Action Plan Recommendations for New Freshman Prelaw Students.
Preface: Your first priority as a first semester prelaw student is to successfully adjust to the academic rigors of college, to start building a record of solid, positive academic achievement. Do NOT overextend yourself until you are sure you are on solid academic footing!
You may wish to consider the following Action Items in your plan:
- Register for the Health Professions and Prelaw Center (HPPLC) Prelaw Listserv at the section “Email Lists” on the HPPLC homepage: www.hpplc.indiana.edu
- Read the introductory prelaw material on the HPPLC website. Start with Introduction to Prelaw at Indiana University, then General Guide for Freshmen and Sophomores, and continue from there.
- Review our Prelaw Self-Assessment Worksheet.
- Regularly review the prelaw “Events” schedule on the HPPLC website and mark your calendar. Attend as many as you reasonably can.
- If you are confident you have established a strong academic foundation, consider participating in at least one positive, enriching co-curricular activity on campus [this can wait until sophomore year or later if necessary!]. Note that as far as law schools are concerned the activity does NOT have to be law-related.
- Attend one or both Law Day events [October 8, 2015]:
- Panel Discussion / Q&A Session 9:00 to 10:45 AM in Whittenberger Auditorium
- Law School Fair 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM in Alumni Hall
- See http://hpplc.indiana.edu/law/law-lawday.shtml for more information.
- Shadow an attorney or someone with another law-related occupation.
- Conduct an informational interview of an attorney or a person with another law-related career.
- Visit the IUB Maurer School of Law even if you may not be interested in attending it. Call their admissions office at 812-855-4765 for a tour and to sit in on classes.
- Visit an advisor at the Career Development Center to confirm your career choice and consider exploring alternative ways of reaching your goals [such as graduate work in business (M.B.A.), public policy (M.P.A.), social work (M.S.W.), education, foreign service, diplomacy, etc. ].
- To help prepare for the reading comprehension section of the LSAT and to broaden your horizons:
- Read a major newspaper every day.
- Read a serious fiction or non-fiction book each semester. See the HPPLC prelaw reading list for suggestions.
- Focus on speed and retention.
- Register with the Law School Admissions Council and begin to review its resources. (www.LSAC.org).
- Start a resume and keep it updated. Note that unlike job search resumes, those for law school can be more than one page!
- Get to know at least one professor reasonably well each semester so that you can begin to develop a potential pool of references for internships and recommenders for law school. Attend their office hours several times, resolve to do well, participate in class discussions, etc.
- Visit each of your professors in office hours at least once every semester to develop your skill of connecting with faculty members, even if you do not have questions about class material.
- Use tutors and Academic Support Centers to develop the skills necessary to efficiently do your best.
- Use the resources of the Student Academic Center to develop study and time- management skills crucial for your success as a pre-law student and to get the best grades possible. See, for example, their Online Video Series.
- Use Writing Tutorial Services. If you are having difficulty with college-level writing, you need to address the concern immediately. However, all students benefit from working with these resources to further hone their writings skills.
- Observe court proceedings (in Bloomington, trials at the courthouse at 7th and College are open to the public).