Pre-Law Association builds a community for future lawyers in San Antonio

Fabiana Correa Falcone, Staff Writer

Beyond LSAT study sessions and Socratic teaching methods, pre-law students are required to take on more tasks to prepare for their future degree. The Pre-Law Association, or PLA, serves as a place to gather and empower this growing community. With almost 90 current members, PLA has worked to foster a sense of a community with access to the resources they will need to succeed in their legal education. Ranging from guest speakers to social networking events to LSAT study resources, PLA has made crucial information accessible to their members via their website ( 

Rachel Pharr serves as the President of PLA and has been a member since 2019. She is a senior, majoring in global affairs and minoring in Russian. She mentions the importance of the resources provided to her by PLA and wanting to share them with the rest of the organization. 

“When I entered college, I was pursuing a completely different path, so when I began to consider switching fields and attending law school, I did not know much about the law school application process,” Pharr said. “The organization and its resources provided me with a sense of direction and helped me develop a plan to achieve my goals. PLA’s discussions with attorneys, judges, and law students inspired me and made me more confident that going into the legal field is the right path for me. With all that PLA has given me, I am grateful for the opportunity to give back and provide students with the resources and network that I value so much.”

Vice-President Graciela Orta, a senior majoring in business administration, explains that what makes PLA different from other pre-professional organizations is how, “

PLA expands their services to students not only through pre-law information, but also strives to provide experienced professional panels and pre-law education support.”

In addition to providing important resources for pre-law students at UTSA, PLA invites everyone to share their highs and lows in their law school journey to a group of individuals that directly relate to them. Sofia Aliseda, a senior accounting major, serves as PLA’s treasurer. She emphasizes the welcoming atmosphere of the organization.

Photos courtesy of Rachel Pharr

“I have found an encouraging community at PLA,” Aliseda said. “Our community offers support for one another whether we decide to continue on with our law school journey or not.”

All in all, PLA offers support for pre-law students at UTSA in many aspects. In fact, PR Director Clarissa Rodriguez — who is pursuing a major in political science and a minor in sociology — discusses how PLA has helped her own academic journey.

“PLA has helped me realize that I’m not alone in my academic career,” Rodriguez said. “Being a member of PLA has encouraged me to become a more active student, and it has taught me to not stay silent and ask for help whenever I need it the most. This organization has helped me improve academically, since the members have encouraged me to study more and have provided me with helpful criticism.”

The Pre-Law Association prides itself on helping students achieve their full potential by providing valuable resources and networking opportunities. PLA’s meetings take place every other Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. via Zoom. The meeting for Nov. 16 will host the Chief Public Defender for the Bexar County Public Defender’s Office Michael Young as a guest speaker. He will discuss his career and law school experiences. Students who would like to learn more or get involved with PLA can follow PLA on Instagram @utsapla.