A promising new program for pre-law students advances under the Liberal Arts Council

Rebecca Stanley

Students interested in a law career have something to look forward to as the Liberal Arts Council moves forward with legislation to implement a new pre-law program.

A focus group held Tuesday, which drew a small crowd of prospective law students, helped cement LAC plans for the program. The program will likely manifest in the form of a pre-law certificate, said Madison Gaona, the LAC development coordinator.

“The most likely way it’s going to turn out is … current classes being flagged under a pre-law certificate that could give students an idea of what it will be like in law school,” government junior Gaona said.

The legislation was drafted by English junior David Jenkins, English senior Austin Reynolds and advertising senior Lu Barraza. Their idea stemmed from the absence of resources for pre-law students, Gaona said. According to previous Daily Texan reporting, the Senate of College Councils began working on the certificate about two years ago and brought the idea back to the table this fall.

“I think for students who aren’t 100 percent sure law school is for them, this certificate will be beneficial,” Gaona said. “It will allow (students) to … fit (pre-law classes) into your degree without overcommitting to anything. It’s a way to give you credit for something you’re passionate about outside of your main degree plan.”

Psychology freshman Maria Villegas said the potential of a pre-law program is a much-needed resource.

“I’m really frustrated by the fact that we don’t have a pre-law certificate,” Villegas said. “I’ve been trying to find resources to help figure out what I can do to get into law school. Classes that help prepare me for law school (and) help me figure out what being a lawyer really is.”

Upon discussing what the legislation hopes to achieve, English sophomore Eileen Stolow said she feels the LAC’s proposal is in line with student input. Stolow said the council is ready to move forward with this legislation.

“We wanted information from students interested in going to law school and what they’d like to see out of a pre-law program at UT,” Stolow, a member of the college ambassadors committee, said. “I think it was pretty successful. Now we’re going to compile everybody’s thoughts and present it at a Dean’s meeting sometime this week.”