Jennifer Baker, who is studying political communication at the Manship School, is on the fast track to law school. In fact, she will be attending LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center at the start of her fourth year at LSU in Fall 2020. As part of the Manship School’s 3+3 Pre-Law Program, Baker is the second Manship School student in the program’s history to be earning a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and a law degree in six years – saving her time and money.
“I had always been interested in law, government and the political process all throughout high school, but never thought law school was an option for me,” Baker said. “At the Manship School, I knew that I could develop those interests and find my future career.”
The New Orleans native chose LSU for its big college experience, in-state benefits and, most importantly, its highly specialized political communication program. Coincidentally, Baker’s first semester at LSU in 2017 was the same year the Manship School and LSU Law Center launched the 3+3 Pre-Law Program for undergraduate mass communication students interested in attending law school. Although Baker did not start LSU in the 3+3 Pre-Law Program, she was always open to the idea of attending law school and scheduled her classes to align with the program.
“I had always asked questions about the 3+3 Program because I was very curious about it,” said Baker. “For me, it was an up-and-down decision for two years. Law school is a big decision, and I wanted to make sure it was the right one.”
Baker believed the Manship School’s small class sizes and integrated courses in media and politics would further cultivate her interest in politics and help her to decide if law school was right for her. As she began taking more courses focused on media law and political communication, Baker’s decision to attend law school was affirmed and, ultimately, led her to join the program in her sophomore year. Baker thanks Assistant Professor Will Mari, Ph.D., who taught her media law, for helping her discover an unexpected interest in intellectual property law that she plans to study further at the LSU Law Center.
“The way that Dr. Mari was teaching the class, whether he realized it or not, made me understand that this was really want I wanted to do,” said Baker. “That was the class that I left and thought, ‘Wow, this is really awesome!’ ”
Baker also credits adjunct instructor and Manship School doctoral alumna Robyn Stiles, Ph.D., for providing her the valuable skill of understanding how knowledge in political research and coding could help in the legal process.
“[Her class] was something that I was able to leave from and know that the skills I learned in class could benefit me in my legal career, especially in legal research,” said Baker. “Both of those classes were very beneficial to me.”
Baker encourages anyone interested in the possibility of going to law school to not be intimidated by it and, instead, reach out to advisers and faculty to learn more and see if it is the right path for them.
“In general, I believe there’s a stigma about law school that it’s difficult and unachievable, and I believed that narrative for a very long time,” said Baker. “I finally realized that it is something that’s feasible and achievable, and the 3+3 Program provides the support system to help you get there. The program also works with you to ensure that you will still graduate on time if you decide to not attend law school or if you don’t gain admission to the Law Center. As a Manship student, it is an easy process and one that I am thankful to have partaken in.”
The 3+3 Pre-Law Program is open to all mass communication students, no matter their chosen concentration. Students are still required to complete coursework for one of the Manship School’s four concentrations. Learn more about the 3+3 Pre-Law program.
Written by Amie Martinez