Pre-Law

PREREQUISITES FOR LAW SCHOOL

The American Bar Association (ABA) has developed a statement on pre-law preparation which addresses the course of study as well as the skills necessary to gain admission to law school and to be a successful lawyer.  The statement emphasizes that there is no single path that will prepare you for a legal education.

Students enter law school from widely different educational and experiential backgrounds. As undergraduates, some have majored in subjects considered to be traditional paths to law school:

  • History
  • English
  • Political science
  • Philosophy
  • Economics
  • International Relations

Others have focused their undergraduate studies on such diverse areas as a) Art, b)Engineering, c) Computer science, and d)Music.

Although the ABA does not recommend any particular group of undergraduate majors or courses that should be taken to prepare for legal education, there are significant skills, values, and bodies of knowledge that are strongly emphasized:

  • Analytic and problem-solving skills
  • Critical reading abilities
  • Writing skills
  • Oral communication and listening abilities
  • General research skills
  • Organization and management skills
  • Foreign language skills
  • The value of serving the interests of others while promoting justice

Types of knowledge that can be useful in resolving disputes include the following:

  • Broad understanding of history
  • Fundamental understanding of political thought
  • Basic understanding of ethical theory and theories of justice
  • Grounding in economics
  • Basic mathematic and financial skills
  • Basic understanding of human behavior
  • Understanding of diverse cultures within the United States and of international issues
  • Having excellent interpersonal skills and an overall interest in helping others

To learn more about how to prepare for and apply to law school, go to Word Document: “The Law School Option”.