In Classroom 114 at Grant Hall, 35 people gathered for a panel discussion on litigation. Even though half of the members were political science majors, many of them weren’t, which led to an interesting segment on what it takes to not only be in law school, but also s flourish thereafter.
For a number of years, the Pre-Law Society has produced many law school alumni and served to increase knowledge and reduce anxiety about enrolling in law school. It hosted political cafes, LSAT study sessions and panelists. However, COVID-19 caused the club to stop in its tracks because recruitment failed, forcing the Pre-Law Society and political science majors to seek out other clubs to help them prepare for this stage of University level.
In fact, this is the first event to kick off the revitalization of the Pre-Law Society. Bree Langemo helped bring former students back to campus. Nate Axvig and Nathan Severson were able to answer questions and share their experiences as lawyers with students interested in going to law school and taking the next step.
Axvig was able to offer his experience as someone who is no longer in the legal field but has been working in the legal field for years. Most of his answers centered around knowing what skills you can learn from where. For example, Axvig said, “Make time before you go to law school. Get a real-world experience.
Instead of working as a lawyer, Axvig now operates her own clothing store in Colorado. He found that the skills he learned in law school were essential to becoming a business owner.
One of their main tips for aspiring lawyers is to know that few of their cases will not make it to court. Severson, who is an exception in his caseload, noted that most of his days are spent doing pre-trial work.
Early in his career, he spent almost 70 hours a week researching and laying the groundwork for cases. When you watch lawyers in the media, it’s not the work they show. According to Severson, when he hears the word “plead”, he thinks of lawsuits.
Sabrina Guzman, who is a major in political science with a minor in criminal justice, believes this was a great event to learn more about what may be in her future.
“I want to go to law school,” Guzman said. “It just puts into perspective how different people can take away from law school.”
This summer, Eric Schmidt was given the opportunity to become the advisor to the Pre-Law Society and has since jumped at the chance to bring it back to what it was before the pandemic.
“Well, we have to kickstart that,” Schmidt said. Once he got the job, he emailed pre-law students and within an hour he received 10 replies that simply said, “Let’s do it.”
“My ultimate goal is to see pre-law as a holistic experience, from their freshman year to their senior year, that connects the curriculum and extracurricular activities seamlessly,” Schmidt said. Although they are not there yet, this panel was a good start.
The Pre-Law Society provides a community for those interested in law school. Sophomore Grace Halverson is involved in the leadership team and she noticed that other programs such as pre-med had a lot more community than she found in her own pre-professional program.
“We really saw a need for that support,” Halverson said. She is also part of the mock trial team, which goes hand in hand with the mission of the Pre-Law Society.
All majors are welcome to join the Pre-Law Society because its goal is to create a community for people interested in practicing law.