“Mason undergraduates face a number of challenges as they prepare for law school,” he said. “The most important is that they must be sure they want to become a lawyer—law school is extremely demanding, and so is the practice of law. To be sure this is the right field for them, students should seek out law courses.”
Getting accepted to a top-tier law school requires early diligence in a college career, he said. The system works: Mason graduates have been accepted to the law schools at Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Duke, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, and many others. “Suffice to say, Mason grads are in law schools throughout the nation,” Mink said.
Maintaining an excellent grade point average and attaining leadership positions with extracurricular activities are high on the list of what schools look for. Even more important than grades is the Law School Admissions Test—the LSAT, a daunting half-day grind. Writing an epic personal statement is also crucial. These requirements may be four years away, but they come fast.
But pre-law students do not have to go it alone. Various campus support groups are available and eager to help.
Mink advises undergraduate students to join the student-led Schar Pre-Law Group, which he describes as “a robust student organization that is establishing a community of pre-law students on the Mason campus…The pre-law program and the Schar Pre-Law Group work hand-in-hand to host events and foster a support system that will help prepare Mason undergrads to submit the strongest [law school] application they can.”
Molly Reed and Peyton Webb are the junior government and international politics majors who are the driving forces behind the Pre-Law Group; both are on track for applying to law schools in fall 2021.
“A law degree is a universal tool that is necessary for every level of society,” said Reed, whose parents work in the legal field. “Whether intending to work in the public or private sector, a law degree will enhance professional capabilities. While we each have different aspirations for our careers, we both see the law degree as the basis and starting point for our professional goals.”
Reed and Webb, like Mink, emphasize that “researching the available pre-law resources on campus is a great way to connect with fellow pre-law students and become involved in the pre-law community at Mason,” said Reed.
“Since founding the Schar Pre-Law Group, we have created relationships with law schools and have co-hosted informational events with leaders in the field. We have also become well versed in each piece of the law school application, which has enabled us to educate our members on how to best prepare for applying to law school,” said Webb.
As leaders, both Reed and Webb “hope that the Schar Pre-Law Group continues to educate the Mason community on the admissions process in hopes of creating accessibility to valuable information and resources,” Webb added.
Lily Goodman, a junior majoring in global affairs and minoring in Chinese language, is president of Mason’s only internationally recognized pre-law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta.
“Being a part of [the fraternity] is crucial to securing a spot as an L1 at a prestigious law school,” she said. “The connections you make in this organization span far beyond the scope of Mason’s campus.”
Goodman highlights the events hosted by the fraternity, which “include seminars with alumni participating in the field, talks with current law school students, LSAT prep events from the leading LSAT prep groups—offered for free—and tips on reaching your professional goals in the legal field.”
As to the number of memberships, Goodman explained that “there is no specific number, but far too many students are missing out on the opportunities that Phi Alpha Delta provides, and we would love to see the membership increase.”
Schar School fact: A 2019 Schar School graduate was accepted to both Harvard and Yale law schools, a first for Mason.