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Applying to Law School as a Pre-Med: What You Need to Know

August 25, 2023


Reviewed by:

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 03/11/23

Are you interested in applying to law school as a pre-med? Continue reading to learn valuable insight into the process. 

It may surprise you that quite a few pre-med students turn to law school. Some physicians also decide to attend law school later in life. If you’re deciding to apply to law school as a pre-med, you’re certainly not alone!

It may seem counterintuitive, but many pre-med students find themselves drawn to the world of law. While the two fields may appear vastly different at first glance, there are actually many similarities and distinctions that make law school an appealing option for pre-med students.

If you’re a pre-med student who’s thinking about shifting gears, you’ve come to the right place. This article will share helpful tips and insight into the process of applying for law school as a pre-med. Though you’ll have to approach it differently than students from other academic backgrounds, it’s entirely possible to gain entry into a top-notch law school as a pre-med. 

Let’s get started!

Tips for Pre-Meds Applying to Law School

Read on to learn helpful recommendations on applying to law school as a pre-med. 

Try to Make Your Decision Sooner Rather Than Later

Before you can apply to medical school, you must complete prerequisite courses and develop a solid resume filled with clinical experience, medical shadowing, and other instances that demonstrate your commitment to medicine. 

Save yourself the time and money needed for these requirements by making your decision as early as possible. The sooner you decide to forgo medical school, the sooner you can focus on equipping yourself for law school. 

Give yourself as much time as possible to ensure you fulfill every requirement for law school. Focus on studying for the LSAT or the GRE, depending on the law schools you’re applying to. While most use the LSAT as the primary admissions test, there are some law schools that accept the GRE.

Take time to write a compelling personal statement, gather strong letters of recommendation from professors or work supervisors, and strengthen your resume by emphasizing your academic achievements and relevant work experiences.

Get Support and Connect with Students, Staff, and Alumni 

When applying to law school as a pre-med, arm yourself with as much information as possible. 

Take the time to reach out to your undergraduate academic advisors. Universities and colleges have resources in place to promote student success and growth, so try to familiarize yourself with them. An academic advisor specializing in pre-law can provide consistent support as you segue into law school. 

Brown University, for example, offers interactive events and one-on-one consultations to help prospective students learn more about the application process. Attending pre-law events and connecting with pre-law application experts will help set you up for success. 

You can also connect with current law school students and alumni who were formerly pre-med. Learning from their experiences can help equip you for success. Ask specific questions about how they approached the application process and their experience at law school. 

Feel Confident In Your Decision 

Everyone has their own path to take in life, and the mark of a true leader is someone who follows their own. Finding a strong sense of direction and clarity in your academic and professional career can take trial and error. So, try to hold your head up high and be confident in your decision to pursue a law degree. 

Admissions officers understand that successful candidates come from diverse academic backgrounds. They’re looking for more than your grades, test scores, and undergraduate major. Admissions officers want to get to know the individual behind the application. Focus on letting your personality shine!

Law school interviews are a great way to demonstrate your value. If you have one, try to communicate how your experiences as a pre-med student would bring value to your law school education. Your unique background can help you stand out from the crowd! 

Try Not to Stress About Your Lower GPA

As a pre-med student, you may have a lower GPA compared to other students who are applying for law school. If this is the case, don’t be discouraged!

Students pursuing STEM majors typically have lower GPAs because science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses are typically graded more rigorously than other disciplines

So, don’t be alarmed by the median GPA when you are researching law schools. Admissions officers are aware of the fact that GPAs are not the only measure of a successful candidate. Instead, focus on conveying the unique value you bring to your desired law school. 

If particular grades on your transcript stick out, you can offer context via an addendum. A law school addendum allows you to explain any weaknesses on your transcript. You can add contextual evidence to explain your low GPA, low LSAT scores, academic misconduct, etc. 

Before you rush off to write an addendum, keep in mind that it’s generally unnecessary to use one to explain your low grades from taking pre-med prerequisites. Admissions officers are well acquainted with pre-meds applying to law school. However, it is an available option if you need to add further context to strikingly low grades.

Is Law School Harder Than Med School?

Everyone has different learning abilities and preferences, which contribute to their experiences at school. While some students find law school harder than med school, others would disagree. It all depends on your particular academic strengths and the type of learning you prefer. 

Both medical school and law school are challenging. Attending either will require long hours, a demanding schedule and challenging coursework. However, med school is generally regarded as more difficult than law school. It is known to be more time-consuming, competitive and stressful and has higher dropout rates

Med school requires extensive memorization. Students need to study high volumes of rigorous course material to succeed. It’s also quite hands-on, as gaining clinical experience is an important facet of medical school. Med school can take a serious toll on your personal life. 

On the other hand, law school focuses on deep analysis, critical thinking, and the application of knowledge through heavy reading, writing, and memorization. The first year is commonly referred to as the most difficult. 

Though med school is generally regarded as more difficult than law school, it really depends on the individual. Some people might find law school more challenging, as everyone has different learning styles and skills.

FAQs: Applying to Law School as a Pre-Med

If you have questions about applying to law school as a pre-med, you’ve come to the right place. 

1. Can You Apply to Law School as a Pre-Med?

Yes, you can apply to law school as a pre-med. There are no specific prerequisite courses you’ll have to take to gain admission into law school. 

However, most law schools will require you to have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, take the LSAT and submit documents such as a personal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation

2. Is It Easier to Get Into Law School Than Med School?

It is considerably easier to get into law school then med school. Though the LSAT and the MCAT are both challenging exams, the MCAT requires more prior knowledge. The LSAT requires extensive study, however not on the same level as the MCAT. 

The same can be said for medical school. In order to succeed, it's important to have a strong foundation of knowledge built during your undergraduate studies. That's why medical schools often require certain prerequisite courses and research experience before enrolling.

3. Can You Be a Doctor and a Lawyer?

You can absolutely be a doctor and a lawyer! In fact, universities like Stanford offer joint JD/MD programs. In seven years of study, you can acquire a degree in both law and medicine! Alternatively, you can attend law school in a part-time capacity after studying medicine, or vice versa. 

Though working as a doctor and a lawyer has its challenges, it also has a range of benefits. Most notably, you have the opportunity to learn and make a positive contribution to the world.

Final Thoughts

Changing course in life can feel overwhelming, especially after years of investing time and money into higher education. However, it’s important to follow your intuition and allow yourself to change your mind. Attending med school or law school is a life-changing decision. It’s important to make the right decision for you. 

If you’re a pre-med who’s decided to pursue law school, good for you! It takes guts and determination to change your academic and career path. Fortunately, being a pre-med won’t hold you back from gaining acceptance into law school. If you follow our tips and apply yourself, you’ll be on your way to a successful legal career.

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