Butler offers Pre-Law Society for interested students

Butler University students who choose to go to law school may not be as common as those who go into other graduate programs. However, they tend to be highly successful.
Twenty-two Butler students have submitted a total of 170 applications for law school as of press time.
Pre-law adviser Jim McKneight said, in his experience, almost every student will be accepted somewhere.
“Butler students are very well received by law schools,” McKneight said. “Acceptance is very close to, if not at, 100 percent.”
Butler does not have a specific pre-law track, major or program. Butler offers advising for students who show interest in law school, as well as various events through Pre-Law Society.
Between 200 and 250 names are on the listserv for Pre-Law Society.
Pre-Law Society hosts two or three events every semester for members. These include networking nights, Law School Admissions Test discussions with students who have taken the test and talks with admissions representatives from various law schools.
Pre-law advising is available to any Butler students who has interest in law school.
Senior Emily VanTyle said her experience with a pre-law adviser helped her decide where to apply for school and how to prepare herself for law school during her undergraduate time.
“When I began thinking a lot about law school, I met with a pre-law adviser,” VanTyle said. “He helped me decide what courses to look at for my senior year, helped me decide which schools to apply to, and we researched a lot.”
VanTyle has applied to 10 law schools and has heard from four. Of those four, she was accepted to two, received a full ride to one— Valparaiso—and was waitlisted at one.
“McKneight actually encouraged me to look at Valparaiso,” VanTyle said. “He knew of a student with similar credentials who received a full-tuition scholarship and thought maybe I had a shot too. He was definitely right.”
Sophomore Jill Gentry said although she has not been to any Pre-Law Society events, she is actively preparing herself for law school.
“I definitely knew that a liberal arts school would best prepare me for law school,” Gentry said. “That really attracted me to Butler. I’ve taken a lot of philosophy and politics courses, which are really good preparation for law school.”
Gentry, a political science major, is not atypical for staying distant from Pre-Law Society, McKneight said.
“Sometimes, we’ll have a few freshmen or sophomores who show an interest in law school early on,” McKneight said. “But when it comes to applications and acceptance, the students who end up seriously looking at law school are about 50-50. Half will have planned on law school all along. The other half will have decided late in their college career to look into law school.”
McKneight said he recommends students interested in law school take writing-intensive courses, logic and theory courses and public speaking courses during their undergraduate time at Butler.
“The education someone gains in law school can be beneficial to anyone,” McKneight said, “including those students interested in working in the non-profit realm, business, accounting or even to produce broadway musicals. It will make anyone more marketable and more knowledgeable.”
Gentry said she is not sure where she would like to go for law school, but she is willing to work hard toward a degree.
“Right now, the sky is the limit,” Gentry said. “I have no school in particular in mind, but I just hope that my hard work will pay off in admission to a great law school.”
VanTyle said her drive to attend law school was fueled by a desire to assist victims of injustice.
“Really, I want to help people,” VanTyle said. “I want to make a difference, and in our society, the way to do that is to change law and enact justice. Whether as a lawyer or even a judge, that’s what I hope to accomplish.”


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