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The Extra Mile: Pre-Law Society

Students from VMI's Pre-Law Society are able to visit the University of Virginia Law School to learn more.

LEXINGTON, Va. March 6, 2024 — Jon Krueger ’24 wasn’t sure what path he was going to take once arriving at Virginia Military Institute.  

“I've always been interested in the military and I've always felt like I've done well with the structure as far as academic skills,” he said.  

A family friend recommended VMI, so Krueger decided an overnight trip for an open house was a good plan. He enjoyed it.  

But finding the Pre-Law Society, a club option offered at VMI, was totally by chance his 3rd Class year.  

“It was an in passing conversation with my academic advisor. He asked me if I'd thought about grad school and I had no real game plan,” he said. "I kind of started getting interested in law school. There's still a lot that I don't know about, but being an English major working with documents and a lot of writing ... law interests me in general. So that's what piqued my interest.” 

Krueger is the project manager of the club, which means he’s in charge of organizing events while working with other leadership within the club. In the past, the club has sat in on University of Virginia’s law students’ mock trials as jurors, along with tours of UVA Law School.  

He said the Pre-Law Society is a good way to dip your toes into discovering what law and law school are about. 

“We just try to get an experience for newer members or people that aren’t quite sure how law school works,” he said. “I think it's to get everybody introduced to it, see if it's even for you. It's not necessarily with joining the Pre-Law Society, anybody expects you to be a lawyer. It's more to get people interested, see if this is something that they enjoy.” 

The club is well-received, having almost 50 members.  

Most of the events of the society does include VMI alumni visits. Former professors, judges, and lawyers have all stepped onto post to talk. 

"We've been able to talk to people who do a lot of different aspects of the law, like military and civilian. We’ve also had different judges and trial lawyers from the JAG Corps. There's also a member of the Law School Admission Council that comes once a year to talk about the LSAT, the standardized test to get into law school, and a lot of people found that helpful for their own LSAT.” 

The club also takes trips, apart from UVA, to Richmond and Washington, D.C. to speak with lawyers and other law professionals.  

Once Krueger graduates in the spring, his plan is to go to Officer Candidate School for the Navy, then go to law school, so this club has been imperative for his future.  

Patrick Kiernan ’25, a history major, said he started becoming interested in law after several junior and high school classes he took.  

“I had interest from taking those classes, wanting to look more into practicing law,” he said.  

Kiernan said a great aspect of the club is the advisor Maj. Tim Passmore, assistant professor of international studies, who can recommend a certain number of cadets and alumni that want to attend certain law schools through a memorandum of understanding.   

“They basically guarantee an interview because the idea is with the time constraints you have at VMI, your GPA and LSAT scores aren't necessarily the best reflection of what you can do,” he said. 

The two said the amount of knowledge they’ve received through participating in the club is insurmountable.  

"Being around people that can tell you more about law, life, and the resources available to you ... not to mention, I don't think it ever looks bad on a resume to say that you're part of the Pre-Law Society,” Krueger said.

Laura Peters Shapiro
Communications & Marketing
VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE 

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