Pre-Law

Pre-Law Advising

Considering a career in law or want to learn more about Furman’s pre-law track? Furman’s Office of Pre-Professional Advising (OPPA) provides support for current students and alumni to explore and prepare for the legal profession. With a full-time dedicated Pre-Law Advisor, the Office of Pre-Professional Advising is part of a student’s team of mentors who provide support and guidance through the preparation and law school admissions process. Connect with the pre-law advisor for individualized support and encouragement on your path to law school.

Law School Admissions Stats

Law School Admissions Stats

Furman students currently attend top tier law schools including: Stanford, Yale, Pennsylvania, Duke, Virginia, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Boston University, Arizona State, Emory, George Washington, Iowa, Washington & Lee, and Baylor.
  • 100%
    Seniors admitted to one or more law schools, Class of 2023
  • 94%
    Seniors admitted to one or more law schools, Class of 2022
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Furman’s robust liberal arts education provides the perfect foundation for students to build key skills in critical reading, writing, oral communication, research, organization, and collaboration to help students succeed in and beyond law school.

  • Students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline.
  • Students are encouraged to pursue academically rigorous majors that interest them because by pursuing a major they find interesting; students are more likely to excel.
  • There is no pre-law major at Furman. Furman’s Pre-Law Track is designed to assist students pursuing any major investigate the legal profession. By engaging in Furman’s law-related classes, internships, research, and/or study away opportunities, students can determine if law is the right path for them. Some Furman students determine they are ready to matriculate directly to law school and other students prioritize work or other experiences before pivoting to law school.
  • The pre-law advisor supports current students and alumni and both are encouraged to reach out to the pre-law advisor for guidance. Students are encouraged to schedule one-on-one advising appointments with the pre-law advisor to discuss their interest in law and avenues to explore those interests.
  • To help students investigate the range of legal careers and build networking skills, the Office of Pre-Professional Advising hosts a legal speaker series, attorney panels, attorney alumni mixers, and legal treks.
  • To support students in the law school selection and application process, the Office of Pre-Professional Advising hosts law school visits, law fairs, and an application workshop series.

To explore the legal profession before applying to law school, students are encouraged to discuss the following opportunities with the pre-law advisor.

  • Join Pre-Law Society, the student organization that connects all law-interested students, on SyncDIN, and build community by attending Society sponsored events.
  • Join the Pre-Law Advising Moodle Course for access to materials including sample resumes, law admissions presentations, and financing law school sessions.
  • Join Furman’s Mock Trial Team to build courtroom skills, improve your critical and analytical thinking skills, polish communication skills, and learn to work effectively in a team-oriented environment.
  • Research Diversity Initiatives and Programs that provide support for students who do not have attorneys in their families and want to better understand the legal profession.
  • Develop Networking Skills by attending sessions with law schools, the Lunch with a Lawyer Series, career treks, and attorney alumni events.
  • Complete a Legal Internship to explore the legal profession and build professionalism skills. In addition to discussing options with the pre-law advisor, students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with Furman’s Internship Office to explore “legal category” internships in the database.
  • Connect with Attorney Alumni and Furman JD Candidates on LinkedIn to build a mentor network. The Malone Center for Career Engagement can help students build a LinkedIn profile and collect a professional headshot for the profile. Students should meet with the pre-law advisor to discuss growing their network.

Furman students and alumni applying to law school will work through the following checklist with the pre-law advisor. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with the pre-law advisor to discuss timing well in advance, at least two years or more, before starting law school.

Most law schools open their applications in September and students should apply when they have a strong application ready to submit and well in advance of any application deadlines (most students strive to file their applications in fall). Because significant time is typically needed to prepare a law school admission test, students are strongly encouraged to discuss exam dates and preparation timelines well in advance (at least a year before) law schools open their applications for cycle. Students hoping to matriculate directly to law school typically plan to take their first admissions exam in junior spring or during summer between junior and senior year.

