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Legal education in the United States
Law school
Trial practice
Legal clinic
Juris Doctor
Master of Laws
Doctor of Laws
Bar examination
Continuing Legal Education
Law School Admission Council
American Bar Association

In the United States, pre-law refers to any course of study taken by an undergraduate in preparation for study at a law school.

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";[1] 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.[2] The five majors with the highest acceptance rates were physics, philosophy, biology, chemistry, and government service.[3]

A pre-law program is offered at some American colleges and universities[4]; however, it is considered to be a "track" that follows a certain curriculum.


Common Pre-Law Courses

Writing and Speaking Skills

  • Communication
  • English Composition
  • Rhetoric
  • Theatre

Problem Solving Skills

  • Accounting
  • Philosophy
  • Statistics
  • Mathematics

Understanding Human Behavior

  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Topics Related To Law

  • Political Science
  • Economics
  • Government
  • 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.


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