and guidance for those who are unsure where they’d like to end up on their journey.
Other Important Elements of Pre-Med Preparation
- Public service internships are offered during the fall and spring semesters, and can be taken as an eight credit/two course option, or a four credit/one course option.
- For our pre-law pathway students, placements in the past have been in local district courts and law firms. These internships can also be taken informally if you do not wish to receive credit hours towards it.
- Speak with your career advisor at Merrimack’s O’Brien Center to learn about internship opportunities.
- Constitution Day is an annual event held at Merrimack by the Pre-Law Society. This entails tabling on Main Street in the Sakowich Center, and hosting a panel of alumni attorneys & judges who discuss a recent constitutional issue.
- The Pre-Law Society also holds additional programming throughout the year dependent on student’s interests.
- This can include LSAT preparation, law school application help sessions, and more.
In order to attend law school, a student must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Faculty members from the department will work to help prepare you for this exam, polish your personal statement, and guide you through the process.
Applying to Law Schools
Please review the following checklist if you are applying to law schools.
- Take the LSAT exam by October of the year prior to your desired matriculation date. For example, applicants who wish to begin law school in Fall 2024 should take the LSAT by October 2023 at the latest. You should plan to take the LSAT anywhere from June-October 2023.
Begin drafting your personal statement. A strong, well-written personal statement is a critical element of a successful application. The personal statement gives you the opportunity to present a compelling snapshot of who you are, what motivates you to seek a career as an attorney and what personal qualities and experiences make you an excellent candidate. This takes time, careful thought and will likely require many drafts before it is ready to submit. Begin early (several months before submitting your application)! You can plan to work with our faculty and your pre-law advisor to draft your statement.
Identify individuals who are able and willing to write you strong letters of recommendation and can complete these letters by your application submission date (these letters will be attached to your application). Your recommenders should be individuals who know you well and can comment at length on your talents, accomplishments and unique attributes. These individuals will ideally include:
- Two academic professors
- Additional recommenders may include non-faculty individuals such as internship supervisors, etc
Develop a list of schools, both on your own and with the assistance of your pre-law advisor.
Create and complete your application through LSAT’s credential assembly service.
Submit your application (between October and January).
Wait for acceptances. If you are waitlisted, do not be discouraged. Reach out to your pre-law advisor for advice on how to proceed.
Accept at your top choice and matriculate!
Pre-Law Minor vs. Pre-Law Pathway
- 5 pre-law courses & an experiential component
- You will develop critical thinking and analytical skills, practice defending arguments in a courtroom-like setting, and be exposed to the Socratic method used in law school.
- As a pre-law minor, you can gain internship experience that translates into credit hours to fulfill your degree.
- No pre-law courses required to declare a pre-law pathway
- You will gain strengthened oral communication skills, a critical reading ability and strong analytical mastery to prepare you for a pathway towards law school.
- This pathway is designed to fit any major – anywhere from engineering to health sciences.