Qualification for the legal profession requires three years of law school to earn the J.D. degree and the successful completion of a state bar examination.
In preparation for law school, a student will want to develop three basic competencies:
- analysis and reasoning skills
- effective writing and public speaking skills
- a broad understanding of the diverse factors that make up the community in which the legal system functions
These competencies can be developed in any field in which a student chooses to major — the social sciences, the humanities, or the natural sciences. Law schools do not specify particular major fields or particular courses of study for admission. A strong transcript that reflects a challenging and well-rounded liberal arts education will be more impressive to a law school than any specific major.
Careful consideration of a career in law includes field experiences or internships, which allow the prelaw student to develop a fuller understanding of the legal community and the practice of law. In the Boston metropolitan area, a prelaw student can observe the judicial process in the state courts, ranging from the municipal level to the Supreme Judicial Court, the United States District Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. There are opportunities for term-time and summer internships with organizations engaged in legal assistance programs or legal research and with state and local government agencies. (See Resources.)
Students who are interested in law school should meet with Tom Burke, professor of political science, or Nancy Scherer, associate professor of political science. Professors Burke and Scherer are willing to discuss law school with all students regardless of their major. Students and alumnae who are interested in law school are advised to make an appointment via MyCWS with Ellie Perkins for information regarding the application process.
The Wellesley Lawyers Network is available to Wellesley candidates through the Wellesley College Alumnae Association. This group offers tremendous networking opportunities with Wellesley alumnae lawyers.