Skip to main content

Law & Justice graduate leaves legacy with Undergraduate Law Review at Auburn University


Recent law and justice alumna Kate Lakis '24 applied what she learned in the classroom to a legal internship, the Pi Lambda Sigma honor society and in a successful application to Boston College Law. But before she left Auburn, she wanted to add one more opportunity for pre-law students to develop their legal expertise.

Lakis co-founded the Undergraduate Law Review at Auburn University with business administration and finance alumnus Jack Rafferty '24 to help develop Auburn students into competitive law school candidates.

"The law review started because I wanted there to be more ways for pre-law students to gain experience," Lakis said. "The law review is a big portion of law school. Every law school has one. It's very prestigious to be a part of it, and aside from classes, there wasn't a big way for Auburn students to practice that and to get a step ahead when they get to law school, so I wanted to create another opportunity because I knew Auburn students would take advantage of it."

The law review is modeled after faculty advisor and Professor Steven Brown’s Constitutional Law classes, which require students to spend months researching and writing about upcoming cases in the Supreme Court. Students on the editorial board for the law review take those legal research papers, edit them and publish an annual collection.

Lakis served as the review's first editor-in-chief. She said the law review equips Auburn students with specialized skills that are crucial to succeeding in law school.

"During your first year at most law schools, you'll take a legal research and writing class where you have to learn how to do blue book citations, which are kind of complicated to learn," Lakis said. "So, students are able to take legal research and writing classes at Auburn and get actual practice of doing it themselves for a publication, which is very rare in undergrad and I do think that gives you a leg up when you get to law school."

Lakis said the reaction to the Undergraduate Law Review has been overwhelmingly positive. On the day she announced it, dozens of Auburn students reached out about how to get involved.

Despite the Law and Justice major being fairly new, Lakis said the devotion of students and faculty made the law review possible.

"I just think it really emphasizes how much Auburn students are actually doing and how capable they are to do these things that real lawyers are doing," Lakis said. "I saw the passion that these Auburn students had for the law and the amazing things that they're doing after graduation, and I knew that this would be the place that people would be willing to start it and it would be the place where it could grow and continue to grow with the Law and Justice major."

Lakis hopes the law review will become a bigger resource for pre-law students to practice legal research and writing, as well as an avenue for students in non-pre-law majors to learn more about legal issues that may affect them.

This fall, Lakis will enroll at Boston College Law to start a career in "Big Law," which refers to work in large law firms. Lakis was drawn to Boston College for its high "big law" ranking and its family atmosphere.

Because of her Auburn coursework, Lakis already has an advanced knowledge base – and even some of the textbooks – she'll need in law school.

"I fully credit Auburn to why I'm going to Boston College," Lakis said. "The experiences that they gave me and the skills that they taught me on how to write and how to present myself well 100% is why I think I am going. What I did at Auburn is huge, but what I learned from what I did at Auburn is what gave me things to write about in my personal statement and what helped my resume stand out."

Find more information about Law and Justice in the Department of Political Science. To learn more about the review, follow the Undergraduate Law Review on Instagram.

Tags: Pre-Law Scholars Political Science Alumni

Related Articles