Learning Law School Basics - Frequently Asked Questions

Read the following law school basics questions. Try answering these questions and then compare your responses to the linked answers.

What major do law schools prefer? What is the best major to have if you want to apply to law school? What major from the list below does the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences recommend for students who are interested in applying to law school?

No one major is better than another for admissions. This answer might frustrate you in your bid to get ahead, but then it will lead to the next question: What then are law schools looking for in their applicants? Let’s go to the best source for this information—The Law School Admission Council (LSAC)—and answer the next question.

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What skills do law school admissions officers identify as the most important skills for prospective law students to possess?

According to the LSAC, “As long as you receive an education including critical analysis, logical reasoning, and written and oral expression, the range of acceptable college majors is very broad" .... “Law schools want students who can THINK CRITICALLY and WRITE WELL, and who have some understanding of the forces that have shaped human experience. These attributes can be acquired in any number of college courses, whether in arts and humanities, the social sciences, or the natural sciences. An undergraduate career that is narrowly based or vocationally oriented may not be the best preparation for law school.”

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Does the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences have a Pre-Law Major?

Based on the LSAC’s recommendation that “an undergraduate career that is narrowly based or vocationally oriented may not be the best preparation for law,” The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has not instituted a minor in legal students and does not have a predetermined pre-law school curriculum. The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences subscribes to LSAC’s determination that “as long as you receive an education including critical analysis, logical reasoning, and written and oral expression, the range of acceptable majors is very broad.”

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What is Important to Law Schools?

According to the LSAC, “What counts is the intensity and depth of your undergraduate program and your capacity to perform well at an academically rigorous level.”

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What is a Recommended Path?

Unlike other graduate and professional schools that have a prescribed course of studies for admittance, prospective law students have the freedom to choose their majors and select their courses; another way to view this freedom is that you have the RESPONSIBILITY to choose your major and select your courses. You have the responsibility to choose courses and a program of study that will require you to develop the ability to think critically, to analyze information, to write well, to edit thoroughly, to research thoroughly, to present your arguments persuasively, and to have the discipline to study, read, and analyze challenging information consistently for many hours everyday.

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Why is the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences the Appropriate Choice for your Education?

Selecting a course of study that emphasizes your ability to think critically and write well is a priority. As a student in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, your primary job in your courses is to think critically about the material and to express your opinion clearly and coherently.

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How to Best Choose a Major?

A major you are passionate about! Law schools are looking for BOTH rigorous coursework and outstanding grades in those courses. Take challenging courses in a major that interests you. Pick majors, minors, and courses that you are passionate about. Having a true passion for your work will ensure that you are doing your best work. If you aren’t sure what you are passionate about, then start searching. You can not manufacture this feeling. If you don’t perform well in the courses because you don’t have a true interest in the subject matter, then you will be unsatisfied with your education. Additionally, not every student considering law school will apply to law school nor will every admitted applicant attend law school. Whatever major you choose, find ways to make your program of study and coursework more rigorous.

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So how should you determine what your major should be? And what are the answers to the rest of the Law School Basics questions? To determine what major you should select or to learn the answers to all of the above questions and to begin investigating the legal profession:

The bottom line: Enjoy what you are pursuing, and work hard to be successful in your chosen pursuits.