I am 22 years old and just started college for the first time. I currently attend a local community college but I must transfer in order to get a bachelors degree. I want to go to law school at: Duke, Wake Forest, University of Virginia, or Boston College. I was wondering if these types of school payed much attention to were I get my bachelors degree. Should I try to attend the college that I want to go to law school at, or is it ok to go to a small local college. Please help me if you can. Thanks
Thanks so much for your question. I rarely get inquiries regarding community colleges, and I'm glad you wrote in, because I think these schools have several advantages that most students aren’t aware of:
- They can be the ideal stepping stone from high school to a four-year college or university.
- They are more affordable than most four-year schools.
- They offer many of the 100- and 200-level courses that freshmen and sophomores are often required to take at the larger state schools.
Starting at a community college and then transferring to finish your junior and senior year at a public university is a smart option for lots of people who can’t afford to enroll in a four-year program, want to get general education requirements out of the way, or need to improve their academic performance before applying to the four-year school of their choice.
Community colleges are finally starting to get the recognition and attention they deserve. Earlier this year, President Obama announced his American Graduation Initiative, which will provide investment in our community colleges over a span of ten years. More information on this initiative can be found here.
Now, on to your question about transferring in order to get admitted into law school: The schools you cite are highly competitive. I'd advise you to do some research to see what kind of GPAs and LSAT scores these schools like to see. Even if you think you have a good shot at getting into a prestigious law school, make sure you apply to at least four or five to increase your chances of getting in. Law schools also want students who can write really well. You might want to major in a subject like English Literature, Philosophy, History, or Political Science—just something to keep in mind.
Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to transfer to one of those elite schools’ four-year degree programs. I’ll warn you, though: most elite schools have few slots open for transfers; therefore, your application needs to be top notch. It's a good idea to attend the best undergraduate college you can get into, but going to a small local school won't kill your chances of getting a law degree. By and large, what’s important are your grades, and how well you do on the LSAT.
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