This fall, a number of Hobart and William Smith graduates will head to law schools throughout the Northeast. The pre-law program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is led by Pre-Law Adviser and Professor of Philosophy Scott Brophy and Assistant Director of Career Services Beth Jeffries, who advise students with step-by-step tasks during each of their four years to enable them to be both prepared and competitive when it comes time to pursue law school.
Jeffries says, the program urges students to become involved in activities that will develop skills looked for by law schools such as leadership, writing and analytical thinking, while also encouraging students to keep up their GPAs and intern or shadow with a law firm or any law-related field of interest.
The extensive liberal arts background of an HWS education uniquely prepares students for law school by developing critical thinking skills while also providing content knowledge in areas that law touches upon, such as environmental sciences or human rights.
“Almost any major offered through HWS can provide the skills and knowledge to prepare a student for law school, as long as it supplemented with coursework in disciplines such as political science, economics, history, English or philosophy,” explains Jeffries.
Some of the plans of HWS graduates heading to law school include:
Sarah Amundson ’11 will attend Boston College Law School. As an English major and women’s studies minor, Amundson feels prepared for the rigor of law school, and is excited to juxtapose her feminist ideals with her passion for law.
Sarah Canavan ’12, who has been in the pre-law program since her first year at HWS, will attend law school at William and Mary. As a Writing and Rhetoric major, Canavan has been able to garner the analytical skills necessary to manage the difficulty of law school. She hopes to focus on business and employment law at Penn State.
Eleanor Chandler’11 will attend Campbell University School of Law, which attracted her because of its flexibility in focus areas. Chandler attributed various political science and philosophy courses, as well as a summer internship with a local private practice lawyer and City Court Judge to her preparedness for law school. “These experiences have illustrated that the law provides a field that not only interests me, but also promises a lifetime of activity and learning,” she says.
Alexander Maimis’11 will attend American University – Washington College of Law in Washington D.C. Maimis believes his Hobart and William Smith education helped him significantly in the area of critically analyzing pieces and documents, which, he says, “is so essential to the literary-heavy law school curriculum.”
John Peck ’11, Erin Meehan ’11 and Kevin Langevin ’11 will attend Boston’s Suffolk Law. Peck, who solidified his writing and argument skills as a political science major, is excited about the oral argument classes offered at Suffolk. Meehan, whose father is an alum of Suffolk Law, is looking forward to utilizing the analytical reading, thinking and writing skills that she has honed at HWS. She is also looking forward to the atmosphere at Suffolk. “I chose Suffolk after visiting the amazing new law school building. It is an ideal location across from the Boston Commons, and the view from the library is incredible.”
Alexander Scher ’11 chose to attend Albany Law School for its “reputation of being able to offer its students the best opportunities because it is the only New York law school located in the capital.” Scher will concentrate in criminal prosecution, and hopes to work for the New York District Attorney’s Office in the future.
David Turner ’11 will attend Syracuse University School of Law and has found that his efforts in political science and courses he has taken on ethical philosophy have served to prepare and excite him for a career in law. “I’ve known I wanted to attend law school since I was younger than 10 and it’s extremely gratifying to see it finally happening,” he says.
Adam Van Heyst ’11 will attending either Quinnipiac School of Law or Western New England School of Law in the fall. Van Heyst wanted to choose a school that shared Hobart and William Smith’s small student-to-faculty ratio, small class sizes and community based approach to learning, which he believes helped him thrive as a student. As a public policy major, Van Heyst credits much of his knowledge to various classes centered on public policy and law, as well as a close relationship to faculty: “The faculty here at Hobart and William Smith is extraordinarily helpful, and without them I may not have attended Law School.”