Montana State University
University College > University Studies > Advising > Exploring the Law

University Studies

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173000
Bozeman, MT 59717-3000

Tel: (406) 994-3532
Fax: (406) 994-6049
E-mail: advising@montana.edu
Location: 130 Gaines Hall

Hours:

8:00-5:00 Mon-Fri

Director

Diane Donnelly, MEd

Academic Advising Coordinator

Emily Edwards, MFA

 

Exploring the Law

 

You are the only person who can decide if a career in the law is right for you. The best way to determine if you would enjoy attending law school and a legal career is to spend some time exploring your interests, the law school curriculum and the legal profession. Educate yourself on the realities of the legal profession. Observe attorneys in the courtroom during a trial. Schedule a law school visit, talk with the current students and professors and sit in on a first year class. Consider taking US 140 - Intro to Law and the Legal Profession to further explore your interest.


Perhaps the most important thing that you can do during the first years of your undergraduate education is to take the time and effort to investigate whether the study of law is right for you. Spend the time that you have before it comes time to apply to law school engaged in a meaningful inquiry into what it means to study and practice law. Talking to lawyers, getting involved in law-related activities, gaining summer internship experiences, taking courses that touch on legal topics, and reading about the profession can be important and valuable ways to affirm or disaffirm that law is, in fact, what you wish to pursue.  Engaging in meaningful personal inquiry and self-reflection are well worth the time and effort it takes to determine whether the study of law and the legal profession are right for you.


Students often believe that you must love to argue to be an attorney. This is simply not true. What you must love to do, however, is read, write and do research. If spending long hours reading and writing do not appeal to you, then the law may not be the right profession for you.


Likewise, as an attorney, you must also be able to see an issue from multiple perspectives and routinely address questions that have no definitive answers. If your tolerance for ambiguity is low, law school is probably not the best choice for you.