Pre-Law

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Articles on Pre-Law:
   A future in Pre-Law
   Pre-Law Major...A Closer Look
   Becoming a Lawyer

A future in Pre-Law

By Jennifer Bailey

Is it your dream to become a lawyer? If so, you need to graduate from a 4-year college and then go to law school if you want to practice law.

The term “pre-law” refers to any course of study by an undergraduate college student to prepare for law school. Some colleges have a specific pre-law major for those students who intend to go to law school. It is worth noting that you are able to major in any subject and still enter law school, as long as you successfully get a bachelor’s degree.

There are no specific courses you have to take to be admitted to law school. However, you will have to take the Legal Studies Aptitude Test-LSAT, which is the law school entrance exam.

A good pre-law program should give you an advantage when you enter law school. For example, law schools generally teach by using the Socratic Method, a style of teaching in which the professor asks questions and you learn through classroom discussion. If you become accustomed to this style of teaching during your undergraduate years, you should find yourself more prepared for law school itself. You may have a leg up on other graduates when you finish law school if you are more knowledgeable about the legal system and how to analyze legal cases prior to law school from getting a specific pre-law degree.

The important thing law schools look for are students that have shown a genuine interest in the justice system, because these students are more likely to have a positive impact in the field of law in the future. By majoring in pre-law, you’re demonstrating that you’ve been motivated and committed to becoming a lawyer for years.

Perhaps the biggest advantage to getting your bachelors in pre-law specifically is that most of those programs will help you to do better on the LSAT. Your score will undoubtedly increase he likelihood that you’ll gain admission to the law school of your choice. While you may think you should definitely pick a legal major if you want to go to law school, there can be drawbacks of majoring in pre-law for the aspiring lawyer. It is very important to keep in mind that law schools want to admit students who have been able to excel in challenging courses and difficult subjects.

In addition to doing well on the LSAT and in order to secure your place in a good law school, you will want to get to know your professors as law schools will also require recommendations from them. Also, be sure to participate in extracurricular activities such as an internship position, a job in the field, learning all you can, be a part of a student organization related to your interests, do a noteworthy amount of community service, serve on your school's student government or work for the student publication. Law schools like to see you’ve demonstrated commitment to your extracurricular activities. You will have to indicate on your application when you began your extracurricular activities and how many hours per week you spent on each activity. Keep in mind it is always better to do fewer activities and commit more to them than to spread yourself too thin.

The bottom line is, if you want to go to law school and you like the benefits a pre-law undergraduate degree offers, then it is important to get good grades in a variety of challenging subjects. Law schools would rather you take challenging courses that will help you improve your analytical skills and reading comprehension along with the exposure to a well-rounded class schedule that prepares you well for the rigors of law school.