Law School


Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis​


We offer a quarterly workshop that addresses each stage of the application process. Workshops take place in 114 South Hall, and no RSVP is required. Download our schedule here or by clicking the thumbnail below. 

How to Prepare for and Apply to Law School

  • Thursday, 4/12, 5:10-6:00pm
  • Wednesday, 5/2, 5:10-6:00pm
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Advising Appointments

Meet with an advisor to discuss your law school plans and/or discuss what to include in your personal statement. 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.

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

Drop-in Advising

Have a quick question or two about applying to law school? Now offering drop-in hours from 9-11 on Tuesdays and Fridays! Sign in at South Hall 117. 15 minute maximum consultations: for personal statement review or longer questions, please make an appointment.

Personal Statement Support

Want additional advice on the mechanics of your writing? Writing Assistance at the SASC in Dutton Hall is now offering appointments with a pre-graduate/professional writing specialist. Utilize the Personal Statement Café to work on your essay with the guidance of a writing specialist.

Writing Assistance

2205 Dutton Hall, 530-752-2013, 1 hour appointments, 2/quarter 

  • Paragraph structure, grammar and mechanics
  • Statement of purpose/personal statements
    • MA/MS, PhD, EdD, JD
  • Written work for your graduate school application
    • Writing samples
    • Diversity statements
  • Fellowship or scholarship applications

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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 Occupation Outlook Handbook, (a publication of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics) 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, philosophy, 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, 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. 

Courses Directly Related to Law

Agriculture & Resource Economics 18 - Business Law
Asian American Studies 155 - Legal History & the Asian American
English 107 - Freedom of Expression
Environmental Science & Policy 161 - Environmental Law
Environmental Toxicology 138 - Legal Aspects of Environmental Toxicology
Hydrology 150 – Water Law
Humanities 5 - Representation of the Law in Literature and Film
Philosophy 119 - The Philosophy of Law
Political Science 7 - Contemporary Issues in Law and Politics
Political Science 122 - International Law
Political Science 151- Constitutional Politics of the First Amendment
Political Science 152 - The Constitutional Politics of Equality
Political Science 154 - Legal Philosophy
Psychology 153 - Psychology and the Law
Sociology 151 - The Criminal Justice System
Sociology 155 - Sociology and the Law
Women’s Studies 140 - Gender and Law

Writing Courses

African American Studies 152 - Major Voices in Black World Literature
Asian American Studies 130 - Asian American Literature
UWP 1 - Expository Writing
UWP 19 - Writing Research Papers
UWP 101 - Advanced Composition
UWP 102 - Writing in the Disciplines
UWP 104B - Writing in the Professions: Law

Communication Courses

Communication 1 - Introduction to Public Speaking
Communication 3 - Interpersonal Communication Competence
Communication 130 - Group Communication Process
Communication 134 - Interpersonal Communication
Communication 152 - Theories of Persuasion
Dramatic Art 10 - Introduction to Acting
Human Development 140 - Communication and Interaction with Children

Logic/Reasoning Courses

Philosophy 5 - Critical Reasoning
Philosophy 12 - Introduction to Symbolic Logic
Philosophy 112 - Intermediate Symbolic Logic
Philosophy 113 - Advanced Logic

History Courses

Classics 110 - Origins of Rhetoric
History 4 A,B,C - History of Western Civilization
History 9A,B - History of East Asian Civilization
History 17 A,B - History of the U. S.
History 72B - Social History of American Women and Family
History 111 A,B,C - Ancient (Roman & Greek) History
History 132 - Crime & Punishment in Early Modem Europe
History 174 A,B,C - Recent History of the U.S.
History 176 A,B - Social & Cultural History of the U.S.

Business and Economics Courses

Agriculture & Resource Economics 112 - Fundamentals. of Business Organization
Agriculture & Resource Economics 118 - Tax Management
Agriculture & Resource Economics 142 - Personal Finance
Agriculture & Resource Economics 143 - Investments
Agriculture & Resource Econ 146 - Government Regulation of Business
Economics 1A,B - Principles of Macroeconomics
Economics 121 A,B - Industrial Organization
Economics 162 - International Economic Relations
Sociology 139 - Corporations and Society

Social Issues and Ethics Courses

African American Studies 145A- Black Social & Political Thought
American Studies 156 - Race, Culture, & Society in the US
Community & Regional Development 47 - Orientation to Community Resources
Environmental Science & Policy 164 - Ethical Issues in Environmental Policy
Nature and Culture 120 - Environmental Ethics
Political Science 4 - Basic Concepts in Political Theory
Philosophy 14 - Ethical & Social Problems's in Contemporary Society
Philosophy 24 - Introduction to Ethics & Political Philosophy
Philosophy 115 - Problems in Normative Ethics
Philosophy 116 - Ethical Theories
Psychology 1 - General Psychology
Psychology 168 - Abnormal Psychology
Science and Society 20- Genetics and Society
Sociology 1 - Introduction to Sociology
Sociology 120 - Deviance
Sociology 150 - Criminology
Sociology 152 - Juvenile Delinquency

Politics and Governmental Process Courses

African American Studies 80 - Introduction to Black Politics
Anthropology 104N - Cultural Politics of the Environment
Anthropology 139AN - Race, Class Gender Systems
Chicana/o Studies 30 - US Political Institutions And Chicanas/os
Chicana/o Studies 131 - Chicanas in Politics & Public Policy
Chicana/o Studies 132 - Political Economics of Chicana/o Community
Community& Regional Development 157 - Politics and Community Development
Community & Regional Development 158 - Small Community Governance
Geography 143 – Political Geography
Native American Studies 116 - Native American Traditional Governments
Native American Studies 117- Native American Governmental Decision Making
Native American Studies 118 - Native American Politics
Philosophy 118 - Political Philosophy
Political Science 100 - Local Government and Politics
Political Science 104 - California State Government and Politics
Political Science 105 - The Legislative Process
Political Science 107 - Environmental Politics & Administration
Political Science 150 - Judicial Politics and Constitutional Interpretation
Political Science 153 - The Constitutional Politics of the Justice System
Political Science 187 – Administrative Behavior
Political Science 155 - Judicial Process and Behavior
Political Science 168 - Chicano Politics
Sociology 118 - Political Sociology

What skills should I develop?
Reading and reading comprehension are two skills that help in law school, and developing your writing skills is also important. Logical and critical reasoning also help with the LSAT as well as with 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 during many different months and can be registered for here:

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.