Pre-law fair allows students to look into law schools

By Rebecca Flannery
Staff Writer

Over 100 law schools will be in attendance today for Baylor’s first appearance in the Southwest Association of PreLaw Advisors caravan. The fair will offer opportunities for students to meet with advisers and ask questions about admittance and law programs at accredited schools from around the nation.

Law schools from New York to California will be on campus from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fifth floor of Cashion Academic Center.

Elizabeth Cano, coordinator of Baylor’s pre-law program, said the fair will give all students a chance to get a closer look at what law school has to offer.

“It’s a way for law schools all over the country to convene under one roof,” Cano said. “Students are able to make connections and it’s a way for students to get face time with those making admissions decisions at these schools.”

The caravan travels all over Texas, stopping at bigger universities such as the University of Texas and Texas A&M.

This year, the caravan has added a few new stops to the trip, including Baylor and Texas State University.

“Specifically, Baylor Pre-Law endeavors to encourage informed decision-making about law school by providing information and resources that enable students to develop a realistic understanding of the legal profession,” according to Baylor’s pre-law website.

Anna Dutia, associate director of pre-law at the University of Texas in Dallas and secretary for the Southwest Association of PreLaw Advisors, said adding the stops allows the law schools to meet a fresh set of motivated students.

“We’re really excited to have Baylor and Texas State added this year,” Dutia said. “These fairs help students clarify their interests, whether it’s in law or not. We typically have quite a lot of different majors attend.”

Dutia said sometimes law schools in attendance will offer fee waivers for the application process.

Jenny Branson, associate director of admissions for Baylor School of Law, travels around the country on behalf of Baylor to fairs like the one on campus today. She said some of the qualities she looks for in students are a good work ethic and leadership skills.

The caravan, which has been in operation for over 14 years, has never come to Baylor before. Cano said in the past year, Baylor has made a new commitment to building a pre-law program, when before there wasn’t an office devoted specifically to the program.

“We hope students take advantage of the opportunity to begin exploring law school options,” Cano said. “There are lots of different qualities between law schools to consider.”

Boerne junior Alex Oestreich said he plans on attending the fair to speak with several different schools he’s interested in attending.

“I’m very excited about Vanderbilt and University of Texas’ law school,” Oestreich said. “It’s really going to give everyone the opportunities to get a look at the application and admissions process for law schools.”

Other schools attending the fair range from Charleston School of Law, New York Law School, Notre Dame Law School and Pepperdine University School of Law, among 100 others.

Cano said to keep in mind these interactions with schools are not supposed to be formal interviews, but the schools are here to get to know candidates.

“It won’t look like an interview but law schools will be keeping first impressions in mind,” Cano said.