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
2021-2022 Pre-Law Registration Form

Emory Alumni
2021-2022 Pre-Law Registration Form

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.

Law, as a career field, is broadly applicable in society. Those who pursue JDs often go on to work in a wide variety of practice areas and work environments. To see a sampling of some of the many types of legal practice, visit the Law School Admission Council’s Discover Law website.

Pre-Law students can benefit from seeking work experiences that expand their knowledge about the law and other subjects of interest. In addition, gaining work experience helps to build useful skill sets that will be essential in the work world, such as professionalism and maturity, good communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork skills, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, these experiences teach what it is like to be a worker versus a student.

Because law schools do not have any requirements or preferences for legally related experience prior to enrolling in law school, pre-law students are encouraged to choose experiences based on their interests rather than exclusively seeking legal opportunities just for the sake of doing so. For example, a pre-law student who is interested in environmental law could intern in a sustainability non-profit or work with a government agency that specializes in environmental issues. While neither of these options is in a legal environment, law schools will view these experiences equally important as a student who worked in a law firm.

To search for experiential opportunities, pre-law students have a number of resources at their disposal:

  • Handshake – Emory’s primary internship/job search database
  • Career Shift – A comprehensive search platform that locates opportunities posted on employer websites
  • Daybook – A niche job board for those interested in the fields of government, public policy, international affairs, and communications
  • Brad Traverse Jobs – a niche job board focused on opportunities in the Washington, D.C. market

All of these resources are accessible through the Handshake system. Once you log into Handshake, you can search for jobs or internships using the search feature on the site. Career Shift, Daybook, and Brad Traverse Jobs are all accessible from the Resources page within Handshake.

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.

Individual advising is provided by the Director of Pre-Law Advising, who is here to assist you with guidance throughout the process of legal career exploration and planning for law school. The Pre-Law Advisor works with all current Emory students and alumni for law school advising matters. Appointments should be scheduled by calling The Career Center at 404-727-6211 or can be booked through the Appointments portal in Handshake.

Drop-in hours are another way to meet with the Pre-Law Advisor. 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. Drop-in hours are held weekly, although the day of the week and time changes by semester. Please consult with the Pre-Law Advisor directly to ascertain the times for drop-in hours each semester.

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 Events calendar in Handshake for dates and details on upcoming events. Information will also be sent out to pre-law students in the monthly Pre-Law newsletter, The Pre-Legal Brief. To be placed on the pre-law email listserv, please register as a pre-law student. Register as a pre-law student

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:


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).

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