The course requirements for a pre-law major vary widely because, in most instances, the states don’t require a specific course of study. In fact, it’s possible to pursue pre-law studies from a variety of majors. Whether or not a university offers a specific pre-law major, most law schools prefer their applicants to have some basic pre-law courses as part of their undergraduate coursework.
A majority of pre-law courses focus on business and social sciences, but it’s important that a pre-law student has a broad base of knowledge from a variety of liberal arts classes. General studies courses for a pre-law student include analytical mathematical studies that would help the future lawyer understand financial statements. Communications arts, especially speaking skills, must be strong for a successful lawyer. General knowledge coursework should also focus on obtaining an understanding of society as the world exists today, as well as how it developed in the past. This includes knowledge of the history of political systems.
Regardless of the undergraduate major, it’s important that the pre-law major take courses that prepare him for research as a lawyer. The law school candidate should have a good working knowledge of library systems and how to perform a variety of research tasks. He should be able to set up a research project and perform all the steps necessary to complete the task. A good working knowledge of computers is a necessary component of this part of the process as well. While a research project often serves as a capstone project for graduation, some universities don’t have a research requirement. It’s the pre-law student’s responsibility to make sure he has the necessary skills to help him succeed in law school.
While course titles may vary from university to university, certain subject areas appear in almost any listing of pre-law studies. Typically, a student with an interest in pre-law courses has an advisor assigned to her who makes sure she takes the necessary pre-law classes. Constitutional law, philosophy, logic, judicial process and American political theory are important classes in the social sciences. In the field of business, general accounting, financial accounting, economics and business law classes are often recommended. Depending on the specific type of pre-law program the university offers, students taking pre-law studies may have to attend workshops designed to help them get into law school. Some universities may even offer courses that prepare students for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
Denise Brown is an education professional who wanted to try something different. Two years and more than 500 articles later, she's enjoying her freelance writing experience for online resources such as Work.com and other online information sites. Brown holds a master's degree in history education from Truman State University.