David Watters, a philosophy, politics, and law major from Cleveland, left, speaks with alumnus Peter M. Eraca '05, who is now an admissions councilor with Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island, during Law Day at the Mandela Room on Oct. 3.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Students get chance to meet with law schools
October 4, 2012Tweet
Law-school representatives from around the country gathered at Binghamton University on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to meet with prospective students.
The University’s annual Law Day began with a 10:30 a.m. brunch attended by administrators, faculty, student leaders and law school representatives. Wayne Jones, interim dean of Harpur College, spoke at the brunch about Binghamton University’s growth and told law school representatives that they can expect to hear tough questions from Binghamton University students.
“We have a very focused, good group of students applying to law school,” said John Appelbaum, pre-law advisor, who spoke and introduced Jones. “They ask real questions, like how they can maximize the value of an expensive law degree in today’s economic climate.”
Students were given the opportunity to ask their questions and meet law school representatives at the Law Day Fair, which took place from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in the Mandela Room in the University Union. The fair, as well as Law Day’s other events, was co-sponsored by the Career Development Center (CDC) and Pre-Law Advising.
More than 70 law schools were represented, including Boston College; Fordham, American and Seattle universities; the University of California; George Mason University; the University of Wisconsin; and Tulane University.
Appelbaum said the variety of law schools represented was unsurprising, given where Binghamton students end up.
“We have students who go to law schools all over the country, and a lot of schools came here today because they have students from Binghamton University who go there now,” he said.
Holly Horn, assistant director of the CDC, said she was pleased with the number of law schools and students who attended the fair.
“A lot of our students are interested in law school,” Horn said. “It’s really important for students to have face-to-face contact with law schools because it can affect admissions decisions. Many law schools want to recruit Binghamton University students, so we are happy to put on this event.”
Ashely Minett, a junior majoring in history and political science, attended the fair and said she was excited at the opportunity to make an impression on law school representatives.
“Applying to law school is a very nerve-wracking experience, so I’m really glad Binghamton University offered this,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to get questions answered and get information from a variety of different schools.”
Following the fair, a panel of law school admissions representatives discussed the admissions process and answered students’ questions. The panel gave advice on writing personal statements, building portfolios and how to find a job after earning a law degree.
Appelbaum, who moderated the panel discussion, said he encourages students to wait to apply to law school if they do not have a clear idea of why they want to go.
“Law school is a bad default option. If you’re not sure, you need to wait and explore some more options,” he said, adding that as many alumni apply to law school as current students. “It’s a tough market for U.S. attorneys, and you need to be sure that you want to practice law when you graduate.”
In light of the difficult job market, the Harpur College Dean’s Office is hosting two career seminars to explore the realities and future possibilities of the legal field.
The first seminar, Jobs After Law School, will take place from 1:10-2:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, in UUW-324. The second, Lawyer’s Roundtable: Realities of Practicing Law Today, sponsored by the Harpur Law Council, will take place from 3-4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in UUW-325.