Plenty of students throw the term “pre-law” around without really understanding what it means. It’s ok though because we’re going to set the record straight here and now.
Here are a few pre-law class recommendations to think about when entering college, alongside some additional tips and skills you should know about beforehand.
What “Pre-Law” Actually Means
The first thing you should know is that most law schools don’t require you to specifically major in Pre-Law.
If, for example, you choose to major in English or History, you’re still on a great track to become a Pre-Law student. What’s more important than the specific major are skills you should possess and/or develop over your academic career.
A few examples of these skills are writing, critical reading, and critical thinking. We will discuss a few later on. Remember that becoming a lawyer requires you to craft clear arguments, and communicate them to judges and juries.
Again, with a few exceptions, most colleges don’t require you to take a ‘pre-law’ major in order to apply for law school. Plenty of students enter law school with various majors; the main things they have in common are completing college and earning a bachelor’s degree. After that, the field is wide open.
American Bar Association Lawyer Skills
According to the American Bar Association’s own website, here are the skills every lawyer should have, in order to be successful.
In no particular order, they are:
- Problem Solving
- Critical Reading
- Writing and Editing
- Oral Communication and Listening
- Organization and Management
- Public Service and Promotion of Justice
- Relationship-building and Collaboration
- Background Knowledge
- Exposure to the Law
Basic Pre-Law Class Recommendations
When it comes to actual class recommendations, here are a few that definitely won’t hurt to take:
- English Literature and Composition
- Political Science
- Public Speaking
Here are a few parting tips to remember when approaching your college undergraduate career and future pre-law track.
Earn Good Grades – Just like in high school, never underestimate the value of a strong GPA. Why? Because law schools pay special attention to your cumulative GPA score. They know that many students will often get lazy during some semesters and either slack off or simply settle for less than stellar grades.
Those lapses in judgment are quickly seen by admissions officials checking out that score over time. The best thing to do, especially if you’re aiming for law school, is to maintain a high GPA as much as possible during your undergraduate study.
Study Hard For The LSAT – The Law School Admission Exam (LSAT) is notorious for being very challenging to students. If you thought the SAT or ACT was difficult, then prepare yourself even more for the LSAT. If you want to get into any law school, then you need to work hard on this test.
First, give yourself more than enough time to study. This test isn’t one that you can cram for the night before. Take the time to familiarize yourself with its format, and the kinds of content it presents you. Work on plenty of practice tests, use realistic practice problems and questions from past LSAT, and figure out your strengths and weaknesses.
Understand that this is not about showcasing your knowledge but beating a test. Don’t forget to also take practice tests under realistic conditions, in order to master the time constraints and get comfortable with the format.
Take Challenging Classes To Help Prepare – Getting ready for law school doesn’t mean taking any and every class about the legal system. Contrary to common thought, law schools would prefer that you take any challenging course that tests your analytical thinking and reading comprehension because those are skills you will use nonstop.
For example, if you choose an undergraduate science-related major, then balance that study out with English and logic classes, where you will do a ton of reading, writing, and analysis. If you’re a humanities major, then take classes like logic and Economics to sharpen your problem-solving and analytical skill sets.
Showing schools this level of academic balance is much more important than law classes in undergraduate study; they know you’ll learn that material anyway once admitted to law school.
Cultivate Professor Relationships – One requirement you’ll need to provide virtually every law school is professor recommendations. Thankfully, you have the opportunity to work with a plethora of different professors in your undergraduate career.
Building relationships with ones who are helpful and engaging will help you in a few different ways. First, they will be your most likely candidates to ask for recommendations based on your working relationships with them. They can attest to your work ethic and abilities. Second, they can also become personal mentors that help sharpen your academic skill over time.
How Prep Expert Can Help You
Before thinking about “pre-law” classes, you need to get into college first. A huge step in that direction is scoring well on either the SAT or ACT.
Taught by our high scoring instructors, Prep Expert’s strategies are put into practice through our specific homework assignments and weekly practice tests. Together, this material will help you find and address your problem areas before having to take either test for real.
Ultimately, our aim is to help you achieve your goals for both school and life by providing the tools to overcome this first hurdle in the process – your test score. We’ve seen students’ lives change for the better, from getting scholarship money to getting literally into their dream schools.
Be sure to check out our various class options, from in-person, live online, to self-paced video on demand, to find one that fits your goals and schedule. Our classes are available year-round, so there’s no reason to wait. Moreover, if you need help for specific subjects, AP tests, etc., we have a variety of personal tutoring options available too.
For more information and tips, check out Prep Expert