In classroom 114 of Grant Hall, 35 people gathered for a panel discussion about litigation. Even though half of the members were political science majors, plenty of them were not, which led to an interesting segway into what it takes to not only be in law school but to thrive after.
For a number of years, the Pre-Law Society has produced many law school alumni and served to increase knowledge and decrease the anxiety of applying to law school. It was hosting political cafes, LSAT study sessions, and panelists. However, COVID-19 made the club stop in its tracks because recruitment fell short, making the Pre-Law Society and political science majors look for other clubs to help prepare them for that graduate-level step.
In fact, this is the first event to kick off the revitalization of the Pre-Law Society. Bree Langemo helped bring alumni back to campus. Nate Axvig and Nathan Severson were able to answer questions and share their experiences as lawyers to students interested in going to law school and taking that next step.
Axvig was able to offer his experience as someone who is no longer in the law field but has worked in law for years. Most of his responses were centered around knowing what skills you can get from where. For example, Axvig said, “Take some time before going to law school. Get some real world experience.”
Instead of working as a lawyer, Axvig now operates his own clothing store in Colorado. He found that the skills he learned from law school were instrumental to becoming a business owner.
One of their key pieces of advice for aspiring lawyers is to know that not many of their cases will not make it to court. Severson, who is an exception in his number of cases, noted that most of his days are spent doing preparatory work for the trial.
In the beginning of his career, he would spend nearly 70 hours a week researching and laying the groundwork for the cases. When viewing lawyers in media, this is not the work that they are showing. According to Severson, when he hears the word “litigate,” he thinks of lawsuits.
Sabrina Guzman, who is a political science major with a minor in criminal justice, feels it was a great event to learn about what is possibly in her future.
“I do want to go to law school,” Guzman said. “It just puts it into perspective of how different people can take away from law school.”
This summer Eric Schmidt was given the opportunity to become the Pre-Law Society advisor and has since jumped at the chance to bring it back to what it was before the pandemic.
“Well, we need to get this back off the ground again,” Schmidt said. Once he got the position, he sent out an email to inquiring pre-law students and within an hour, he received 10 replies that simply said, “Let’s do this.”
“My ultimate goal is to see pre-law as a holistic experience, from their first year to their senior year, that links curriculum and co-curricular activities seamlessly,” Schmidt said. Although they are not there yet, this panel was a great start.
The Pre-Law Society offers community to 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 of a community than she has found in her very own preprofessional program.
“We really saw a need for that support,” Halverson said. She is also a 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 purpose is to build a community for those interested in practicing law.