Touro College Mentors Prelaw Students Straight to the Top

Date: December 12, 2013
Prof. Tom Rozinski created Touro College's prelaw program.
Prof. Tom Rozinski created Touro College's prelaw program.
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Marla Cohen
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New York, N.Y. – Since 2010, Touro College has increasingly placed its prelaw students at top-rated law schools placing seven of its students at Harvard Law School in the past three years. In 2013 alone, seven students gained admission to law schools ranked in the top 21 in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

“This is a remarkable achievement for a small prelaw program that annually sends only 20 students to law school,” says Thomas Rozinski a professor of political science, and Touro’s principal prelaw advisor. He expects that several students will be admitted to top 20 law schools again this academic year.

Touro graduates who are now in law school credit their admission record to the prelaw preparation they received while applying to law school. A laser-like focus on each step in the process — from choosing the undergraduate courses to help them prepare for law school, to choosing references who can best present their strengths, to repeated revisions of their application’s personal statement — has generated winning outcomes for these students.

“I got incredible guidance,” says Yossi Lieberman who is in his first year at Harvard Law School and was accepted at four of the five top law schools he applied to. He credits Rozinski with his own success.

 “I think our emphasis on developing critical thinking and writing skills really helps our students when they get to law school,” says Rozinski, himself a graduate of Harvard Law School. “Because of the small size of my classes—which average five students—they get far more attention than at schools with dozens of prelaw students.”

Avigail Shloush, now in her first year at 21st -ranked George Washington University, in Washington, says that the small size of Touro’s prelaw program “works hugely to our advantage, because the prelaw program is basically a one-on-one personal guidance by Prof. Rozinski.”

When Shloush came to Lander College for Women-The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School (LCW), , law school “was more of a dream than a realistic option,” she says. Touro’s lineup of law-related courses, however, set her on her current path. Two semesters of business law, and a political science/pre-law class taught by Prof. Daniel Chill, who tested students using exams patterned after those given in law school, set her on her current path.

“I have friends [at law school] who attended various other undergraduate schools, yet their prelaw program and advising was not comparable to what I received at Touro,” she says. “Without such advice and direction, it’s fairly possible that I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Rozinski chalks up Touro’s success to the prelaw courses Touro offers as well as the intensive counseling. He notes that many of the students benefit from Talmudic studies that give them regular practice in close reading of texts and debating their meaning. Courses such as ‘Civil Rights and Civil Liberties’ and the ‘Supreme Court and the Constitution’ refine their skills by teaching them to write a judicial opinion and “synthesize the law on paper.” At the end of the semester, they argue their case before a panel of three lawyers.

Being prepared seems to be the least of this newest crop of legal newbie’s concerns, however.

 “I was worried how I would stack up against students who had been through Yale or Harvard as undergraduates,” says Lieberman. “I have them in my study groups. I’m just fine. Really.”