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|Legal education in the United States|
The American Bar Association requires law schools that it approves to require at least a bachelor's degree for North American students for admission. But no specific degree or major is considered "pre-law"; unlike pre-med, an undergraduate student is not required to take a set of prerequisites in order to get into law school. Therefore, universities lack an official "pre-law" concentration. Both holders of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees (and more rarely, higher degrees such as the master's degree and doctorate), as well as students of most undergraduate majors attend law schools. Specific law schools have their own requirements; there are also standard requirements 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. The five majors with the highest acceptance rates were physics, philosophy, biology, chemistry, and government service.
Common pre-law courses
Writing and speaking skills
- English Composition
Understanding human behavior
- Political science
- Legal management or paralegal studies
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.
There are many benefits to being pre-law or a part of a pre-law society. These benefits include the opportunity to interact with lawyers and law professors, gaining a comprehensive ground in legal studies and concepts, and receiving discounts off LSAT prep courses. In addition, being a part of a pre-law society also allows students to familiarize themselves with necessary aspects of the law school application process including the LSAT, letters of recommendation and the personal statement. Pre-law programs encourage students to communicate effectively and think creatively and critically. Furthermore, a pre-law program can also help a student figure out if law school is the right path for them.