Faculty View | Pre-Law Advising
by Dr. Richard Follett, professor of history & pre-law advisor
He was a recent Covenant graduate who had been in a handful of my classes, and had worked for two years in a congressional office when he decided to try his hand at law school. I already had great respect for his academic ability, and the combination of work experience, strong grades, and a good LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) score had gained him acceptance to a handful of prestigious law schools. Our conversation was about how to choose among them. We talked about the implications of attending a prestigious school, acquiring a large debt, the career opportunities at the end, and the challenges of having a family when your first job might entail 80+ hours of work each week (which is often the case for new associates at the big law firms around the country). We discussed all of this within the context of our commitment to Christ and His kingdom, a privilege and responsibility that I find most useful in helping students sort the priorities of law school, life, and other career options.
Since 2003 I have served the Covenant College community as pre-law advisor. In that time I have seen two to four graduating seniors each year apply to law school, and often an equal number of recent graduates applying at the same time. Our success rate among students we have worked with has been very high, in part because our liberal arts program gives them all a good background, but also because we bring them a realistic understanding of the skills needed and the expectations they should have before applying to any given law school. Many of our students have wanted to enter law for purposes of service as well as to have a prosperous career; I like to point out to them that it is no sin to “have a career,” but I am pleased that they have understood that legal practice does, and should have, a public service dimension. It can be, therefore, an extremely good place for Christians with the right gifts and maturity to serve. As one of our alumni has put it,
“One of the primary purposes of lawyers is to help maintain civility in a broken, fallen world (i.e., to restrain sinners as they duke it out over this or that trespass or potential trespass). Although the nature of the sin varies by area of practice, lawyers must advise folks in the midst of their greed and selfishness every day. It isn’t always pretty but it’s hard to think of a better place for a Christian with a heart and mind for redeeming the day-to-day workings of our culture.”
- Rachel Gleason George ’00, Emory University School of Law ’03
With these considerations in mind, the goal of pre-law at Covenant is to help prepare students for law school, assist in the admissions process, and provide the education that will help them succeed once they have entered the practice of law.