CM’s Top 10 Undergraduate Schools for Aspiring Lawyers

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You’re probably wondering if it’s even possible to select an undergraduate college with law school in mind. Should you major in English, Econ, History or Philosophy? Everyone SAYS there’s no formula for getting into law school, but it’s clear that some undergraduate programs are more law-friendly than others. Here’s our list of colleges that turn out the best-prepared law students by developing analytical, leadership and communication skills through classes, clubs and mentors galore.

10. Stanford University

Ever had that nightmare where a faceless law school admissions drone laughs your application right off her desk? Your therapy is Stanford’s Road to Law School event, at which the Law School Dean of Admissions speaks to undergrads. “The Dean of Admissions is so great at breaking down all of the myths of Law School applications,” senior history and political science major Lauren Miller said. “Its great to see the relief on all of the peoples faces.” For follow-up questions, Stanford’s law school students act as willing resources. “The law school has really stepped up their shadowing program,” Miller said.

9. University of Virginia

Law degrees often lead to the White House, and at the University of Virginia, the White House Internship Program offers students a convenient shortcut. While developing leadership skills and gaining exposure to the public service sector, interns also can take advantage of weekly speaker series with senior staff members. Outside of its internships, the university emphasizes local volunteering opportunities through organizations like the Charlottesville City Attorney’s Office and the Legal Aid Justice Center, which offers civil legal services to low-income families. To keep good ideas flowing, the Student Council’s SpeakUpUVa initiative provides an online forum for students to propose campus change and vote on the best ideas.

8. Princeton University

At Princeton, students experience success that they’ll fondly recount to their grandchildren someday. Playing off this theme, the Princeton Undergraduate Student Government recently threw a Grandparents Class Pizza Party, at which the Class of ’66 visited campus to meet with current students, or “Grandchildren.” Current success stories include Princeton’s mock trial team, which took second place at the 2014 American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament, and its debate team, which the World Universities Debating Championships ranks ninth among U.S. schools.

7. Yale University

If you’ve been thinking about study abroad, the Yale Debate Association, will get you the passport stamps you’ve been craving. They rank first in the U.S. and fourth internationally, according to the World Universities Debating Championships. The team sends students each weekend to colleges across the East Coast and on five international trips per year. Closer to home, the Yale College Council helps students succeed academically with advising-focused projects like Student Panels on Majors for Freshmen and academic fairness projects like TA Grading and Quality Variance.

6. George Washington University

Yes, most schools have student governments. But George Washington’s Student Organization doesn’t limit itself to just a legislative branch; it includes a student court that rules on the constitutionality of the Student Associations operations. The Undergraduate Law Review also operates on a broad scope through a strong partnership with the schools library system explained senior director Adam Schilt, which makes pieces easily accessible once published.

5. Duke University

You’ve got a few years to wait before raking in a lawyers salary, but that doesn’t stop you from wanting to network over food. Enter the FLUNCH Program, which pays for students to treat their professors to lunch or dinner. Every semester, students can host two FLUNCHes up to $100. If meeting a real lawyer sounds even cooler, Duke will let you do that too; the DSG Student Legal Services Program lets students get legal advice for free.

4. University of California, Los Angeles

Especially for aspiring litigators, developing a little competitiveness sounds like a good idea. At UCLA, law-focused students are crushing it. Their Mock Trial team boasts more recent success than any competitor, having won first place at the AMTA National Championship Tournament in 2004, 2005, 2011 and 2014. Meanwhile, UCLAs Annual Law Forum is the largest student-run law forum in the nation, and it distributes the Undergraduate Law Journal to the top 50 U.S. law schools and admissions directors.

3. New York University

NYU students can scope out their intended law careers through a staggering array of law-related courses ranging from Hospitality and Tourism Law to Nonprofit Law. They dont have to be intimidated by law school applications either, since the Undergraduate Law Society offers separate Q&A sessions with admissions directors from law schools nationwide. Juniors and seniors can also join the Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program to get insider insights from distinguished alumni with law degrees.

2. University of Chicago

Do law students really rip pages out of required library books to throw their classmates under the bus? The U of Chicago’s Cafe Careers initiative lets undergraduates get answers by sharing coffee with grad students for career advice and mentoring. For students interested in continuing to the U of Chicago Law School, the Law School Scholars Program offers an admissions decision before senior year, as well as many merit scholarship opportunities. As for ripping out pages; thats just a horror story myth…we hope.

1. Harvard University

Whether you grew up protecting your precious inventions from prying siblings or protesting deforestation in your neighborhood, the Harvard College Law Society has you covered. The Society has split into committees for specific interests such as Environmental Law, Intellectual Property and Sports and Entertainment. Harvard’s innovation is the icing on the cake. Its student government was one of the first to adopt ranked choice voting, which allows voters to rank their choices in order of preference.

Sophomore > English > Boston College

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