Welcome to the Pre-Law Advising Office at Emory! Pre-law advising at Emory utilizes a holistic approach to pre-law preparation that is individualized by the student and is guided by the principles of career development. The decision to become a lawyer is, at its core, a career decision. Therefore, pre-law students undertake the total career development process as a part of their pre-law preparation. Complete career development involves self-exploration, career exploration, action planning, and implementation of the established plan. All four steps are essential to success in preparing for the application process, law school, and a successful legal career.

Pre-Law Registration

Pre-law registration is annual, so you will need to register each school year to remain on the email listserv. The Pre-Law Email Listserv is the primary means of contact between the Pre-Law student population and the Pre-Law Advisor. To stay in-the-know of all things pre-law at Emory, be sure to register with the Pre-Law Advising Office. To get registered, click on the appropriate link below:

Current Students
2020-2021 Pre-Law Registration Form

Emory Alumni
2020-2021 Pre-Law Registration Form

Rodia Vance

Director of Pre-Law Advising, Associate Director at The Career Center

Rodia Vance is the Director of Pre-Law Advising and Associate Director at The Career Center at Emory. In her role, she manages the programs and services of the Pre-Law Advising Office, serving all current pre-law students and alumni, and also provides general career counseling for Emory's History, International Studies, and Political Science majors. In her capacity as Emory’s Pre-Law Advisor, Rodia also serves as the Staff Advisor for pre-law student organizations, including the Emory Pre-Law Society, and Emory's Mock Trial team.

Rodia has served the field of pre-law advising through regional and national leadership for several years. She is a former President of the Southern Association of Pre-Law Advisors (SAPLA), former member of the Pre-Law Advisors National Council (PLANC), and served as the Conference Program Chair for the PLANC 2016 National Conference. Rodia holds a Juris Masters (J.M.) from Emory University School of Law as well as an M.S. in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University. She received her B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Florida, where she graduated with Honors.

In considering what classes to take as you prepare for law school, it is important to remember that law schools are scrutinizing your transcript to determine whether or not you have amassed certain skills that will be key to success in law school. See the document below for curriculum guidelines for law school:

Whether you decide to start law school right after college or after taking some time to work or gain another experience first, there are some steps that you want to be sure to take each year to ensure that you are on track to building a competitive application for law school. Download the Four-Year Timeline and use it to track your progress during your college career.

Wondering when to take the LSAT? Or when to ask for recommendations? Don’t worry…we’re here to help you make sure that you’re on time and on track. The law school application process can be time-consuming, but by following the timeline below, you can keep the process from consuming you. And you’ll even get to enjoy your holiday breaks without the stress of applications. Organization and strong time management skills are key to success! Download the Application Timeline Checklist to stay on track!

Note: This timeline assumes that you are planning to apply during senior year to begin law school immediately after college. If you are planning to take time for other experiences between college and law school, this timeline is easily adjustable. Simply refer to the calendar months instead. You should be completing the application process in the fall semester timeframe of the year prior to starting law school.

Emory students have a strong history of success in admission to law school, including at top programs. See below for admission statistics for the last five graduating classes.

Note: Admissions statistics come directly from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), who administers the law school admissions process nationally. Information is provided to Emory from LSAC each Spring for the previous year’s class. Information has not been edited in any way by Emory staff.

Programs and Services


Individual advising is provided by the University Pre-Law Advisor, who is here to assist you with guidance throughout the process of legal career exploration and planning for law school.

Appointments should be scheduled by calling The Career Center at 404-727-6211.

Drop-in hours are another way to meet with the Pre-Law Advisor. Drop-in hours are held on Mondays from 2 – 4 p.m. These sessions are limited to 15 minutes and are intended for quick questions only. If more time is needed, it would be best to schedule a full appointment.

Pre-Law Programs and Events are held throughout the school year, including law school application workshops, legal career panels, networking events with law school admissions professionals, and law school campus visits. Check The Career Center’s current semester Program Guide for dates and details on upcoming events.

Document Critique Services are available for those applying to law school. The service may be used for personal statements and other application essays, resumes for law school applications, and addenda for applications. To submit a document for critique, please use The Career Center Document Critique Service.

Dean’s Certifications are application forms that some law schools require to be completed by a school official to verify an applicant’s academic and conduct records at an institution. Please note that most law schools do not require a Dean's Certification. However, if applying to a school where it is required, a form will be supplied by the school, either inside of their application packet or after they have admitted you.

Dean's Certification forms should be submitted to The Career Center for processing and submission to the law schools. The Pre-Law Advising Office is the authorized office on campus to complete these forms for law school applicants. You should not take these forms to any other office at Emory to be completed. Please bring the forms into The Career Center to be processed. To have a Dean’s Certification form processed, you will need to submit the forms listed below in addition to the school form:

FAQs

When trying to decide if law school is the right move, pre-law students often have many questions about preparation and the pathway. Read through the Pre-Law FAQs below to find answers to some of the typical questions that students have about applying to law school. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but does highlight some of the basic concerns regarding the decision to apply to law school. Students are encouraged to meet with the Pre-Law Advisor for additional assistance and information on applying to law school.

