Law School: An Informed Decision

The pre-law program has been around for decades. Hear about what a common priority has always been.

Frank Homer, Ph.D. ’64, professor emeritus of history, University historian and current adjunct professor in history, rank the pre-law program for decades. He and Meyer agree on a top priority.

Prior to Dr. Meyer, Loreen Wolfer, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice & Criminology, ran the program for about five years, and, before that, the pre-law program was nurtured for nearly 40 years by Frank X.J. Homer, Ph.D. ’64 (pictured at left), professor emeritus of history, University historian and current adjunct professor in history.

“My main goal was always to make sure the students made an intellectual, informed decision about whether they wanted to go to law school,” said Homer in a recent interview. “I never wanted them to go into it with their eyes closed.” 

That same advisory mindset is true today, said Matthew Meyer, Ph.D., Pre-Law Advisory Program director, even more so considering the state of the profession after the recession.

“I hope you’re going to law school because you want to go law school,” he said. “If you make that investment, you want to make sure you’re going to work in that profession and get paid, use that degree in such a way that you have that boost in income that you’ll be able to pay back the loans that you’ll incur and that you’re happy in the profession.”

Web Exclusive Photos

One Lawyer's Perspective

By Mara Smith, Esq. ’13 an associate general counsel at Brighton Health Plan Solutions who earned her law degree at Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University.

Scranton was, without a doubt, the best choice I ever made. The University of Scranton equipped me with the resources to not only be a successful attorney but also equipped me with the resources to become a successful person in a life focused on being a woman for others. Even before I entered The University of Scranton, I knew that I wanted to be an attorney, as I had wanted to be a lawyer for most of my life. When I was seven years old, instead of fighting/having tantrums with my parents, I would leave them notes on their pillows explaining why I was right, why they were wrong, and how I shouldn't have to do what they said because of this or I would try to "plea bargain" away a punishment of one day of no TV with three days of no computer, etc.

The University of Scranton has played a significant role in my success as an attorney. The critical reading and analysis, writing, and rhetoric skills that I gained through SJLA while at Scranton have supported my legal career far more than any of my law school courses or programs. Although the Council of Alumni Lawyers was not active while I was a student at The University of Scranton, I felt that Scranton supported my pre-law my endeavors in a variety of ways, including a Pre-Law Society trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with alumni attorneys, as well as the Scranton connections I gained from my first law firm job, working for Board of Trustees member Kevin O'Brien at his firm, Marks O'Neill O'Brien Doherty and Kelly. Career Services and the members of the Alumni Society Advisory Board (whom I met through the PALS program) were always willing to connect me with alumni attorneys and those alumni attorneys were always willing to offer their own resources and insight to help support my pre-law endeavors.

I think recently at The University of Scranton there has been a much greater focus on supporting students and alumni throughout the entire process from pre-law discernment into their careers as attorneys. From the University administration and resources, there has been incredible support offered to students, particularly through the commitment to the law degree affiliation programs that allow students a financial and professional advantage through the "3-3 programs." From the students, the students leading the Pre-Law Society have taken the initiative to host panels and receptions, bringing recent alumni back to campus to discuss topics like preparing for the LSAT, the transition from Scranton to law school, and the law school experience and inviting all local alumni attorneys to attend networking receptions following these panels. The students have also traveled to cities like Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. to attend regional networking events with alumni attorneys in these larger metropolitan areas.

Scroll to Top