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Legal education in the United States
Law School Oral Arguments.jpg
Exams and licensure

In the United States, pre-law refers to any course of study taken by an undergraduate in preparation for study at a law school.

The American Bar Association requires law schools to admit only students with an accredited Bachelor's Degree or its equivalent depending on the student's country of origin. However, there are no specific "pre-law" degree or majors, and unlike pre-med, an undergraduate student seeking legal education in the United States is not required to take a set of prerequisites in order to apply. Hence, most undergraduate institutions do not offer an official "pre-law" concentration, and in some cases provide somewhat equivalents such as "Law, Society and Justice" instead. Students awarded with Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or equivalent degrees (and more rarely, higher degrees such as the master's degree and doctorate) may apply for law schools as long as they meet specific admission requirements set forth by individual law schools, as well as the standard requirements (such as character and fitness) as set forth by the ABA and the Law School Admission Council.

In 2001, the five most common majors of students entering law school were political science, history, English, psychology, and criminal justice.[1] The five majors with the highest acceptance rates were physics, philosophy, biology, chemistry, and government service.[1]

A pre-law program is sometimes offered at some American colleges and universities;[2] however, it is considered to be a "track" that follows a certain curriculum.[citation needed]

Common pre-law course[edit]

Writing and speaking skills[edit]

Problem-solving skills[edit]

Understanding human behavior[edit]

Topics related to law[edit]

Pre-law students may be advised or required to take upper-level political science and sociology electives, such as legal systems, criminal law, international law, policy, etc. Specific requirements for these courses vary by institution.[citation needed]


Benefits to being pre-law or a part of a pre-law society include interaction with lawyers and law professors,[3] gaining a comprehensive grounding in legal studies and concepts,[4] and receiving discounts off LSAT prep courses.[3] In addition, being a part of a pre-law society also allows students to familiarize themselves with the law school application process including the LSAT, letters of recommendation and the personal statement.[5] Pre-law programs encourage students to communicate effectively and think creatively and critically.[6] Furthermore, a pre-law program can also help a student decide whether law school is the right path for them.[7]


  1. ^ a b Writers, Staff (March 27, 2020). "What are the most common majors? - Law School Admissions".
  2. ^ "The University of Texas at El Paso - UTEP".
  3. ^ a b "Stanford Pre-Law Society".
  4. ^ "Courses & Programs - Courses for Credit".
  5. ^ "TTU PreLaw Program | Texas Tech University Advising | TTU".
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)