The Pre-Law Program at Dillard University has garnered widespread recognition and can be a model for advising strategies for the K-12 sector as schools across the country face high student-to-counselor ratios. Pre-law students begin as freshmen who are enrolled in a freshman year experience group with the pre-law adviser. As part of the class, they are required to have individual meetings with advisers. The continued advising and mentoring then exists throughout the four years of the student’s experience.
As the students begin their senior year, they participate in a law school admissions workshop with law school admissions advisers from around the country. The pre-law adviser then assists them during their senior year in selecting law schools, and in some cases, reaching out to law schools to advocate on behalf of students. The school suggests that “careful, consistent advising built on personalized attention” sets their program apart.
“Dillard students have described my approach to pre-law advising as ‘life coaching.’ While I am certainly not a life coach, my style is more intrusive than the average pre-law adviser. I help students work through any area that stands between them and law school. Sometimes the issue is academic, but other times it is social, financial or emotional. I have found that responding to the whole student is the most effective way to advise. Investing in advising relationships with students can reap significant benefits later.”—Adria Kimbrough, pre-law adviser, Dillard University
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