UT advantage gives students automatic entrance into law school

September 29, 2010 | News, UToday
By Ashley Traynum

The decision to attend law school can be overwhelming. First there is the LSAT, then getting all the recommendations together, plus the costs associated with the applications. But The University of Toledo College of Law wants to make it easier with the UT Advantage Program.

“The UT Advantage Program offers presumptive admission to University of Toledo undergraduate students with a 3.4 GPA and who score 156 on the LSAT. This will give students peace of mind that they will have a place in the fall,” said Jessica Mehl, assistant dean of admissions in the College of Law.

This is the first time the College of Law has offered this program to students; applications can be submitted starting Friday, Oct. 1. It is hoped that at least 12 to 15 students enroll; there is no application fee for any student, regardless of their credentials, to apply.

Dr. Sam Nelson, UT professor of political science, who is an academic adviser for pre-law undergraduate students, added that the program serves as a guide for students during their undergraduate years.

“You get the question, what do I need for law school? This program is valuable to freshmen because it gives them something concrete to work toward while in school if they are considering law school,” he said.

Each year the law school receives more than 1,000 applications and only enrolls about 160, which means the competition can be tough. This program will not only help to alleviate the stress involved in the process, but help students remain connected to the University and Toledo community.

Breanne Democko, a second year law student, who received her bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration and a minor in English from UT in 2009, said maintaining the connections she made during her undergraduate years at the University is part of the reason she chose to attend law school here.

“I interned with general counsel on the Health Science Campus in undergrad and was offered a position as research assistant while attending law school. I would not have had that opportunity if I moved away,” she said.

Democko pointed out that staying in a city you are familiar has its benefits.

“Law school is a huge transition,” she said. “Taking the jump to a new city can be detrimental to your studies because you’re spending time figuring out the new school and area. Being settled here helped me ease into my academic experience.”

In addition to maintaining the connections established during undergraduate years, Mehl said there are many opportunities for continued growth both personally and professionally at the UT College of Law.

“In addition to Toledo Law just being named best value by National Jurist Magazine, Toledo has a very close-knit legal community,” she said. “There are opportunities for students to take part in pro bono work and legal clinics as they progress in their individual studies. The opportunity for hands-on experience is limitless.”

Last year the UT College of Law offered more than $1 million in scholarships and aid to its students. UT Advantage is just one more way the school aims to help students, Mehl said.

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