Pre-law society

Oregon State University’s Pre-law Society guides students on the path to a law degree, according to members of the club.

“We are just trying to bring together students who are interested in law school,” said Jason Tanenbaum, the OSU faculty advisor for Pre-law Society.

Julia Matthew, President of Pre-law Society at OSU, believes the opportunities that Pre-law Society provides help her in preparing for law school.

“I’m pretty young, so I don’t need to start studying to get into law school now, but it’s nice knowing what I need to study with Kaplan, and getting to visit different law schools,” Matthew said.

The majority of the work Kaplan does at Oregon State is offer their test preparation classes that are held on campus and comprised of 10 sessions that span from three weeks to four months depending upon how long each student has to devote to the program, said Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs at Kaplan.

Kaplan was founded over 75 years ago, and their goal is to help students get into graduate school by offering test preparation for over 70 different tests, including the LSAT.

According to Tanenbaum, the LSAT is the exam that students need to take in order to apply to law school.

“It’s a standardized test, like the SAT, except that it’s designed for law schools,” Tanenbaum explained. “It has reading comprehension and logical analysis, so it’s really focused on the types of skills that students will need in law school and in legal practice.”

“(Kaplan has) a higher score guarantee program with our services that allows all of our students to repeat their course a second time complimentary to allow them to continue working with us and with our materials to make sure that they have adequate time to prepare for the test,” Thomas said.

One should spend at least three months studying for the LSAT before entering law school, and it is offered four times every year, Tannenbaum said.

Other opportunities that Pre-law Society provides for its member are law school visits and guest lectures from law school professors, Matthew said.

J.R. Tarabocchia, the director of recruitment and student activities at Willamette Law School, said that professors from Willamette Law School visit universities with prospective law school students. Willamette Law School holds mock classes to teach different types of law so students can experience what it is like to be in a law school environment.

Mimi Huang, director of law school admissions at Lewis and Clark Law School, said students have a few options when they go on a law school visit. Prospective students can go on a campus tour led by a current student, so they can ask them about student life and sit in on a first-year class so they can see what a class will be like as soon as they get into law school. Students also can talk to the admissions office, so they can talk with law school staff about what their goals are and get any other questions they have answered, Huang said.

OSU Pre-law Society visits Willamette, Lewis and Clark, University of Oregon, University of Washington and Seattle University. The law school professors that come to talk to the club come from those schools as well, Tanenbaum said.

“Pre-law Society gets me in the mindset of getting ready for law school,” Matthew said.

“I have the mindset that I’m still figuring out exactly what I want to do with (law school), and I am excited to figure out where I’m going to go,” said Jo Smilove, a member of Pre-law Society a sophomore in political science.

“We get around 10 students each meeting,” Matthew said. “There’s a couple hundred more students on the Pre-law email list.”

According to Tanenbaum, students do not have to be committed to going to law school before joining the club.

“There’s still a benefit for students thinking about going to law school,” Tanenbaum said. “Others could decide law school is not for them.”

Students interested in joining Pre-law Society can talk to Jason Tanenbaum in Gilkey 301 to find out when and where the biweekly spring term club meetings will be held, according to Matthew.

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