Centre College’s first law school fair was in 2003 with just 10 law schools.
On Oct. 6, the College brought in 68 law schools to virtually speak with Centre students.
Joy Asher, Director of the Center for Career & Professional Development, said that past law school fairs have 30 or more schools attend. Due to it being online this year through Handshake, the College can invite schools from across the country.
“Given the increase in attendance, we will seriously consider keeping the event virtual in future years, to allow Centre students exposure to as broad a range of law schools as possible,” Asher said.
One notable school that wouldn’t normally attend is UCLA, which is a top 20 law school nationally.
Over the past five years, an average of 16 percent of Centre’s graduates who attend graduate or professional school will opt for a law school. Since Fall 2014, Centre College has had at least 90 percent of seniors accepted to law school. Last year, 13 of 14 seniors who applied were accepted (93 percent).
For junior Aranxa Parra, the 2020 law school fair on Oct. 6 was a great opportunity to showcase her knowledge and learn more about the process.
“I had started thinking about what’s next after my Centre experience and grad school had always been on my radar,” Parra said. “I love learning, and I knew the next step would involve it somehow. However, I didn’t really know what the next step might be. I’ve always been passionate about serving others and speaking up for the underrepresented, so I started thinking about career paths that would allow me to follow my passions, which is when law school became a possibility. I hadn’t really looked into law school or the process of applying, but thankfully this law school fair gave me some insight and solidified my desire to attend.”
That’s exactly what happened. She said this year’s fair, although virtual, was a great first step.
“This was my first law school fair and I thought it was incredible,” Parra said. “All the admission reps were lovely people, and they really loved getting to know me as well as answer my questions. It was a bit overwhelming seeing the list of schools and realizing that I had the opportunity to speak to all of them. It felt amazing being able to pick who I talked to and having that one-on-one time. It was a blessing and a privilege, which I was very happy to be a part of. ”
Asher said that Centre students are desirable for graduate schools because of how the College challenges its students.
“Centre does many things to prepare students for law school—the Centre education provides students with the critical thinking skills and research acumen essential to succeed in law school,” Asher said. “In addition, students interested in law school have both a specialized career counselor and a faculty pre-law advisor to help them successfully apply.”
Later this month, Centre will host a virtual ACS career fair. The College has partnered with other career centers to host the fair, which will bring “students from 16 of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges and universities with over 50 employers” together, Asher said.
“Companies are eager to hire Centre students for both their breadth of knowledge gained through their general education courses, and the specialized skills and knowledge gained through their major and experiential opportunities, such as internships and research,” Asher said. “On average, nearly 90 percent of Centre students complete at least one internship and/or research experience while in college, and more than 97 percent of students are professionally employed or enrolled in graduate school within one year of graduation.”
by Matt Overing
October 14, 2020