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What is Pre-Law?

Students in library

Being “pre-law” does not denote a student’s major or program of study; instead, being pre-law identifies a student’s educational goal. Many students are surprised to find out that there is no particular suggested major, nor are there any specific courses required for entrance to law school. Students should choose a major based on their interests and abilities.

According to the American Bar Association (ABA):

Students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline. You may choose to major in subjects that are considered to be traditional preparation for law school, such as history, English, philosophy, political science, economics or business, or you may focus your undergraduate studies in areas as diverse as art, music, science and mathematics, computer science, engineering, nursing or education. Whatever major you select, you are encouraged to pursue an area of study that interests and challenges you, while taking advantage of opportunities to develop your research and writing skills. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for legal education.

The American Bar Association suggests there are important skills, values, knowledge, and experience that you can acquire prior to law school and that will provide a sound foundation for a legal education. If you wish to prepare adequately for a legal education, and for a career in law or for other professional service that involves the use of lawyering skills, you should seek educational, extra-curricular, and life experiences that will assist you in developing those attributes. The student who comes to law school lacking this foundation will face a difficult challenge.

ABA suggested skills, values, knowledge, and experience: