When you are in college and preparing to get into law school, there are some choices that can make your future easier. If you want a better shot at getting into law school and a better chance at success once you are there, then you should take the right undergraduate courses. Though no pre-law course will ensure your success in law school, taking the right classes can put you on the right track. Most of what you will learn in law school will be new and difficult even for people who have taken pre-law classes. The beauty of pre-law classes, though, is that they teach you how to think. |
History courses There are many history courses that are included in the majority of pre-law tracks that colleges offer. This is true for a number of reasons. First, history courses require a tremendous amount of reading, and this will prepare you for the countless cases that you'll have to battle in law school. In addition, history courses can require lots of writing when they're taught right. Learning to write well is a skill that will help you navigate law school, and it's a skill that can help you in your legal career.
Classes on constitutional theory Some colleges offer courses on the history of the constitution. One of the dangers of these classes is that you may come into law school thinking that you know it all. If you can avoid this pitfall, then you can benefit from a few classes on the constitution. Constitutional law is routinely one of the most difficult courses in the first year law school rotation. If you come in with some understanding of how things work and how justices rule, then you can jump right into the actual case law. This will give you a very slight head start against your competition.
English classes The importance of writing ability cannot be overstated to those who want to enter law school. English classes are much like history classes in a few critical ways. They force students to read critically and draw meaning out of literature. They also force students to write. In law school, you will be required to read cases, and part of the challenge is pulling important legal principles out of the cases. English classes require much the same. The more of these you take, the easier it will be for you to jump in with two feet on your first day of law school.
Communications and journalism classes One thing that law students must learn is how to write to different audiences. In some cases, a law student will be writing for a teacher. Others will work for judges, and they will write opinions to influence that judge's thinking. Others still will write memos for law partners. Communications courses force students to confront the different writing styles that might later be implicated. Though these classes won't impart any direct knowledge that can be used to crush a law school exam, they will law the foundation with general skills that can be applicable to a budding lawyer while he's in school.
Pre-law courses won't make or break your success as a law student. Many individuals go through engineering programs and accounting programs that seem to offer no help in legal theory. If you are smart, though, you can use some business courses to lay the groundwork for successful study in law school. Take the courses mentioned above, and you will have a better chance of succeeding during your first few semesters. These courses may also serve you well in your career as a practicing attorney.
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