  • Create Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) and LawHub Accounts at www.lsac.org. When creating their account, students may want to create a new professional email address, opt-in for Candidate Referral Service, and select the box agreeing to share information with their pre-law advisor.
  • Prepare and Take an Admissions Exam. In addition to discussing with their pre-law advisor which exam is best for them, students should also discuss accommodations requests and needs-based fee waivers, if applicable.
    • LSAC’s Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is the most used law school admissions test. Students should take a diagnostic exam in LawHub and discuss results and test preparation options with their pre-law advisor. Students may take the LSAT up to five times (although this is not recommended) in a five-year reporting period. Whether students elect to take the exam at a proctor center or remotely, students will complete the same digital exam. Currently, the LSAT is comprised of a multiple-choice exam which includes four 35-minute sections (one analytical reasoning or games section, one logical reasoning section, one reading comprehension section, and one variable ungraded section) and an ungraded writing section. Starting with the August 2024 LSAT administration, the games section will be removed and replaced with a second graded logical reasoning section. The ungraded writing section typically opens around eight days before the multiple-choice exam and should be completed promptly to prevent delays in score release. Because the LSAT Writing will be shared with all schools where a student applies, students are advised to take the writing section seriously to provide the law schools with a document that demonstrates their writing abilities. Students should closely monitor test dates, registration dates, score release dates, and score preview dates. Score preview is a newer option that provides students an opportunity to review their score and within six days of the score being released, decide whether to cancel or report the score. LSAC provides score preview to students for an additional charge. Students should note that cancelled scores count as one of the five tests permitted in the five-year period. A student’s CAS report will show all LSAT scores taken in a five-year reporting window, including a C for any cancelled scores.
    • ETS’ Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is an admissions test accepted by many law schools. Students should review the list of schools accepting the GRE, consider taking a diagnostic to determine whether this test plays to their strengths, and discuss this option, along with possible merit aid considerations, with their pre-law advisor.
    • Aspen Publishing’s JD-Next Exam is a new online contracts course and exam option that certain schools have received a variance from the ABA to accept as an alternative to the LSAT or GRE. Students should discuss this newest option with their pre-law advisor and with the law schools directly because most variance schools are still in the implementation stage and students will want to learn more about how schools plan to use this option in admissions.
  • Pay Credential Assembly Service which lasts for five years.
  • Attend the Summer Application Workshop Series to discuss and complete the following steps.
    • Request Official Transcripts be sent to LSAC (LSAC recalculates GPA) Release home institution, high school dual enrollment, and other colleges/university transcripts. Students may need to release study abroad transcripts and should discuss this requirement with their pre-law advisor.
    • Research and Build a School List that includes reach, competitive and safety schools, schools in their preferred geographic regions, and public and private schools. Students are encouraged to review the ABA 509 Reports and using their highest test score and LSAC GPA, make sure their list is sufficiently varied. Students should prepare an excel spreadsheet that lists all their schools and critical dates.
    • Request Letters of Recommendation from faculty and professional references and supply those letter writers with materials such as resume and statements to assist in drafting. Because many law schools must receive letters for the application to be completed and moved to the review stage, students are advised to request letters several months in advance of target submission dates. Students considering early or priority decision options may need letters early in fall. Students should meet with their pre-law advisor to discuss who to select and how to ask those recommenders for letters.
    • Update Resume and Draft Statements. Students should prepare a law school resume (traditional, one or two pages, no smaller than 11 pt. font, one-inch margins, and without color or pictures). Students should read statement prompts for each of their schools carefully and prepare statements responsive to those prompts and following the specific instructions of each school. This process may take weeks or months and most students take several attempts to draft a genuine, authentic statement telling their story.  Students should proofread, invite multiple reviewers to comment, and proofread again. Students should exercise caution when using AI tools in the designing and drafting of statements because some schools do not permit any forms of AI and students must certify at the close of their application that they have not used such tools.
    • Collect Documents to Complete Character and Fitness Questions. Students should read the character and fitness prompts from each school carefully before answering honestly, clearly, and concisely. When in doubt, disclose the infraction, but students should again, meet with their pre-law advisor as questions arise.
    • Submit Applications When a Strong Application is Ready and Well in Advance of Deadlines. Collect application fee waivers by attending LSAC Forum/School Fair, using a school’s online form (where applicable), or by politely emailing the director of admission at the law school. If students applying regular decision have a strong application ready in fall, they should go ahead and submit. However, applying early in cycle may not be advised where a student needs to first bolster their exam score to strengthen their application. Students should discuss test retake options and application submission timing with their pre-law advisor.
    • Attend Financing Law School Workshop & Prepare FAFSA and CSS Profile/School Forms. OPPA hosts AccessLex annually for a financing law school workshop that current cycle applicants and their families are strongly encouraged to attend. Students should timely submit their FAFSA. Additionally, law schools who extend needs-based aid may require students to complete a CSS Profile or individual financing forms.
    • Apply for Scholarships. Students should complete any supplemental scholarship applications and review the AccessLex’s Scholarship Databank for additional scholarship opportunities.
    • Attend Admitted Student Days. Students are strongly advised to attend admitted student days to determine whether the school is a good fit. Some law schools provide travel or hotel stipends to assist with visits.
    • Calculate Cost of Attendance. Students should calculate cost of attendance (tuition + living  – scholarship) and review merit-aid offers (especially paying attention to acceptance conditions and binding language). AccessLex’s Student Loan Calculator is a great tool to help students compare cost.
    • Navigate Scholarship Reconsideration Opportunities. Students should meet with their Pre-Law Advisor before approaching law schools about merit aid reconsideration. Some schools use a formal process and others an informal process for these requests and students should note that their inquiries must be polite and should never be phrased as a demand or entitlement.
    • Decide Where to Pay Seat Deposit. The pre-law advisor can discuss with students the various factors to consider including cost, reputation, location, programs… and help students determine a best fit school based on their future goals.
    • Discuss Waitlist Procedures. A student who has applied to a varied list that includes reach schools should expect to receive waitlist responses. Students should meet with the pre-law advisor to discuss drafting letters of continued interest, and well-timed strategic updates and outreach. Continued demonstrated interest may be important to some law schools in finalizing their classes.

