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Welcome, New Students!

 

Click here, https://advising.tulane.edu/advising/incoming, for our Incoming Students website which contains details that will be helpful to you as you begin to navigate your academic journey at Tulane. If you haven’t yet registered for a June CAST advising and registration appointment to complete your registration for the Fall 2021 semester, please review your emails from the Office of Admission which contain the scheduling link and additional details you can use to prepare for your appointment.

Pre-Law Advising

Tulane Pre-Law Advising is available to undergraduate students and alumni interested in pursuing a career as a legal professional. Our Pre-Law Advisors meet individually with students to help plan their Pre-Law track so that they may attain the skills and experiences essential for a competitive law school applicant. We help guide students with:

  • Exploring the diverse fields of law and potential career paths
  • Advice on classes, majors, and academic interests
  • Seeking internships and professionalizing experiences
  • Building resumes/CVs
  • Compiling a list of potential law schools
  • Discussing the format and study plan for the LSAT
  • Preparing a timeline for law school applications

Are you ready to meet with a Pre-Law Advisor and discuss the next steps towards law school?

Make an Appointment for Pre-Law Advising

 

About the Legal Profession

The law is a respected profession which arose out of the basic need for an orderly society and a body of rules and procedures to govern human relationships. A lawyer’s primary function is to provide legal assistance in peaceful resolution of conflicts. Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, or government agencies on legal issues or disputes. In order to accomplish this, lawyers regularly do the following:

  • Advise and represent clients in courts, before government agencies, or in private legal matters
  • Communicate with their clients and others
  • Conduct research and analysis of legal problems
  • Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations for individuals and businesses
  • Present facts in writing or verbally to their clients or others and argue on their behalf
  • Prepare and file legal documents, such as lawsuits, appeals, wills, contracts, and deeds

Lawyers, also called attorneys, act as both advocates and advisors.

As advocates, they represent one of the parties in criminal and civil trials by presenting evidence and arguing in court to support their client.

As advisors, lawyers counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations and suggest courses of action in business and personal matters. All attorneys research the intent of laws and judicial decisions and apply the laws to the specific circumstances that their clients face.

There are a variety of opportunities to specialize within the practice of law—criminal law, defense attorney, government counsel, environmental law, tax law, intellectual property law, etc. More information about these specializations.

Most states require that applicants graduate from an ABA-accredited law school, pass one or more written bar exams, and be found by an admitting board to have the character to represent and advise others. Lawyers who want to practice in more than one state must often take separate bar exams in each state.

Work Environment

Lawyers held about 728,200 jobs in 2010. A majority of lawyers work in private or corporate legal offices. Some are employed in local, state and federal governments. About 22 percent of lawyers were self-employed in 2010.

Lawyers work mostly in offices. However, some travel to attend meetings with clients at various locations, such as homes, hospitals, or prisons. Some lawyers gather evidence; others appear before courts. Lawyers who represent clients in courts may face heavy pressure during trials.

The majority of lawyers work full time, and many work long hours. Lawyers who are in private practice or those who work in large firms often work long hours conducting research and preparing or reviewing documents.

Job Outlook

Employment of lawyers is expected to grow by 10 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for legal work will continue as individuals, businesses, and all levels of government will need legal services in many areas.

However, growth in demand for lawyers will be constrained as businesses increasingly use large accounting firms and paralegals to do some of the same tasks that lawyers do. For example, accounting firms may provide employee-benefit counseling, process documents, or handle various other services that law firms previously handled.

Employment Prospects

Competition for legal employment is strong because more students are graduating from law school each year than there are jobs available. As in the past, some recent law school graduates who have been unable to find permanent positions are turning to the growing number of temporary staffing firms that place attorneys in short-term jobs. This service allows companies to hire lawyers “as-needed” and permits beginning lawyers to develop practical skills.

Job opportunities are typically affected by cyclical swings in the economy. During recessions, demand declines for some discretionary legal services, such as planning estates, drafting wills, and handling real estate transactions. Also, corporations are less likely to litigate cases when declining sales and profits restrict their budgets. Some corporations and law firms may even cut staff to contain costs until business improves.

