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Former Dedman College Scholar, Kirsten Johansson On Getting Into Law School

By: Kirsten Johansson

Ever since high school, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. For a while I didn’t know what type of law I wanted to practice, although I was drawn to criminal law from the crime TV shows I loved. Around my junior year in Dublin High School, I become very interested in environmental law and I have continued down this path ever since. My law school experience has consisted of two parts – getting in and my experience as an actual law student.


Getting In
The first part of making my dreams of going to law school a reality sounded simply enough; I had to get in. When I was choosing a college, I chose the one that gave me the most opportunities for extracurricular activities and an excellent pre-law program. For me, this college was Southern Methodist University in Dallas. I learned later on that having a “pre-law” program is far from necessary for law school, but having this program made me feel more comfortable.

When choosing a major, most pre-law students decide to pursue a political science degree. If you love political science, I think this is a good option, but overall I think having a broader range of knowledge is useful when applying. I was interested in the environment, and so I double majored in Environmental Studies and Public Policy. This exposed me to both the politics and the science behind environmental law, which I have found very useful. My biggest recommendation to anyone, but especially those planning to go to graduate school, is to take classes you like. Keeping your GPA up is one of the single most important determining factors for getting into law school, and I found I always did better in classes I enjoyed.

The other major component for getting into law school is the LSAT. In some ways, the LSAT is like the SAT in that it is a standardized test that incorporates several sections to give you one score. However, the LSAT is unlike any test you have ever taken before. The three parts include Analytical Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension as well as a writing section. In order to prepare, I took an online prep class. Many of my peers took a class that was taught on campus, but I liked the flexibility of an online class. I also took a logic course at SMU to help me prepare. READ MORE

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