UNDERGRADUATE COURSE SELECTION FOR PRE-LAW STUDENTS
What should I major in?
- Successful law students come from many different academic backgrounds, and there is no single major that is “best” (or even “better”) in terms of getting admitted to law school. You should major in whatever subject area is interesting and challenging to you. The key is that whatever major you choose, you work as hard as possible to earn the highest grades possible, since your GPA is one of the most important criteria for admission to law school.
Is it advantageous to double-major? To minor? To double-minor?
- For law school admissions purposes, an applicant is not viewed as more competitive simply because he or she has multiple majors and/or minors. The overall GPA is more important than the number and type of majors and minors. On the other hand, if you wish to double-major, or to add one or more minors to your major, there is no reason not to do so, as long as you are not stretching yourself so thin that your academic performance suffers. Again, make the decision about double-majoring and/or minoring based on your interests, not based on your prospective admission to law school.
What is the most popular undergraduate major for pre-law students?
- Among first-year law students nationwide, political science is the most common undergraduate major, but majoring in poli-sci doesn’t necessarily give those students an advantage over their law school classmates. A hard-working law student who majored in engineering or religion or Spanish is just as likely to do well as a hard-working law student who majored in poli-sci.
Are there particular courses that I should take as an undergrad to be better prepared for law school?
- Courses that help you develop strong analytical skills, strong writing skills, and strong oral skills are helpful as you prepare for law school. Courses that give you some exposure to legal concepts are also helpful.
- Your academic advisor (if you are a first-year student or a sophomore) or your major advisor (if you are a junior or senior) should be able to direct you towards courses that fit these descriptions.
- Below is a non-exhaustive list of currently offered undergraduate courses that would be good choices for pre-law students:
- Introductory Financial Accounting (ACC 111)
- Introduction to Communication & Rhetoric (COM 100)
- Debate & Advocacy (COM 102)
- Public Speaking (COM 110)
- Rhetorical Theory & Criticism (COM 225)
- Introduction to Economics (ECN 150)
- Introduction to Critical Reading & Writing (ENG 105)
- Writing Seminar (ENG 111)
- Accessing Information in the 21st Century (LIB 100)
- Historical, Political, & Legal Research Sources & Strategies (LIB 240)
- Elementary Probability & Statistics (MTH 109)
- Statistical Methods (MTH 256)
- Basic Problems of Philosophy (PHI 111)
- Logic (PHI 220)
- American Government & Politics (POL 113)
- Introductory Psychology (PSY 151)
- Principles of Sociology (SOC 151)
- Freedom of Speech (COM 304)
- Rhetoric of the Law (COM 347)
- Legal Theory, Practice, & Communication (COM 348)
- Advocacy, Debate, & the Law (COM 349)
- Law & Economics (ECN 224)
- Child Custody: Research Issues (HMN 374)
- Race & the Courts (HST 358)
- History of English Common Law (HST 328)
- American Constitutional History (HST 362)
- Introduction to Philosophy of Law (PHI 165)
- Philosophy of Law (PHI 363)
- Global Justice (PHI 366)
- American Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers & the Political System (POL 225)
- American Constitutional Law: Civil Rights & Liberties (POL 226)
- Politics of Human Rights (POL 240)
- International Law (POL 261)
- Feminist Political Thought (POL 277)
- Politics, Law, & Courts (POL 227)
- Religion & Law (REL 331)
- Sociology of Violence (SOC 339)
- Criminology (SOC 341)
- Juvenile Delinquency (SOC 342)
- Sociology of Law (SOC 343)
- Advanced Seminar in Criminal Homicide (SOC 345)
- Sociology of White-Collar Crime (SOC 352)
- Sexuality, Law & Power (WGS 380)
- Legal Environment of Business (BEM 261)
- Business Law (BEM 362)
Is there a pre-law major at Wake Forest?
- A student who takes full advantage of the excellent liberal arts curriculum Wake Forest offers is more than adequately prepared for success in law school.
- Wake does offer a new Concentration in Crime and Criminal Justice through the Sociology Department. For details about this program, go to this URL: http://college.wfu.edu/sociology/undergraduate-program/concentrations.
- There is a Summer Pre-Law curriculum offered jointly by the college’s Communications Department and the Law School. It is offered in the first summer session each year, and students can earn up to six credits in the Communications area. For more information, visit this URL: http://academics.law.wfu.edu/summer/pre-law-program-for-undergraduates/.