American law schools look favorably on applicants who possess a strong liberal arts education, but they do not prescribe a specific, pre-law curriculum. Students can choose the major that interests them most, as law schools do not require any particular major as a prerequisite for admission. Students who are interested in pursuing a legal career, however, are advised to take courses that develop analytical skills and reading and writing ability. They must also establish good study habits, which are vital for legal study and practice.
Most law schools employ three basic academic criteria in selecting applicants: the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score, the cumulative grade point average, and the undergraduate university attended. Law schools are also looking for well-rounded students, who are active and demonstrate leadership in their communities. To assure optimum performance on the LSAT, students should take the exam at a time that affords the best opportunity for preparation, usually in June of junior year or in the fall of senior year. To assure optimum performance in the classroom, students should choose courses that stimulate their interest and encourage them to excel. In addition, the prudent applicant will consult with the pre-law adviser by the beginning of his or her junior year, or earlier, in order to maximize chances for success in the highly competitive law school admission process.
For detailed information on advising and programming, students are encouraged to contact their college’s pre-law adviser listed above. Additionally, students may wish to join their school’s student-run Pre-Law Society, which sponsors lectures on admission to law school, the law school experience, and careers in the law.
The 3-3 Program enables students to complete their bachelor’s and law degrees in six years. Outstanding Fordham undergraduates may be admitted to and matriculate in Fordham Law School after three years of study at Fordham College at Rose Hill, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Gabelli School of Business, or Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies. The B.A./B.S. degree is awarded following completion of the first year of law school. Eligibility requires that a student:
- Complete all core and major requirements and at least 92 credits (transfer students must have completed at least 47 credits at Fordham) before beginning law school.
- Maintain a recommended grade point average of at least A- (3.670) in all undergraduate courses including transferred credits.
- Have a very strong LSAT score, scoring at the 93 percentile or higher is recommended. The LSAT scores must be available by February of the year in which studies at the School of Law are to begin.
Students who meet these criteria become eligible during the fall of their junior year to apply to the School of Law of Fordham University. Before they apply, however, they must receive a favorable recommendation from their pre-law adviser. After receiving such clearance, the director of admissions of the School of Law will invite them for an interview. Students recommended for application are not guaranteed admittance to the law school. Final admission decisions rest with the School of Law.