Most law schools do not have prerequisite courses for admittance, although applicants must meet certain minimum qualifications. A law school applicant must have at least a bachelor's degree and must have passed the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT. Once in law school, certain classes may have prerequisites, much as undergraduate courses do. Particular majors that better prepare students for law school are looked upon favorably by admissions officers.
While no particular course is required for admission to most law schools, certain majors lend themselves to the transition. Political science, pre-law or legal studies and criminal justice are appropriate, since they focus on legal issues. Law schools view a bachelor's degree in English or communications favorably since these majors demonstrate attention to language and an ability to communicate verbally and in writing. Psychology, with its focus on human nature, and philosophy, with its emphasis on rhetoric and debate, are also helpful.
Students looking to specialize in a specific area of law should consider a major or minor in that area. Environmental lawyers will find a bachelor's degree in engineering helpful, while corporate lawyers may major in finance, business or economics. Medical lawyers should focus on pre-med or biology, while those in international law will benefit from foreign language programs. Tax and bankruptcy lawyers should consider accounting, and patent lawyers should concentrate on engineering or the sciences.
Taking case-law courses may help undergraduates better understand the framework of the legal system and determine if their personal values allow them to argue problematic or troubling cases. Political science programs typically make such courses available to upper-class students, although they are sometimes offered to criminal justice, journalism, business and philosophy students. Such courses focus on Constitutional law, international law, civil rights, media law and business law.
Over the course of a 15-year career, John Briggs has written for print and online clients. As a syndicated TV critic, his work appeared in some of the country's top dailies. He has a degree in political science from Temple University and took additional writing classes at NYU.