Lauren Johnston (Class of 2016)

  • photo of Lauren Johnstonsenior Pre-Law student with Marketing major
  • minor in Business Legal Studies
  • from Detroit, MI
  • Vice President of Pre-Law Program Relations for Miami's pre-law society, Amicus Curiae
  • Vice President of Recruitment for Colleges Against Cancer
For my position in Amicus Curiae I work with Maria Vitullo, the pre-law director, on things such as Law Day and other pre-law events. She is absolutely amazing! I've been in close contact with her since freshmen year. She guides students on an individual basis, looking at your major and what would be helpful for you. She really does a great job of mentoring pre-law students and providing them with a lot of opportunities. She really shapes people who really want to be a lawyer so that they are prepared.


Why Miami?

"When I was looking at all different schools, I noticed that Miami had a great reputation for not only the Farmer School of Business, but also for the Pre-Law Program in the College of Arts and Science. The acceptance rate of seniors going into law school is higher at Miami than at any other school I applied to. I also liked the clubs and organizations Miami has to offer, the internships that people kept talking about, and the faculty-student relationship. I felt that my experience going to Miami would set me up to be successful in the future.

"My freshmen year was amazing. I honestly loved it! Of course, you get a little homesick, but I met some of my best friends as a freshman, and we've remained close three years later. Miami did a really good job letting me take the classes that I wanted to take and exploring lots of majors and opportunities. Getting involved in organizations was a really big help. I got to meet people and explore other interests that Miami offered."

Best Miami Experiences

"My favorite part of Miami would definitely have to be the professors. It's a very unique experience to be able to sit in a classroom and have a professor know your name. Being able to talk with them frequently and having them take time out of their day to meet with you at office hours and schedule all this time with you to make sure you understand the concepts—those have definitely been my favorite aspects about Miami. The faculty care, and you are better set out for the real world knowing that you have these experiences and contacts.

"Last summer I interned for Verizon in their finance department. It was really cool to get that real-world experience. Verizon was in the middle of an acquisition merger at the time, and I got to work on a little bit helping to combine the two companies and make the merger more seamless. I got to use my knowledge from both my pre-law and business classes on this unique experience, and I loved it.

enlarged photo of Lauren Johnston in Tanzania"In the pre-law program, I went on a law school trip my sophomore year to Washington DC to visit Georgetown, the University of Virginia, and the College of William and Mary. It was really cool to be in the city and with my peers. And since I'm on the executive board of Amicus Curiae, the pre-law society, we worked a lot to set up things such as a tour of the law school at Georgetown and a meeting with current students, professors, and admissions counselors. If we had gone individually, we would have never gotten that kind of experience, but as part of Miami's Pre-Law Program, we were exposed to a lot more of the law school. It's experiences like that that definitely make Amicus Curiae and the pre-law program so much more exciting and fun.

"In J-Term 2015 I also studied abroad in Tanzania. While there, we lived in a remote village on the island of Zanzibar and taught English classes and helped to build a school. The experience would have never been possible if Miami didn't have such a strong commitment to studying abroad and allowing students to get a global education. It was an incredible opportunity that was very eye-opening. The experience has further inspired me to go to law school and one day help children receive equal access to education. I’m very thankful that Miami allows students to experience other cultures and incorporate that into our degrees."

Law School Preparation and Amicus Curiae

"Using my minor in business legal studies, I want to be a corporate attorney. Business legal studies is set up is very much set up like a law school class, so I'm learning how to think like a lawyer and make cases. It's the same with my marketing classes, where you have to abide by certain laws and rules and regulations. Learning these things now in my undergrad classes will help me tremendously in law school.

"In marketing, you learn to take a concept or idea and formulate it to apply to particular groups of people. I like how it's very open-ended thinking, and you can really do so much with that career. I also relate it to law school in that, when you're a lawyer, you have to make a case much like you do in marketing: look at the facts, do the research, and examine the people who may be affected by this issue or product. Then you have to make an argument as to why people should buy this product or why they should take your side of the case.

"Every other week we have Amicus Curiae meetings in which professionals from all different types of law come to speak, including judges, lawyers, and admission panels on current law schools. This is a great opportunity to network with them and talk to them as they share their experiences. Both Amicus and the pre-law program do a really good job of connecting you with people in that profession. It has definitely shaped my desire to have a leadership role. These skills are really useful, not only just right now, but also in the future in law school and beyond.

"For my position in Amicus Curiae I work with Maria Vitullo, the pre-law director, on things such as Law Day and other pre-law events. She is absolutely amazing! I've been in close contact with her since freshmen year. She guides students on an individual basis, looking at your major and what would be helpful for you. She really does a great job of mentoring pre-law students and providing them with a lot of opportunities. She really shapes people who really want to be a lawyer so that they are prepared."

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"I've enjoyed a lot of liberal arts courses in the College of Arts and Science. One was POL 241 [American Political System], which was really cool because you get look at the American government. I had never really taken any political science course before, so it really shaped the idea of going to law school for me. We also looked at how business has shaped America, and the professor was really good at letting us think on our own. We could do our own research, form our own opinions, and talk about it as a class.

"ENG 111 [Composition and Rhetoric] was also a great liberal arts class with an amazing professor. I love to write and be a little creative, and like my political science class we would be given a writing prompt and have the freedom to do what we wanted with it. Our professor would really let us explore and write what we wanted to write while giving great feedback. You have to be a good writer for law school, and taking that class led me to take more English classes. It's a safe environment in which you can correct your writing mistakes and be shaped into becoming a better writer. Even though ENG 111 was just a basic freshmen English class, I absolutely loved it."

Advice to Students

"It's important to do something that you're very passionate about. After attending Mega fair, I got involved with Colleges Against Cancer and helped plan the Relay for Life on campus. This was a huge club that I really wanted to get involved with. I also got involved with Amicus Curiae and joined a sorority as well.

"Think about those positive experiences that you had in high school, because many of them translate really well to Miami's clubs and organizations. A lot of majors also have their own clubs and organizations, so start with the things that you're interested in and join organizations like that.

"But also don't be afraid to do stuff completely outside of what you usually do. For example, Colleges Against Cancer doesn't really apply to my major or my minor, but it's something I really enjoy. Find what you're passionate about, and since Miami has over 300 organizations, there's something there for you—I guarantee it!"

[September 2014]