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Undergraduate Curriculum Advice for Prelaw Students

There is no such thing as a "required" pre-law major. Nor is there such a thing as a "preferred" pre-law major. Students have been admitted to law schools majoring in everything from classical guitar to business finance to "prelaw studies". Likewise, no particular major will best prepare you to take the LSAT.

When deciding what to study in college, you should have these goals in mind:
  • Look for a well-rounded basic studies program. Law schools want students who have balanced undergraduate studies, with courses in language arts and communications, humanities, physical sciences, and social sciences.
  • Take courses that will help you to prepare for the LSAT and that will help you once you get into law school. Courses that emphasize logic, reasoning and analysis will help you prepare for the LSAT. These same courses, as well as courses in legal research and writing, American government and politics, and substantive legal topics like property law, criminal law, civil litigation, business law, wills and trusts, and constitutional law will give you an advantage in law school. For more information on undergraduate studies, check out the Undergraduate Legal Education Page.
  • Above all, work hard and make good grades in all your undergraduate courses. Obviously, law schools try to admit students who they feel will succeed. Undergraduate grades are seen as a strong predictor of law school success. Poor grades will keep you out of law school altogether; mediocre grades will significantly limit your choice of law schools. Good grades give you the most options, and when you're trying to get into law school, options are the name of the game.

When you begin to investigate law schools, you may find that last year a particular law school admitted more English majors, or political science majors, or prelaw studies majors. Don't place too much emphasis on this fact. First of all, in any given year, some major is going to be first in numerical rank. This year it might be business majors; next year it might be political science majors. Second, as mentioned above, law schools don't prefer one major over another. Finally, the undergraduate major is not a predictor of law school success.

One last thing that often gets overlooked. You are more likely to study hard and make good grades in courses that interest you. If you like photography, take some photography courses. If chemistry is your thing, study chemistry. College is a time for you to expand your horizons and have some fun. Don't spend so much time worrying about taking only the "right" courses that you lose sight of why you're in college in the first place.


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