Law School


Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis​


Join us for Grad and Law School Info Day!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Noon-4pm | The Quad

Sign up to stay in the loop! Hear more about how to prepare for the fair and what programs will be in attendance as we near the event. More information here.

sign up button for attendees

We offer a quarterly workshop that addresses each stage of the application process. Check in in early September to see our workshop dates for fall. Advising appointments will resume in August and continue through fall quarter.

  • How to Prepare for and Apply to Law School


Meet with an advisor to discuss your law school plans. Whether you have just started exploring your options, or are currently applying to programs, we welcome your questions. Appointments are 30 minutes and are made online below or by visiting or calling 117 South Hall, 530-752-4475.

***Please note that our pre-law advisor, David Smyle, is not currently offering appointments, but is returning early August.

sign up button

Pre-Law Advisor
  • David Smyle - 2L law student


What is law school?

Law school is a 3-year professional degree program (Juris Doctor, J.D.) designed to teach you different facets of the law and prepare you to become a lawyer. You need a four-year undergraduate degree to pursue a J.D.

Is law school for me?

To determine whether you want to go to law school you first need to determine if you want to be lawyer. Ask yourself what makes you want to be a lawyer and if you’re unsure, try interning for a law firm or even asking a connection who is a lawyer what their job is like or what law school was like. Read more about the profession in the Bureau of Labor Statistics's Occupation Outlook Handbook, and consider making an appointment with a pre-law advisor.

What is a pre-law major?
There is no pre-law major and law school does not require a specific major while getting your undergraduate degree. You can major in any field that is interesting to you and that you believe you can excel in. However, common majors can include political science, English, history, psychology, philosiphy, linguistics, or economics.
How do I research and choose a law school to apply to? is the general website where you can find information on the different law schools. You can also look at average GPA’s and LSAT scores for those schools when looking at your percentage chance for acceptance. Factors to consider are the program's location, specialization options, and financial support, and what academic and professional opportunities the program offers outside of the classroom.


What kind of courses should I take?

There are no required courses to take before law school; however, there are different law-related courses offered at UC Davis that can help you explore your interest in law, and possible specializations you might want to pursue. Look at course listings in the following areas to see what is available:

Agriculture and Resource Economics, African American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian American Studies, Chicana/o Studies, Classics, Communications, Community and Regional Development, Economics, Environmental Science and Policy, Environmental Toxicology, Geography, Human Development, History, Hydrology, Humanities, Native American Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Science and Society, Sociology, University Writing Program, Women's Studies

What skills should I develop?
Reading and reading comprehension are two skills that help in law school, and dveloping your writing skills is also important. Logical and critical reasoning also help with the LSAT as well as law school.
Which extracurriculars should I pursue?
Extracurricular activities are important, but not to the detriment of your GPA. Extracurriculars such as internships and jobs as well as significant roles in clubs and organizations add to the uniqueness of your application.
Which exam(s) should I prepare for?
Before law school you must take the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test). The LSAT is a test with logical reasoning, logic games, and reading comprehension. To prepare for the exam, there are a variety of courses and/or books that will help you study.


What does the application timeline look like?

Most law schools operate on rolling admissions meaning they accept applications from September/October until March/April, but the earlier you apply the better. It is recommended that you submit your applications before Thanksgiving. The LSAT is available to take many different months and can be registered for on

What does the application require?

The application requires an online application (with associated fee), LSAT scores, transcripts from your undergraduate degree, 2-3 recommendation letters (academic letters preferred), a personal statement essay, and a completed FAFSA.

What is a personal statement?

The personal statement is an important piece of your application and allows you to present yourself beyond the quantitative pieces like GPA and LSAT score. It is your opportunity to tell the law school about yourself (personal and academic background and experiences, extracurriculars, personal attributes, etc.), why you want to go to law school, and how you stand out from other candidates. You should make sure to follow instructions carefully (for content, length, etc.), and should limit the discussion to college-level experiences using concise, clear language. Start your statement early and plan to draft and redraft-- it also serves as a writing sample!

How do I get letters of recommendation?

To get a letter of recommendation you can ask a professor, T.A., employer, internship supervisor, or even a coach. However, it is recommended that at least one of your letters be from a professor. will hold and distribute your letters of recommendation.

What should I think about when accepting an offer?

When accepting an offer, you should think about factors such as the location and quality of the school, scholarship/financial aid assistance, and any other factors relevant to your personal and academic interests.

How will I finance my degree?

Law school is expensive, but there are many ways to help you finance your degree. There are scholarships and financial aid opportunities available as well as student loans.

What does success in law school look like?

Success in law school requires constant hard work and dedication. It is a competitive atmosphere that requires determination and a strong work ethic to succeed. It requires countless hours of reading and interpreting cases and applying the knowledge you gain to different scenarios.