Kate Lechleitner came to Ursinus with her eye on eventually pursuing a law degree. As fate would have it, the pre-law program here was on the rise and she quickly found her niche. A Politics major with minors in International Relations and English, she hunkered down to focus on preparing for law school between her sophomore and junior years.
“I have a few family members who are accomplished attorneys,” says Lechleitner, who starts every morning with coffee and The New York Times in Wismer. “A law degree is a great thing to have because you can use it in so many different fields.”
Now the native of Northport, N.Y., is diligently sifting through offers from more than eight law schools and will decide between St. Johns, Seton Hall and Syracuse. Lechleitner, who has a penchant for vibrant nail colors, is also a long jumper for the Varsity Track and Field Team and is president of Omega Chi.
“During my time at Ursinus, I’ve been enrolled in all the pre-law classes available minus Property Law, my favorite being Moot Court,” says Lechleitner, an avid reader with an easy laugh. She has had Dr. Houghton Kane, Associate Professor of Politics and James L. Baer Esq., as her professors and advisors. Baer directs The Pre-Law Center at Ursinus which brings together all aspects of the College’s assistance to its students interested in a career in the law.
“Both Dr. Kane and Mr. Baer have helped me tremendously,” she says. “My advice to any pre-law student is to get to know these two phenomenal individuals because their knowledge and assistance is unparalleled both at Ursinus College and in the professional world. A pre-law student who does not take a class with Dr. Kane or have a lengthy conversation with Mr. Baer is really doing themselves a disservice.”
Steven Hood, Professor of Politics, describes Lechleitner as a hard worker with a cosmopolitan world view. “She understands people,” says Hood. “Kate knows how to work through difficult situations. Her honors thesis work has been exemplary. I also worry about students getting their work finished on time because of the intimidating nature of their projects. But Kate has loved what she is doing and she is teaching me about the different articles of the Geneva Convention and how this relates to suspected Islamic extremists who are in American custody.”
During her senior year, Lechleitner was asked to help the Pre-Legal Program as the pre-legal intern and offer her own ‘student perspective’ to the program. She also works with Alaina Gaines with the Haines-Bernard Pre-Legal Society, a student-run organization that helps students along their pre-law path. She has been a member of the Pre-Legal Society for four years and was secretary last year.
“In my four years at Ursinus, this program has truly grown,” says Lechleitner. “Everything that has been developed has helped students in their journey towards law school and legal careers.”
Baer, a graduate of Ursinus and the University of Virginia School of Law, says Lechleitner ranks in the top five of all of the pre-law students that he has met since his return to Ursinus ten years ago. “Kate is bright, intuitive and inquisitive,” says Baer. “She is a quick study of new concepts and adapts them well to her previous reasoning. This was exemplified by her highly constructive contributions to the enhanced formulation of the pre-law program at Ursinus.”