Law School Discussion

No Pre-Law Advisor-help?

No Pre-Law Advisor-help?
« on: May 19, 2015, 07:03:24 PM »
So I'm a recent grad of a college with basically zero pre-law advising/programs. I just recently decided to go to law school and don't really have anyone to ask questions about applying-or-more importantly-if my past-mental health treatment will affect my ability to pass the bar so is law school even really an option for me.
Does anyone know of any resources that could help me?


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Re: No Pre-Law Advisor-help?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2015, 06:00:58 AM »

First, many (if not all) pre-law advisors don't know what they're talking about. Remember that. Because I paid attention to my pre-law advisor (who, in turn, asked for advice from another pre-law advisor) I chose the completely wrong mix of schools to apply to. It ended up working out great for me, but still....

So, briefly put- educate yourself. Ask questions. Go to different sites. There are, for all practical purposes, only two things that matter for your admissions chances. Your uGPA (undergraduate GPA) and your LSAT score. You know your uGPA; if you don't already have your LSAT score, start taking practice exams to get an idea of where you will score (approximate)- this will help you understand what types of schools you will be looking at (reach, solid, safety).

Re: mental health. This should be fine. Remember to separate two things- the illness, and the actions. For example:
1. I have bipolar disorder, and I am receiving treatment for it.
2. I have bipolar disorder, and because of that, I killed a guy in Reno just to watch him die.
3. I have bipolar disorder, and because of that, I have a massive and untreated cocaine addiction.

Illness alone (1) is never disqualifying. But actions can be (2). What can cause you problems is a lack of candor (this is the fancy lawyer-speak for telling the truth). If, for whatever reason, your law school application asks you a question that requires disclosure of something, make sure you disclose.

Re: No Pre-Law Advisor-help?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2015, 08:38:33 AM »
Most colleges have very little in the way of meaningful prelaw advising. My prelaw advisor wasn't even a lawyer, he was a history prof. Here's the "advice" I got: "Look at your LSAT and GPA then apply to schools in your range." Wow, thanks.

Your GPA is already set, so the best thing you can do now is focus on the LSAT. The LSAT is a HUGE piece of the puzzle, probably more important than your GPA. Once you have an actual LSAT score you'll be able to get a good picture of where you have a shot at getting in. Then you need to think about location and career goals. I would check back here once you have a score (or at least a few timed practice scores).

If you want to post your GPA and intended location, that will give at least some indication as to what kind of LSAT score you may need.

As far as mental health issues, it is not an automatic barrier to law school or the bar by any means. But, it really depends on your specific situation and how it has affected your life. Without knowing more it's impossible to say.

Re: No Pre-Law Advisor-help?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2015, 08:49:19 AM »
Agree with both posters the pre-law advisor I had was for all intents and purposes useless. Nice enough, but she went to law school 20-30 years ago and had been working as an undergrad professor for the majority of her career. She was nice enough, but nothing she said had any applicability to law school.

As for mental health issues they might be a problem. I would recommend first taking the LSAT and graduating from college if you haven't already. Once you have numbers then you can realistically assess what schools you have a chance at attending.  Once you have that list contact the schools and explain your concerns you can do so anonymously on the phone before applying and see what they say. You should also contact any state bar you are interested in taking and see what if any issues arise with that.

I don't know the extent of your mental health issues, if you killed somebody as a result of them then that is a serious problem. If you were diagnosed with ADD or something not much to worry about.

Also as Loki points out if really bad actions occurred as a result then that is much bigger factor. If you have bi-polar disorder, but you are receiving treatment etc then it really shouldn't be a problem.

Re: No Pre-Law Advisor-help?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 09:08:07 PM »
Don't go