Pre-law preparation is not a curriculum as in the case of pre-medicine or other programs which follow a specific pattern of undergraduate courses. Both the American Bar Association and the American Association of Law Schools recommend a broad liberal arts program of courses for potential law students. Pre-law students will best prepare for law school by pursuing a rigorous course of study during their undergraduate years. No specific major is required for admission to law school, but students should select major and minor fields which they find both interesting and promising for superior academic performance.
Admission to law school is on a competitive basis and the number of openings at each school is limited. The main criteria for admission to most recognized schools are a high grade point average (GPA) in undergraduate work and a high score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). A bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree from an accredited four-year college or university is required for admission to law schools accredited by the American Bar Association.
Law school admission directors and independent studies of the factors which contribute to success in the study of law conclude that undergraduates should develop a core group of skills during their programs of study. It is important that students select courses that develop strong vocabulary and reading comprehension skills, effective writing ability, analytical/logical reasoning, and an understanding of societal institutions and values.
Each student who declares an intent to study law after graduation should make initial contact with the Pre-Law advising program at the Pre-Law OAR interest session.
Pre-Law Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best major for a pre-law student?
There is no one major that will guarantee success in law school, and both the ABA and AALS emphasize that many different courses of study can prepare students for the study of law. But whatever you choose as a major field, make sure it is a challenging course of study that emphasizes reading, writing, and analytical ability.
2. Are there any courses at WKU that can help me develop reading, writing, and analytical skills?
Courses which can develop the requisite skills and abilities for legal study include: English 100, 200, 300, 301 and English electives Government 110, 220, 326, 327, 328 and 424 History 119, 120, 445, 446 and History electives Philosophy 110, 115, 120, 415 and Philosophy electives Based on individual interests, students may also pursue elective courses in accounting, economics, sociology/criminal justice, foreign language, and speech communications.
3. How will I know if I really want to go to law school and does WKU offer any courses on law or legal issues?
The following courses, while not mandatory for pre-legal study, offer undergraduate students a useful introduction to various aspects of public law and legal history: Government 326, 327, 328 and 424 History 445 and 446 Journalism 301 Management 300
4. What is the LSAT and when should I take it?
The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is required for admission to law school and tests reading comprehension, logical and analytical reasoning skills. Check the link to LSAC for more information.
5. What is the role of Pre-Law advising in this process?
Students are encouraged to meet with a pre-law advisor in addition to his/her major advisor during their tenure at WKU. Pre-law advisors will provide assistance in obtaining information about law schools, the LSAT and other pertinent information. During senior year, the pre-law advisor will also be available to assist students in the preparation of their applications to law schools of their choice.
6. What do I have to do to apply for law school?
In addition to maintaining an exemplary academic record and making a good score on the LSAT, applicants are usually required to submit letters of recommendation. Applications are usually accompanied by letters of recommendation from faculty members who can comment on the student's ability and promise for the study of law. Aspiring candidates should so conduct their undergraduate studies that they can with confidence ask at least three faculty members to serve as references.