The Laws of Pre-Law

By Ivy Wang

Jaylexia Clark, a rising Junior in the ILR school, started the pre-law club at Cornell Summer College in hopes of spreading knowledge to potential law-school goers or even just citizen-students interested in it.

When asked for personal motivators, Clark responded that she has made it her “mission to help by fostering knowledge.” Since Clark is a pre-law student, she decided to share that knowledge.

“I’m engaging the next generation of lawyers,” said Clark. 

law balance
Photo by Russo & Graham

Making its grand debut this year, the club has ended its first summer with 15 students on the email list–and that’s only for the second session. Each meeting every Friday in Donlon Hall, is based off pre-law classes in college, which follows a Socratic format. During a Socratic discussion, a leader asks questions, usually surrounding the case that was assigned, while the students answer.

Clark personalizes the content freely based on what students want to know. From the adaptation of 4th amendment rights to developing technology to the validity of the exclusionary rule, all of it has been hotly debated between students during the meetings.

Jaylexia’s advice for undergraduate studies in preparation for a career in law is to take whatever class you’re interested in.

“Take a law class but just focus on doing the best in the field you’re interested in. Your personal statement is probably more important. In order to have your personal statement shine, do some extracurriculars to build up your resume in the direction you want to go into in law.”

Responding to the worry about inadequate preparation for the LSAT, Clark states that the “test whether or not you can read something really quickly, sum up what it is, and answer questions about it. It’s about logic games which people who study science or math may do better with.”

Cornell does not offer a pre-law major and for the most part, the elite universities don’t have pre-law majors. Cornell, however, does have an excellent major in the school of Industrial and Labor Relations, a great government major, and a policy analysis and management major. Those are the three dominant majors that produce pre-law students.

To make up for the absence of a pre-law major, Cornell has quite a number of pre-law fraternities. One of the more notable ones, Kappa Alpha Pi (or KAPi) is a selective fraternity for both girls and boys. Clark says that it means “a lot of great connections. You also get to talk to older KAPi members.”

In the end, Clark advises not to worry over taking an official Pre Law class and instead to just continue to nurture interest in other fields while participating in Law extracurriculars outside.