By design, Central does not offer a pre-law major. Law schools regularly accept students from all majors. Pre-law advisors, law school admissions directors, the American Bar Association, American Association of Law Schools – and attorneys – indicate that developing and sharpening key skills and values are the best preparation for the study and practice of law. All strongly agree on the value of a well-rounded liberal arts education.
Choose a major that you are interested in or that fits with your personal and professional life goals. Increasingly, law schools are admitting students from a wide range of majors, including the social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts. Law schools are interested in demonstrated academic success and skill development, not in a specific list of courses taken or a particular major. They are also generally unimpressed by double majors or minors. During your undergraduate years, work towards achieving the strongest possible academic record you can and enroll in courses that will enhance the skills necessary to be successful in law school.
The American Bar Association Committee on Pre-Law Education and Iowa law schools recommend that you consider the following key skills areas when choosing courses:
- Writing Skills
- Analytical Reasoning Skills
- Logical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills
- Critical Reading Skills
- Oral Communication and Listening Skills
- Research and Information Literacy Skills
- Task Organization and Management Skills
- Values of Serving Faithfully the Interests of Others While Promoting Justice
- A Healthy Respect for History
Developing and sharpening these skills and values will increase your potential for success in the very rigorous, demanding study and practice of law. Attorneys – and law students – must be able to analyze complex and sometimes conflicting cases and statues, while expressing their legal reasoning with clarity, logic, and precision. Choose courses that are designed to prepare you to write well and think logically. Take challenging courses, with challenging requirements, which force you to continuously improve your writing, analytical, and research skills.
Central’s pre-law program is an advising-based program. Central does not offer a major or certificate/endorsement in pre-law, but works with students, in partnership with their academic adviser(s), to choose courses which will maximize their skills prior to applying for law school.