UAA Pre-Law Advising
If you are interested in becoming an attorney in Alaska or any other state, you need to obtain your undergraduate bachelor’s degree and go to law school. You might have questions about attending law school or the application process. If you are a present, past, or future UAA student, the resources at the UAA Pre-Law Advising Center can help as you consider whether to go to law school and how to apply. We encourage you to review the links below and contact us for further advice. UAA has several law school partnerships and a student club to further your interest in law school.
Pre-Law at UAA
There are many different routes to law school. Though all law schools require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, there is no single major that is required for law school preparation. You should choose an undergraduate major that interests you, will help you develop critical thinking skills, and will prepare you to communicate well orally and in writing. As you move through your undergraduate coursework, you should also participate in a variety of public service activities that meet your interests, and will prepare you to take an active role in your community.
Though you are not required to major in Legal Studies to enroll in law school, many UAA graduates find that a Legal Studies degree provides a solid foundation for your future law school studies. What are the benefits of a Legal Studies degree for attending law school?
Find out if legal education and a career as a lawyer is the right choice for you.
Gain exposure to many of the subjects that you will cover in your first year of law school so that you already have an initial understanding when you encounter them again.
Obtain vital research and legal reasoning skills that are crucial for success in law school.
Learn how to read legal opinions and begin to understand the language of law and how lawyers think.
Even if you do not get a degree in Legal Studies at UAA, obtaining a Legal Studies minor or taking Legal Studies electives is a good way to receive valuable exposure to legal education prior to attending law school.
UAA Legal Studies Alumni who attended law school
"As a first-generation student, I had a general interest in the law but I did not know any lawyers or any of the different types of jobs available in the legal field. Once I started taking Legal Studies courses at UAA, however, I fell in love with legal research and writing and decided that I wanted to become an attorney.
My Legal Studies courses prepared me for the rigors of law school and gave me a head-start in understanding the topics we are learning. I started law school having already taken a lot of my first-year courses, which helped me feel more confident amidst the unique format of law school classes. While it was still a learning curve to prepare for exams, already knowing the subject matter helped me spend more time connecting more deeply with the material. It also allowed me to not feel so overwhelmed by all of the new experiences one faces when starting law school."
-Ishuanette Espinosa Lopez, Law Student
"I absolutely was better prepared for law school. I remember taking Evidence in law school and thinking that my Evidence class in the Legal Studies program was far more helpful and useful! Every class that I took in law school that had a corresponding Legal Studies course was less challenging than other courses because I already had a firm grasp on a lot of the material. I would highly recommend anyone thinking about law school to look into the Legal Studies program.
Also, the program helped me prepare for a career in the legal field even prior to law school. Many of my classmates are currently working in the small legal community in Anchorage and it is nice to learn and grow with my classmates that are now colleagues. If someone is not sure whether they want to go to law school, but are interested in a legal career (paralegal, legal assistant, clerk, etc.) the Legal Studies program is a solid foundation to get you prepared for any legal career."
-Jessica Falke, Associate Attorney
"I unequivocally know I was better prepared for law school than most of my peers because of the legal studies courses. Part of understanding law school, and the law, is knowing what subjects and concepts will be complex so you can dedicate more time. There are many days and nights in law school when law students must triage their time and study. The base knowledge from the Legal Studies courses gave me a solid foundational understanding to make wise choices during those triage moments.
Start with the Legal Studies courses. A lot of people who get into the law do not enjoy it. Rather than commit hundreds of thousands of dollars in education to something you are unsure you'd like, start small with the legal studies courses. If you enjoy those classes, then take more classes and reevaluate. If you still want law school after that, could you apply? The worst thing that can happen is you find out you don't want to work in the law and get a small knowledge base. Because the law underpins almost everything in our society, even having a small knowledge base of the law will help you in anything else you do."
-Kaleb Gibertoni, Attorney
Disclaimer: This information is provided as a general guideline to the process of applying to law school and is intended as a starting point of reference only. Every effort has been made to present accurate information, but all of the information is subject to change without notice. Links or references above to a specific product or service, or to any public or private organization or group, do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation. Neither the Justice Center nor the University of Alaska Anchorage assumes responsibility for any damage resulting from the use of the information set forth above or from the use of information obtained at any linked websites.