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Pre-Law Advising


Considering Law School?

If you’re thinking about applying to law school or would like to learn more about careers in the legal field, Sac State’s pre-law advisors are here to help you!

Pre-law advisors can help you decide whether a career in law is right for you, educate you about the process of applying to law school, provide resources to help with your application, and share pre-law events and opportunities.

Have questions? Email Pre-Law Advising

Law as a Career

Lawyers are often called upon to fill many varied and complex roles. They may function as advocates, researchers, or mediators. Society often turns to the legal profession to balance changing conditions with traditional values and practices. Lawyers play a weighty role in our society and have a tremendous responsibility, not only to their clients but also to the law itself, and to the concept of justice.

A career as an attorney can be a rewarding way to make a positive difference in your community or for your clients. As the law is ever-changing, it is also an intellectually challenging career.

Sac State Pre-Law Resources (Canvas)

To learn more about the many resources available to help you on your journey to law school and a legal career, sign up for the Sac State Pre-Law Resources course on Canvas.

By self-enrolling in the Pre-Law Resources, you’ll get easy access to information on applying to law school, pre-law events announcements, recorded workshops, and more!

Sign up for Canvas

California LAW Pathways

Sac State is proud to be a partner with California LAW Pathways, a program designed to support high school and community college students who want to go to law school as they complete their university degrees. If you received a certificate from a California LAW Pathways program at a community college, or if you participated in a CalLAW Pathways academy in high school, please fill out this survey to let us know you’re here so we can welcome you and support you in your law school journey!

Pre-Law Education

Your cumulative undergraduate GPA and score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) are the primary factors on which law schools base their admissions decisions. The importance of these factors cannot be overestimated. Assuming that you qualify in this manner for admissions, your undergraduate course of study plays an important role in preparing you for the study and practice of law.

Undergraduate Program

It would be unwise and, perhaps, impossible to prescribe a specific course of study and assert that it is the best one can receive in preparation for entering law school. Therefore, there is no established major for pre-law students. No matter what major you choose for your undergraduate degree, law schools are concerned that you’ve developed skills, such as critical thinking, reading comprehension, and the ability to communicate clearly in writing. The University offers numerous courses that will help you develop these skills.

Here are a few examples of courses that can help prepare you for law school and a legal career.

  • CRJ 2 - Law of Crimes
  • CRJ 121 - Structure and Function of American Courts
  • CRJ 123 - The Law of Arrest, Search and Seizure
  • CRJ 125 - Law of Responsibility
  • CRJ 126 - Law of Evidence
  • CRJ 127 - Juvenile Law
  • POLS 120A Constitutional Law
  • POLS 120B - Contitutional Rights and Liberties
  • PHIL 155 - Philosophy of Law

Students should choose majors which interest them, and which will provide a foundation of knowledge that will help them in their practice area. For example, if you’re interested in being a criminal defense attorney or a prosecutor, a degree in Criminal Justice will provide in-depth education about policing, criminal procedures, and corrections. But a student who is interested in being a corporate lawyer may be better served by pursuing a business major. And if you don’t know what area of law interests you yet, that’s okay, too! Choose a major that you want to study and that will keep you engaged in school, because you’re more likely to do well in those classes.


Grades are an important part of the application process and students who are applying to law school should do their best to keep a strong GPA. That doesn’t mean filling your class schedule with less challenging courses, though. Challenging, thought-provoking courses are the best way to prepare for the LSAT, for success in law school and as a member of the legal profession. Moreover, when undergraduate transcripts are viewed by law school admission committees, a great deal of attention is given to the difficulty and the desirability of the courses chosen by the student.

For law school admission, grades of "I" (Incomplete) or "W" (Withdrawal) are not included in computing the overall GPA. However, a grade of “WU” or "NC" (No Credit) is counted as an "F," and if a course is repeated, the two grades are averaged. Students should also note that failure to complete work for a grade posted as “I” will result in the “I” converting to an “F” after two semesters.


The LSAT is the second major factor considered by law schools in determining admissibility. It is administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Everything a student needs to know about the LSAT is available on the LSAC website. The test measures abilities and skills related to problem identification, analysis, logical reasoning, and reading. In addition, the LSAT includes a written essay, copies of which will be sent to individual law schools to enable them to evaluate a candidate's writing ability. Because it is such an important part of law schools’ admission decision, it is important that students prepare for the test very carefully. Students who believe they may qualify for a fee waiver because of serious financial need should apply for the LSAC fee waiver. The fee waiver will cover the student’s LSAT and Credential Assembly Service fees as well as provide materials that will enable the student to prepare for the LSAT.

There are a number of preparation courses available for students intending to take the LSAT. Students should investigate a variety of review classes and assess how they best learn. There are LSAT prep courses across a wide range of prices, and some that are free. Pre-law advisors can help you find a course that fits your needs.

Letters of Recommendation

Most law schools require two or three letters of recommendation from individuals who can comment on the applicant's potential as a law student. The individuals selected to write letters of recommendation should be able to comment extensively on the applicant's academic capabilities. And, obviously, the evaluation should be a positive one. Letters should also discuss the applicant's ability to comprehend, to communicate, and to critically analyze concepts.

Credential Assembly Service

Students must register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) through LSAC in order to submit applications for American Bar Association accredited law schools. There is a fee associated with registration for the CAS which is waived if the student is approved for the LSAC fee waiver. The CAS compiles a report that contains the student’s personal information, LSAT score(s), transcripts, letters of recommendation and, if prepared, recommender evaluations. The student completes each individual law school application online using their LSAC account. Once the student has submitted the application, the law school requests the CAS report, and it is transmitted electronically to them by the LSAC.

Personal Statement

Most law schools require the applicant to submit a personal statement in which the applicant tells the law school something about the applicant's background, the reasons why the applicant wants to study law, and, in some instances, what the applicant hopes to do following law school. This is an extremely important component of the application. It provides the student with an opportunity to share their personal background and experiences with the law school admissions committee. Students should take time to carefully craft the personal statement and should seek advice from trusted friends, professors, and their pre-law advisor to help them in the writing process.

Internships & Experience

Pre-law students can benefit significantly from pre-professional work experience. Whether paid or unpaid, internships provide valuable exposure to the daily experience of attorneys and legal professionals. The Sac State Career Center and Community Engagement Center provide access to information about internships, and a student’s academic department may provide internship opportunities for course credit.

Phi Alpha Delta (PAD)

Phi Alpha Delta (PAD), our Sac State chapter of the national co-ed pre-law fraternity, is a student-run organization dedicated to creating a community of students preparing for a career in law. PAD offers workshops, guest speakers, and events designed to support the needs of pre-law students. It’s open to students from all majors.

Pre-Law Advisors

Sac State has several pre-law advisors who can answer questions and help you on your journey to law school and a legal career.

Name Dept Email
Prof. Jennifer Noble  Criminal Justice
Prof. Laurie Kubicek Criminal Justice
Chong Choe-Smith, Ph.D. Philosophy
Harry Blain, Ph.D. Political Science
Prof. Russell Loving Criminal Justice
Stephanie Mizrahi, Ph.D. Criminal Justice
Christine Morse-Fitch Criminal Justice