**Information on this page was compiled in large part from information in Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, which can be found online at: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm

 

Prelaw Checklists

Years 1 & 2
  • Choose a balanced and diverse course of study. Select classes which encourage logical reasoning and writing skills. Useful courses include, but are not limited to: philosophy, ethics, critical thinking, symbolic logic, sociology, American government, negotiations, criminology, and business law. 
  • Work hard in class. Good grades help students gain admission to law school. Retake classes in which you earned a non-passing grade. 
  • Develop a personal relationship with two or more faculty members who stimulate you intellectually. Consider who you will ask to write letters of recommendation for admission to law school. 
  • Visit Tulane's Writing Workshop and Career Center for assistance with personal statements and resumes. 
  • Participate in extracurricular activities. 
  • Join Tulane's free Prelaw Society. Participate in law related activities on or off campus. 
  • Read broadly. 
  • Embrace every opportunity to write and be critiqued. 
  • Talk to lawyers and Tulane law students about the nature of the profession. 
  • Peruse the Law School Admission Council web site for information about preparation for law school. 
  • If you have questions, make an appointment to meet with the prelaw advisor. 
  • One of the most important aspects of being an attorney is not found in the confrontational attitudes that provide dramatic moments in television and movies about attorneys; rather, it is the ability to act as a professional even in the heat of battle. Practice gentility and good business manners. 
Junior and Senior Years

Junior Year

  • Make this a good year academically. Law school admissions committees review applicant’s grades in their search for hard working students. If you hope to attend law school immediately after graduation your junior year grades will be the most recently completed and reported. 
  • Students perform best on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT); when they take it in June following their junior year. Prepare for the examination in the spring of your junior year. Explore the option of taking a commercial preparation class. Applicants may purchase a book of past LSAT exams from the Law School Admissions Service at www.LSAC.org.
  • Read over the Law Schools websites that you are interested in attending. If you would like you can also order catalogs from them which are usually updated each summer. 
  • Learn as much as you can about the legal profession by reading, talking to attorneys and law students, internships, law related summer jobs, and taking part in campus prelaw activities. 
  • Visit prospective law schools were ever possible. 
  • Prepare faculty members to write supportive recommendations for you in the spring. Most law schools request two recommendations. Faculty who know you well and for whom you have done your best work write the most persuasive recommendations. 
  • Some law schools require dean’s certifications of good academic standing. Know your academic advisor and dean’s so that they may confidently and coherently endorse you to law schools which require dean’s certifications. 

Spring Junior Year

  • Register for the LSAT and LSDAS online at www.LSAC.org 
  • Develop a list of law schools. Read the Official Guide to ABA-approval Law Schools. This book is available online at www.LSAC.org 
  • Evaluate your admissions potential to targeted law schools by comparing your GPA and projected LSAT score to each law school’s accepted candidate average scores. Applicant strategies for admissions should mimic undergraduate admissions plans which include a couple vision schools, the majority of reasonable schools and a couple of confidence schools. Most students apply to between six and ten schools. 
  • Prepare for and take the LSAT. By taking the June LSAT, applicants know their scores and can better select an appropriate range of law schools. Future applicants may retake the LSAT in October in the event of a problem during the June LSAT administration. 
  • Develop a system of tracking all registration and application materials. Duplicate forms, applications and correspondence for your own records. Ultimately, your applications are your responsibility, so keep track of the process. 
  • Request recommendations from faculty members. Consider giving faculty recommders a copy of your personal statement and resume.

Taking the LSAT

Fall of Senior Year 

  • Revise your personal statement. Solicit editorial comments from your professor’s. 
  • Conclude arrangements for your letters of recommendation 
  • Contact Tulane University Registrars Office to arrange transmission of your transcripts to LSDAS. Information about transcript transmission is available on Tulane University’s web page. Transcripts must be sent from each institutions attended. 
  • Obtain financial aid forms, such as FAFSA, from law schools. Law schools designate which forms they require. 
  • Students uncertain of the strength of their applications or advisability of retaking the LSAT may consult the Prelaw Advisor. Again, appointments are preferred. 
  • Finalize and post applications by Thanksgiving, if possible. Most law schools admit students on a rolling admissions basis, thus the system favors early applicants. 
  • Double check everything online. By mid-January, make sure law schools received application, LSDAS reports, letters of recommendation and dean’s certificates that where required. 
  • Thank recommenders and advise them of application results. 
  • Notify schools which offered admittance and which you will not attend that you have accepted another law school seat.