What do Hendrix students who are interested in law school major in as undergraduates? The answer is anything and everything. At a liberal arts institution such as Hendrix, all students, regardless of major, are encouraged to develop the attributes of critical thinking and effective communication. These are the hallmarks of law school and the legal profession, which is why nearly all Hendrix graduates applying to law school are accepted in to one or more programs and why they thrive once they arrive at some of the best law schools in the country.
Look to the Future
Law school admission committees emphasize various factors when considering applications: a commendable grade point average, a good performance on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), and a combination of three general types of skills: the ability to read and comprehend a great deal of information quickly; the capacity to reason logically and quickly, using both verbal and quantitative skills; and the ability to use both spoken and written English to express ideas clearly, fluently, and with precision.
Hendrix students work closely with their individual advisors and the pre-law advisor to design academic programs with these goals in mind. Moreover, because Hendrix pre-law students have worked so closely with faculty members during their time at Hendrix, their law schools letters of recommendation often include a depth of knowledge about the student not possible at other colleges.
Finally, elite law schools want to know not only that a student can succeed in law school but also that the student understands why he or she wants to enter the legal profession. The engaged learning opportunities available to Hendrix students in the form of internships, taking on leadership roles in student organizations, and developing serious undergraduate research projects, allow that exploration of vocation to occur throughout their time at the College.
Students are encouraged to take full advantage of engaged learning opportunities that relate directly to their understanding of why they want to practice the law.
The Hendrix Washington Semester:
Under an agreement with American University in Washington, D.C., students can spend the fall semester of their junior or senior years in Washington enrolled at American University. This program enables students to continue their college educations while observing the operation of government and international agencies in the nation’s capital.
Many students choose to augment their experiences at Hendrix by studying abroad. Hendrix offers several different study abroad programs: Hendrix-in-Oxford, Hendrix-in-London, and Hendrix-in-Austria at the Karl Franzens University in Gratz. Hendrix also participates in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) through which students can study in one of over 120 colleges or universities worldwide.
Professional Development Internships:
Learning does not stop in the classroom for a Hendrix student. Most pre-law students participate in an internship at some point while at Hendrix. Internships may be designed for credit or undertaken strictly for the intrinsic value of the experience. The career services office encourages students who have career goals such as law to begin an active pursuit of these goals while still a student. This could mean an internship with the local prosecuting attorney’s office in Conway or a state agency in nearby Little Rock. In recent years Hendrix students have interned with the state attorney general’s office, the Arkansas affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program, and senate and congressional offices at the state and federal levels.
Some students choose to pursue a topic beyond the scope of a given class. In such cases, the student is encouraged to participate in an independent study, which is done with the supervision of a sponsoring professor and usually results in a course credit for the student. Independent studies take many shapes and cover a wide range of topics. Many students gain valuable experience presenting and defending their research findings at conferences such as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Each year Hendrix sends one of the largest delegations in the country to this national conference.
For further information, contact Dr. Jay Barth, advisor for Pre-Law students.