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What is pre-law?
Pre-law is not a major. In fact, there is no preferred major for students interesting in law nor are there specific prerequisite courses needed to get into law school. Pre-law is simply an interest in pursuing a graduate degree in law.
Entry into law school is competitive. Students interested in pursuing a law degree will need a bachelor’s degree, strong scores on the LSAT, strong letters of recommendation from professors and employers and a strong personal statement explaining your interest in pursuing a degree in law.
Reading, writing, and the ability to research are three critically important skills students who study law will need in order to be successful.
According to US News and World Report, “A lawyer, at the most basic level, advises and represents individuals, businesses and government agencies in criminal or civil legal matters. Lawyers may work privately for big firms or small practices, or they may work publicly for the government. In the public sector, lawyers can find jobs as district attorneys or public defenders, or they could even work for the federal government. In the private sector, many lawyers seek jobs at big firms, where they’ll usually choose an area of specialty such as environmental law or tax, divorce or data privacy. And although the profession can involve a lot of time in a courthouse, it doesn’t always. Lawyers also spend a lot of time conducting meticulous research, analyzing prior cases, soliciting testimonies from witnesses and drawing up legal documents.”
— Savannah Sizer, class of 2015 pre-law student at Flagler College (St. Augustine, Fla.)
Majoring in pre-law
Hesston College offers an Associate of Arts Degree (A.A.) for students interested in pursuing a four-year transfer degree, and students may choose a variety of different majors of study. There is no standard set of required courses for students interested in pursuing a career in law. Most important is the ability of the student to think well, speak well, write well, and research well. Hesston College will provide courses to help students improve all those skills. These courses will serve as the foundational courses in a variety of majors to help prepare you for further study at a four year institution and at law school.
As a student interested in pre-law, you may choose a wide variety of majors to help prepare you. You should choose a major that interests and challenges you. As part of our General Education curriculum, you will take Speech, College Writing I and College Writing II along with courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Some additional courses which could assist you in preparing for law school include courses in literature, history, government, economics, and sociology. Students should follow the plan of study of their major of interest.
Sample curriculum – associate degree in pre-law
- Hist204 African-American History 3 hours
- Hist213 Anabaptist History and Thought 3 hours
- Hist221 U.S. History I 3 hours
- Hist222 U.S. History II 3 hours
- Hist251 History of World Civilization I 3 hours
- Hist252 History of World Civilization II 3 hours