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EIUPre-Law Program


Undergraduate Timeline

Freshman Year

  • Get to know the pre-law advisor, Dr. Karen Swenson (2321 Coleman Hall).
  • Begin the process of selecting a major.
  • Inquire about Moot Court, the Pre-Law Society, and legal internships.
  • Your GPA is cumulative - do your best from the beginning of your freshman year.
  • Set up a free account with the Law School Admission Council at

Sophomore Year

  • Choose courses that offer skills in critical reading, analytical and logical reasoning, and technical writing. Take at least one public law class.
  • Begin to establish a relationship with professors who will write your letters of recommendation.
  • Consider if law school is really best for you: discuss your career options with the pre-law advisor and your major advisor; take a pre-law internship to have contact with lawyers and legal work; read books about law school and the legal profession. 
    • Examine the state of the legal job market. Data is available from the National Association of Law Placement at

Junior Year

  • Study for the LSAT, and take sample tests.
  • Think about taking an LSAT prep course, especially if you are not a self-motivated studier or your scores on sample tests are not good. A free course is available from the Kahn Academy
  • Register for the LSAT and plan on taking the LSAT in June, July or August after your junior year or September/October of your senior year.
  • Begin choosing law schools to which you may apply (use the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools).
  • Attend a MAPLA Law School Caravan event or an LSAC Forum

Senior Year

  • Visit law schools that interest you.
  • Take LSAT by September/October, no later than December.
  • Register with the Law School Credentials Assembly Service (CAS) at least 6 weeks prior to sending your applications off to law schools.
  • Narrow down which law schools to apply to (students typically apply to 7, but the more you apply to, the greater your options will be).
  • Write your personal statements and obtain letters of recommendation.
  • Apply to law school (the earlier the better - November is the beginning of many law schools' early review processes).
  • Check out financial aid opportunities.
  • Wait for acceptance letters.
  • If you did not visit before applying, visit now to assist in making the final selection.

For More Information

  • Visit the LSAC website at
  • Legal jobs data is collected by the National Association of Law Placement at
  • Look into pre-law courses in the pre-law minor and other pre-law activities listed on the Political Science Department web page.


Related Pages

Contact Information

Karen Swenson

Department of Political Science
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-2523
Fax: (217) 581-2926

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