Applying to Law School: What UCSD Alumni, Students, and Faculty Think

With more opportunities in the legal field and more schools looking for students, Jose Chavez outlines the application and mental requirements placed on law students. 

In light of the slight uptick in law school enrollment, the legal profession is currently growing at a rate of 9% throughout the next decade, compared to other careers requiring a professional or doctorate degree within the STEM field. 

Additionally, cumulative enrollment in law schools has fallen into another natural recession over the course of the previous decade, according to data from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

This posits an abundance of opportunity for pre-law undergraduate students. More law schools will hunt for more prospective students to uphold their medians and income through tuition, opening the doors for academically successful students that have drastically higher grade-point averages than that of the average college student in the United States. Secondly, more highly ranked schools could offer more students a potential scholarship due to the fact that overall JD enrollment was down 23.5% as soon as two years ago.

Even in light of the new found benefits of going down the prelaw path, the decision to pursue a Juris Doctorate or L.L.M. degree remains a decision with a myriad of factors to weigh. 

One of the reasons for the sharp decrease in law school enrollment is based on the pressure law schools faced to disclose honest employment numbers.

Organizations like “Law School Transparency,” provide evidence which can disway people looking for sky high salaries from the get go. On top of the salary roadblock for some, there are multiple routes and career paths for law students to choose from. All of the routes require students to eventually key in on a path.  

According to a 2018–19 Student Profile from the Office of Institutional Research Academic Affairs, UC San Diego’s student body is primarily composed of Social Science students with Biology and other STEM programs ranking among the most popular degrees. Thus, while most UCSD students are likely most oriented towards medical school, there is also a significant section of students looking forward to a legal career. 

In anticipation of the fall application cycle for law school winding up, The UCSD Guardian reached out to current law students, professors, and undergraduate pupils for their take on what makes a successful law school application. 

One of the first requirements to apply to law school is an undergraduate degree.  Ultimately, the major is up to the student’s choice since grade-point average (GPA) and Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT) score are the core deciding factors on your application.

Some popular undergraduate majors for law school include Criminology, Economics, Business, Philosophy, English, and Political Science. These degrees prevail due in large part to the emphasis put on research, critical thinking, and exposure to the legal field. 

Note that law schools by…

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