First generation and underrepresented students are strongly encouraged to meet with the pre-law advisor to discuss pipeline, summer, and other programs including but not limited to the list below.

  • LSAC’s PLUS Programs “offers selected participants a window into the law school enrollment journey while providing support and community to those looking to join the legal profession.”
  • UVA Roadmap Scholars Initiative supports undergraduate sophomores interested in pursuing careers in the legal profession. The program’s goal is to expose participants to the law, law school and the legal profession, and to help them become competitive applicants to any of the nation’s top law schools.
  • Duke PreLaw Fellowship Program is a four-week residential program that aims to introduce talented rising college sophomores and juniors to the study of law and to the legal profession.
  • Florida State College of Law Widner Summer for Undergraduates Program  brings undergraduate students from throughout the country together in-person for a month-long immersion into legal study.
  • Yale Law Launchpad Scholars Program, by Latham & Watkins, is focused on increasing opportunity and equity in education and the legal profession.
  • AT&T Legal Scholars Program is a collaboration between AT&T’s Legal Department, Lawrence & Bundy LLC, and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP as part of these entities’ efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. AT&T Legal Scholars is a two and a half-day intensive workshop designed to provide rising 1L participants with insight into the legal profession and the tools necessary to succeed in law school.
  • SEO Law Fellowship provides underserved, incoming law school students the opportunity to work at a top law firm during the summer before law school.
  • The Marshall Motley Scholars Program provides a full law school scholarship to aspiring lawyers dedicated to pursuing racial justice in the South.

  • Law School Admission Council: LSAC’s stated mission is to advance law and justice by promoting access, equity, and fairness in law school admission and supporting the learning journey from prelaw through practice. LSAC supplies students with information on the LSAT, study preparation, researching schools, and students create LSAC accounts to file their law school applications.
  • ABA Disclosures: The American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar provides: (A) the Standard 509 Reports that contain basic information about the law schools regarding admissions, curriculum, enrollment, financial aid, and tuition; (B) employment outcomes; and (C) bar passage outcomes.
  • AccessLex on Financing Law School: AccessLex provides free resources to aspiring law students through the Max Pre-Law Suite, the Scholarship Databank, and Student Loan Calculator.
  • NALP: The National Association for Law Placement attorney salary statistics including an Associate Salary Survey and Jobs and JDs Salaries of New Law Graduates.

Meet the Pre-Law Advisor

Student Testimonial

“Furman pre-law has remained a core part of my Furman experience from my first interest meeting with Maya Russell freshman year to tackling the law school admissions process as an alum. Maya is Furman’s greatest asset for its pre-law students and has built pre-law advising from the ground up through open-door student appointments, pre-professional programming with high-profile attorneys in varied fields, and invaluable partnerships and presentations with law school admissions officers.”
– Andrew Allen ’21, B.A., politics and international affairs and history; J.D. Candidate, The George Washington University Law School