Prep for Law School with Legal Pathways

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Two new UW Tacoma programs provide rigorous preparation for the LSAT test and the law school application process, for sophomores, juniors, seniors and alumni.

Applying to law school can be a long and expensive process. “Students can spend upwards of $1,000 just on the application process itself, and that doesn’t include the cost of an LSAT preparation course or study materials,” said Patricia Sully, director of the Legal Pathways program at UW Tacoma. Prospective law school students spend weeks, if not months, preparing to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before they even get to writing essays and gathering all the necessary application materials.

Patricia Sully, director, UW Tacoma Legal PathwaysSully is a licensed attorney and knows the experience is challenging. That’s why she helped create two new programs - Legal Pathways Fellows and the Legal Pathways Road to the Law.

The two programs are similar in scope but cater to different audiences. Fellows is open to current UW Tacoma sophomores and juniors while Road to the Law is available to current UW Tacoma seniors and alumni. There is one exception. A summer cohort of the Fellows program has been added and is open to current UW Tacoma juniors, seniors and alumni who expect to start law school in fall 2022. Applications for that cohort are due May 1.

A total of 23 (11 for Road to the Law, 12 for Fellows) students will be accepted into the cohort that starts in fall 2021. Application materials are due May 15. Interested students should be eyeing starting law school in the fall of 2023.

Participants will attend application workshops and will be paired with mentors who are part of the legal community. There will also be a commercial LSAT prep course, the cost of which is entirely covered by Legal Pathways. “One of our goals is to remove barriers for those who have historically not been represented in the legal community,” said Sully. “Absorbing this cost helps and we’re ready to find other ways to support students.”

Students can expect a rigorous schedule. The LSAT prep course isn’t for credit but the experience can feel like adding another class. “The recommendation is that students spend anywhere from 150 to 300 hours preparing for the LSAT,” said Sully. “We’re asking students to commit to 15 hours a week for 10 weeks.”

The intensity of the law school application process is one reason Sully settled on a cohort model. “A lot of our students are going to school full-time and are working full-time,” she said. “The hope is that a cohort model with mentorship built-in will help busy students get the information they need to succeed while also building a community that will last through a student’s transition into that first year of law school which can be very stressful.”

Written by: 
Eric Wilson-Edge / April 1, 2021
Photos by: 
Ryan Moriarty
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or