College Classes That Best Prepare You for Law School

"IN MOST COUNTRIES, legal education begins at the undergraduate level. However, few American colleges offer prelaw programs or majors. If you can’t study law at your undergraduate institution, then what courses can you take to prepare yourself for law school and show commitment to a legal pursuit?

Ultimately, it is more important to maintain a high grade point average than to take specific classes, so prioritize the classes that interest you and suit your skills. Most law schools aim for a well-balanced class rather than a class of well-balanced students, so there is no penalty for pursuing your passion as long as you still show intellectual curiosity and risk-taking. Admissions officers will scrutinize your transcript and notice if you rarely strayed outside your comfort zone.

That said, there are some courses that will show that you have what it takes to succeed in law school. Those subjects include:" … also has suggestions.

As a practicing lawyer for over 35 years (civil trial litigator), I found that the most helpful classes I took in college were journalism classes. I learned how to express myself, in writing and orally, in a cogent and succinct fashion. Journalism also allowed me to practice interviewing and questioning skills, which are vital for litigators.

My husband, who specializes in real estate and trusts and estates, swears by his psych classes. They allow him to quickly analyze and figure out how to deal with people who are often in an upset state of mind.


If you need a class on logic, then maybe law is not the right profession.

Not sure if you still post, but here goes:

D is a junior at Holy Cross aiming at law school. She worked at a small law firm last summer and Dec/Jan holiday break. Mainly commercial real estate and small company stuff. Around 5 lawyers. She learned a lot about back office work and was able to help put together closing documents, help with prep work, take incoming calls, etc. Really enjoyed observing / speaking with the attorneys and staff. She even liked learning about the mechanics of running an office. And she got paid!

With regard to law school admissions, how does such a job compare with a “prestigious” but non-legal field internship at a multinational corporation? Helping her decide what to do this summer.

@RPIguy91 I recommend that you start a new thread with your post so that people can better see your question.

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My info is dated, but I received admission to prestigious law schools and a large scholarship to a less prestigious school based primarily on a high LSAT score and strong undergrad transcript. At the time, I worked in a low-level position at the local public defender’s office.

Btw, in undergrad I majored in English lit, which was a great preparation for law school because of the emphasis on analyzing and drawing connections between texts — and writing a coherent argument. As a practicing lawyer, I wished I had had more exposure to business and accounting courses.


This is for undergrads, so not sure I understand the comment.

Thanks for the response and perspective. My D is majoring in History and Econ. with a couple of Philosophy classes in the mix. That should similarly be good preparation for law school.

100% agree. As a fellow English Lit major, I felt well-prepared for law school. One of the top students in my law school graduating class majored in Philosophy.

I realize that this is not accessible or relevant to most, but the fact is that the guys who studied Talmud (voluminous collection of Jewish legal texts) in secondary school and college, then found law school to be a breeze, because they had been studying law already for as much as a decade or more by the time they started law school. They understood the concept of precedents, close reading of a text, analysis, and had studied texts that dealt with property disputes, malpractice, personal injury, real estate law, bankruptcy, etc. All with an overlay of justice and human rights.

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Not to mention, there is quite a bit of research involved. A journalist needs to have some semblance of knowledge about the subject’s life/job/industry to be able to ask intelligent questions.

Not that Journalism courses are the only ones that require research – any term paper requires that, in any class – but I imagine working in law requires strong research skills and habits.

As a lawyer, the best undergraduate classes were a class on public speaking, an intro philosophy class on logic, and any class that REQUIRED you to analyze something and write about it.

Interesting comments! My D is in undergrad looking to law school also.

I’ve encouraged her to take some business/econ/stat classes (no success with that as yet!). I think once you get out in the work world, understanding stats, how to read a spreadsheet, and the basic operational flow of business is really important (no matter what field you are in!). And you likely won’t get that in law school (at all).

I saw a video by a college coach who said (when prepping for law school during undergrad) - think ahead to your years of practice as a lawyer when picking classes, not only what will get you in and through law school. I really liked this advice.

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The world has changed since most people have graduated from law school. Basic tech skills and understanding of technology will be necessary to get good legal jobs, just like everyone else. Philosophy/Logic, English are all great preparation for law school, but it’s important to be well versed in technology also since it touches every aspect of both the legal work itself (everything has changed in regards to research and documents) and the actual client cases which always have some kind of technology component.

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Short answer: any class that emphasizes writing. At my LAC, the professors regularly assigned final papers in lieu of short answer exams. Without that constant feedback from actual professors, spread over four years of undergrad, I would have been much less well-prepared for law school.

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