Elizabeth V. Swenson, J.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychological Science and Pre-Law Advisor
Dolan E 375
Hours by appointment
To make appointments call me or sign up on the appointment sheet on my office door.
- Advising on courses, law school choices, and whether or not to apply
- Advice on the content and a critique of your personal statement
- LSAT registration materials
- Information on joint degree programs and specialties of law schools
- Cleveland Metropolitan Law School Day in the fall
- An alumni career network of Cleveland-area attorneys
- A variety of printed materials on all aspects of applying to law school
Frequently asked questions:
How do I know that law is the correct career choice for me?
There are several things that you can do:
- Spend a day talking to and observing the work of an attorney. A list of John Carroll University alumni lawyers is available from Dr. Swenson. These are people who have volunteered to be helpful to JCU students in making their career decision.
- Join Phi Alpha Delta, a group of pre-law students.
- Enroll in an undergraduate course that is law-related. Although these courses will give you very little advantage in law school, they will give you some insight into whether you enjoy studying law. Law-related courses are offered in departments such as Political Science, Sociology, Management and Marketing, and Psychology.
- Visit law schools. Most law schools will give you an opportunity to sit in on a class and to talk to current students.
- Consider a law-related internship or cooperative education job during the school year or in the summer. For further information contact the Student Career Development Center in the house next to the tennis courts on campus.
- Read about the law. A list of recommended books is available on the hand-out table outside Dr. Swenson’s office (Dolan E 375).
Who should write letters of recommendation for me?
The best people to ask for letters of recommendation are your professors, because law school is an academic program. Choose those professors who are familiar with your work, and in whose classes you have done well. The professor of a course in which you have done some writing or research would be a particularly good choice. Do not choose a politician or an attorney, unless you know this person is very familiar with your work through employment or an internship. If this is the case, then the politician’s or attorney’s letter should be your third letter, not your first or second.
Give your recommenders enough time to write your letter, but not too much time. Three to four weeks is ideal. Provide your recommenders with a current resume and enough information about what you do outside of class so that they have a more complete picture of you. Also give them a transcript, and postage. Most professors do not mind writing multiple letters of recommendation, as long as they are writing one to begin with, so do not divide up the work by giving a few recommendation forms to one person and a few to another. Although it is your personal decision, many professors prefer that you waive your right to see the letter of recommendation. If you do not sign the waiver, remember that this right applies only to the letter sent to the school where you finally enroll, and not to the letters sent to the schools.