As a prerequisite to admission, most law schools expect a student to have acquired a sound liberal arts education, without regard to any set of prescribed courses or any particular course of study (e.g. majors and minors). The quality of the student's undergraduate preparation, in other words, far outweighs its particular subject matter or choice of major. All law schools do require, however, the completion of the bachelor's degree for admission.
Successful legal study requires well developed speaking, writing and analytical skills. For the pre-law students, DePauw's W, S, and Q competency requirements address these expectations. In addition, such academic skills ought to develop from the student's work in any number of courses and in a wide range of disciplines as an integral part of the liberal arts experience.
Along with the GPA, the Law School Aptitude Test provides the most important statistical data for admissions consideration. The LSAT, taken at the end of the student's junior year or early in his or her senior year, seeks to measure the candidate's verbal abilities and logical and analytical skills. Extracurricular activities, leadership positions, internships of various kinds, summer employment, off-campus experiences and a demonstrated sense of purpose are additional qualities valued by law admissions committees, but they should not be seen as substitutes for a good GPA or LSAT result.
At DePauw, students thinking of law school, whatever their undergraduate major, are counseled on an individual basis by their faculty advisor or by the pre-law advisor.
Students are encouraged to research the schools that they are interested in so they are familiar with the specific requirements at the respective schools. This research enables potential candidates to take a more directed approach to the application process, making adjustments to their schedules when necessary.