The field of law is a varied one, both in terms of specializations and work environments. Some attorneys work in more traditional settings such as law firms and in the judiciary, while others work in corporate, government, and non-profit sectors. The decision to enter the field is a multi-faceted one and should not be done without serious consideration. To determine if law is a good career choice for you, consider the types of skills that would be needed for a successful career in law. The American Bar Association (ABA) cites the following list as core skills and values of the legal profession: 

  • Analytic / Problem Solving Skills
  • Critical Reading
  • Writing Skills
  • Oral Communication / Listening Abilities
  • General Research Skills
  • Task Organization / Management Skills
  • Public Service and Promotion of Justice

In addition, lawyers play a number of different roles in the lives of their clients. They may be called upon to act as counselor, advocate, and educator. Therefore, lawyers must also maintain a high degree of personal maturity, ethical responsibility, empathy, and professionalism. Although self-exploration is a necessary part of the decision to pursue a career in law, doing some career exploration by talking to those who have practiced in the field will greatly enhance your understanding of what it means to be a lawyer.

In truth, there really is no such thing as a “pre-law” major. There is no prescribed course of study and no particular major that you must adhere to in order to gain admission to law school. Students in law school come from a variety of academic backgrounds, and law schools prefer this. Find a major that has great interest to you. If your course of study is something that you find interesting, you are more likely to excel. Because GPA plays such a critical role in law school admissions, it is imperative that you do well academically.

There are no specific required courses for applying to law school. However, there are certain objectives that you want to meet when selecting your courses. Look for courses that allow you to develop the skill sets listed above. These skills and knowledge bases can be obtained in a variety of different academic disciplines across the liberal arts and sciences spectrum. As you move through your undergraduate experience, focus on broadening your knowledge base and skill set rather than attempting to focus on gaining any specific legal knowledge. For more guidance on choosing courses, review the Pre-Law Curriculum Guidelines on the Pre-Law Advising Office website.

No prior legal experience is required or preferred to apply to law school. You may choose to gain work experience in a law firm as a career exploration exercise and to see if legal work appeals to you. You can also spend time in other settings- non-profit, business, finance, government- because attorneys work in all kinds of environments, and it’s good to have insight and experience in multiple settings. Additionally, working in a law firm will not necessarily make you a more competitive applicant. Just as law schools value applicants from diverse academic backgrounds, the same holds true with regard to professional experience. Gaining experience in a law firm or other legal environment should be done to help you in your career decision-making, not solely for the purposes of boosting your law school application credentials.

While your GPA and LSAT score will be key in determining where you are competitive for law school admissions, admissions committees will be conducting a holistic review of your entire application. You will qualify with such threshold items as your numbers, but you’ll want to involve yourself in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that will help to round out the picture. These include gaining professional work experience, embracing a service orientation, and developing leadership skills.

You are encouraged to gain some type of professional experience during your collegiate years. This can be done through internships and other part-time work experiences. Gaining this type of experience will communicate your maturity and professionalism to the admissions committee. You may also choose to get involved with student clubs or organizations to develop your leadership skills. You do not need to sign up for every organization in which you have some mild interest; be selective! Join organizations that you find compelling and in which you can see yourself taking an active role. Law schools would rather see an applicant be deeply involved in a few things than superficially involved in a “laundry list” of clubs. Because law is a service-oriented profession, having a penchant for serving your community is a great characteristic to showcase to law schools. You can do service projects through a club to which you belong, by contacting the Volunteer Emory office to find out about opportunities, or simply on your own.

If you intend to go to law school immediately after your undergraduate work, you should apply to law schools in the fall of your senior year. If you want to take time to work or partake of another type of experience before pursuing a legal education, you should apply in the fall prior to the year in which you intend to enroll (e.g. apply in fall 2016 to begin law school in fall 2017). You will not be less competitive by waiting to apply later versus applying as a senior. Whenever you choose to apply, it should be done at the time that’s right for you.

Ideally, you want to take the LSAT one time and do well. The best option for taking the LSAT is in the summer after your junior year (June administration), if you plan to apply as a senior. In addition to giving you the entire Spring semester to study, doing so will also give you the benefit of having a month to intensely prepare right before the exam without the distractions of schoolwork, once school ends in early May. If you take the June test and do not believe your score was truly reflective of your ability and opt to take the test a second time, you can do so without delaying your law school applications by taking the October test administration.

It is in your best interest to submit your law school applications by mid-November, if possible. Since most law schools work on the basis of “rolling admissions,” the earlier you submit your application, the better your chances for admission, especially at schools where you are not a numerically competitive. If you wait to take the October test as your first administration and you do not do as well as you wanted to, you will have to wait until the December test to retake the exam, should you choose to retake the exam. Doing this will delay review of your applications until schools receive your second score in early January.  While it is still possible to be admitted at this timeframe, it is not ideal.

Contact and Hours of Operation

Address: 200 Dowman Drive B. Jones Center, 2nd Floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30322
Phone: 404-727-6211
Email: careercenter@emory.edu
Regular Office Hours: Monday - Friday | 8:30AM - 5:00PM
Campus Closures / Holiday ScheduleThe Emory Career Center will be closed per the Emory University holiday schedule. In the case of inclement weather, Emory University will announce any additional closures through CEPAR (Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response).

Meet with your career counselor
They can help you with a lot more than just your resume!

Schedule Online, Call 404-727-6211 or email CareerCenter@emory.edu to schedule today!