Going on to get a masters in law after majoring in political science

If a student plans on going to law school after receiving their undergraduate degree in political science, there are a few things that will help them succeed. Admission committees look at many things when deciding who will be admitted into law school. Each category will hold different weights in the admission process depending on the law school a student applies to. Each school usually offers tips and advice on entering law school on their website. Here are a few keys to successfully applying for a master’s in law.

The first thing most committees consider is the undergraduate major. While certainly not a necessity, a political science major is a good choice for an aspiring law student, especially if they plan for a career in politics. It tells the admissions committee that the student has a focused course of study, and a well thought out plan. It also speaks of the contribution a student will make to the classroom environment.

The next critical key is a student’s GPA. This is especially true if a student is seeking a master’s in law at a highly competitive law school. A lackluster GPA will alert the admission committee to a person who isn’t likely to succeed in law school. The course of study is rigorous and requires a serious academic outlook. A student’s GPA can either boost their chances or diminish them.

The next key for entry into law school is a track record of leadership roles, work history, volunteer positions, clubs and associations and other training a student obtained throughout their life. If a student followed an educational path void of any breaks, their work history will of course reflect that. If a student is older, their work history will hold greater weight.

If an undergraduate political science major has their sights set on a career in politics it will benefit that student to have a history of participation in leadership roles and participation in the political process. This can start as early as high school running for student council. Throughout the undergraduate years, a student can volunteer to work as a political intern, or at a campaign headquarters. They can also join community organizations taking on leadership roles.

One dreaded component for many would-be law students is the admission essay, another key in the law school application process. There are volumes written on how to write the winning college essay. There are also books written specifically for students applying to law school. While many of these books offer good advice, in the end, it is the entire package that will earn a place in law school. The main things that need to reflect in the essay are a student’s passion for the law, career and community dedication, and career goals and focus. A student also needs to indicate their open mindedness, and awareness of the competitive nature of employment in the legal field.

One final college admission key is obtaining letters of recommendation. Consider for a moment the weight of a letter of recommendation from an alumni Senator whom a student has personal contact with, compared to a college buddy who shared their dorm. Letters of recommendation can show the admission committee that a student has already spent time fostering important relationships, and impressing key leaders prior to law school. They are interested in whom students know, and who knows them. Great connections cannot only benefit a student, but the law school as well.

Seeking a master’s degree in law after receiving an undergraduate degree in political science is a great track for the aspiring politician. Laying the proper foundation early, taking studies seriously, fostering good relationships, and knowing the tips for law school admission will increase a student’s chances for success, and the efforts will benefit their political career for years to come.

Master Degree in Law
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Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
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