First-Year Students

Your law school admission process starts now. The four years you spend at Cornell College will offer you many opportunities to develop the skills necessary for the rigors of law school and to gain experiences that will help position yourself for law school admission. Cornell students who are able to put in the necessary time, effort, and energy into preparing for law school have been able to attend the best law school for them after graduation.

Here are a few things to keep in mind during your first year at Cornell:

  • Attend the pre-law advising lunch during New Student Orientation to learn about the academic and co-curricular opportunities available for pre-law students.
  • Attend "Legal Aid: The Center for Law and Society Information Session" during the first week of block one to connect with law-related student organizations and sign-up for CLS activities.
  • Complete a CLS Interest Form by the end of the first week of block one so you get signed up for the CLS email distribution list.
  • Participate in the Cornell College Law Network program so you can connect one-on-one with practicing attorneys and judges.
  • Rush Phi Alpha Delta; Cornell's PAD chapter is one of only three  undergraduate chapters in Iowa and it's a terrific way to stay connected with other pre-law students and to develop professional skills.
  • Consider auditioning for the Mock Trial team; mock trial is a combination of speech, theatre, and debate and offers lots of opportunities to hone your abilities to analyze issues, critique arguments, and speak in public.
  • Make time to attend at least one pre-law event each month to help you explore the legal profession.
  • Consult with a faculty pre-law advisor to help you pick out courses for the remainder of your first year. Take the time to explore a wide variety of courses that interest you this year. Make sure you take classes that are intellectually challenging and help you refine your critical thinking, analytical reasoning, logic, and writing skills.
  • Manage your finances and pay attention to your credit. Many law students will take out private loans in order to afford the costs of law school attendance. If you have not already established a credit history, consider starting it but do it responsibly. Private loan providers will likely look at your credit score at the time of your loan application, so demonstrating you can effectively manage your credit will be helpful.
  • Go to class, pay attention, and earn good grades!