Pre-Law

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

Major in Pre-Law

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“A lawyer is called by God to do legal services as spiritual service to the glory of God and the good of man [and] functions to promote justice and, seek to restrain evil. A godly attorney desires not only to do well at his or her profession, but also to do good for society.”

 ~ M. B. Tozer,

Those who set out on the path of a pre-law major often have a specific goal in mind, whether that be a career as a lawyer, a judge or another law-related calling. To become a lawyer or judge, a master’s degree is needed. And though a pre-law major is not necessary for getting into law school, it is certainly one route to consider if you know your desired career outcome. Getting into a top-ranked law school can be tough, and a pre-law major is one way to lay a strong interdisciplinary, liberal arts foundation. Often, what fuels men and women to pursue a career in law is a passion to help those who are weak, in trouble or facing injustice. Whether you end up practicing general law or specializing in cooperate, family, labor, criminal, real estate, personal injury, estate planning or tax law, a pre-law major gives you a jump on your education and the chance to be someone’s hero as you fight for what is lawful on their behalf.

In order to succeed as a pre-law major and in the field of law itself, it is important to develop a handful of much-needed traits and skills. First, is a strong work ethic. Pre-law is a challenging major that only becomes more competitive as you approach law school. Strong study habits and research skills are imperative. Being able to think critically, analyze information accurately, zero in on important details efficiently and solve problems creatively is of the essence. Administrative abilities are necessary, and it is helpful to have an investigative mind, able to wisely process and evaluate large quantities of information. Finally, it is vital to possess strong people and communication skills since so much in the major (and future career) rides on your ability to speak and write persuasively and work well with others.

So what classes can you expect to take as a pre-law major? Once you complete a broad spectrum of core classes including psychology and sociology classes, you may take classes like:

  • Intro to Logic/Critical Reasoning
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • Criminal Justice
  • American Constitutional Law
  • Political Methodology

The world of law continues to evolve and expand with the needs of our culture. Members of society need defensive protection in a growing number of areas which is giving birth to new specializations of law like immigration law, digital/media/internet law, and lawyers who specialize in “intellectual property” (think copyright, patent and trademark rights).  The area of specialty you land in and arena where you find future employment--whether in a law firm, a governmental branch, a corporation or on a self-employed basis—is far-ranging! But the majority of those who complete a pre-law major end up as lawyers of some sort. However, there are other law-related careers to consider as well:  

  • Arbitrator/mediator
  • Court reporter
  • Law librarian
  • Legal secretary
  • Title examiner/abstractor

If you have a desire to work towards a sense of social justice to serve those in our society in a practical way, then maybe the next right step for y