Prelaw Advisor Tyler Atkins-Mose, CAS
Note: students with majors in other schools should consult their academic advising office.
In considering law school, it is important that the prelaw student understands law schools' educational philosophy. As the Law School Admission Bulletin states: "Any course, regardless of field, that helps you develop clear and systematic thinking, command of the English language, and a broad understanding of our society constitutes sound preparation for the study of law. Thus, law schools do not recommend specific undergraduate majors for prelaw students." The prelaw student should also realize that admission to law school is selective. Students contemplating careers in law should plan their undergraduate study to undertake a substantial academic curriculum and acquire a background of outstanding extracurricular activities.
Students interested in prelaw preparation follow the normal procedure for declaring and fulfilling requirements for a major in one of the schools or departments or in gaining approval for an interdisciplinary program of study. Whatever the choice of major, the prelaw student's program should be supported by a broad selection of courses from mathematics, the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.
Courses recommended by law schools also include philosophy, literature and advanced writing courses, history, political science, accounting, business administration, economics, mathematics, languages, and other courses demanding logical thinking, analytical reasoning, or verbal proficiency.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is required of every applicant to law school. It is strongly recommended that this test be taken in June before the senior year. With this test date, students can appraise their prospects and consider retaking the examination in October or December or both, or, if necessary, make alternate plans. Students apply directly to the Law School Admissions Service (LSAS) to take the test on the American University campus and should register six weeks before the test date. LSAT applications are available from the prelaw advisors.