General Information Regarding the Pre-Law Program
- While Law Schools require a B.A. or B.S. degree, they do not require a particular undergraduate major or undergraduate program of study. No specific major or program of study is required of pre-law students at Millikin University. In other words, pre-law students may choose to major in any discipline.
- Pre-law students are encouraged to seek out those courses and those programs of study that promise to develop specific skill sets. This is in keeping with the stated position of the American Bar Association:
- The ABA does not recommend any particular group of undergraduate majors, or courses, that should be taken by those wishing to prepare for legal education...Nonetheless, there are important skills and values, and significant bodies of knowledge, that can be acquired prior to law school and that will provide a sound foundation for a sophisticated legal education...The core skills and values that are essential for competent lawyering include analytic and problem-solving skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities, general research skills, task organization and management skills, and the values of serving faithfully the interests of others while also promoting justice (http://www.abanet.org/legaled/prelaw/prep.html).
- Pre-law students should seek curricular breadth in their undergraduate curriculum. Pre-law students are encouraged to explore a wide variety of courses and programs of study, particularly during the first year.
- The best preparation [for law school] is a broad liberal arts background that includes courses that strengthen your command of English; develop your ability to think clearly, concisely and logically; and increase your understanding of human institutions and values.
- Curricular breadth should be complimented by curricular depth. Pre-law students should select a major (or majors) based not only on skill set development, but also on the basis of personal interest. The major you select should be something in which you have an intrinsic interest. You will spend a great deal of time on courses in your major. You want your coursework to be interesting, stimulating, and enjoyable.
- Pre-law students should seek out rigorous and challenging courses from a variety of disciplines and professors. As the American Bar Association notes, “taking difficult courses from demanding instructors is the best generic preparation for legal education” (http://www.abanet.org/legaled/prelaw/prep.html).
- A significant number of pre-law students eventually decide not to attend law school or decide not to enter the legal profession. It is strongly encouraged that all pre-law students take advantage of various resources in the Career and Experiential Learning Center (Pam Folger, Director). Take the time to investigate other potential career choices and other areas of interest. It is never too early to begin thinking about “Plan B.”