Pre-Law

Preparation

We expect demand for admission to law schools to remain high for the foreseeable future. If you hope to go, you will have to prepare yourself carefully during your undergraduate years.

What Should I Major In?

Law schools advise a “broad general background” with attention to oral and written expression and some exposure to such law-related subjects as political science, American history, business, economics, psychology and accounting. (See Preparing for Law School) At Bradley, the most common majors are political science, English or accounting; all are good. Some students have majored in unusual fields, and each year or two we have an engineering major who is accepted somewhere. Recently, some law schools have begun to recommend technical backgrounds for students who want careers in certain legal specialties. In particular, science is recommended for environmental protection law, mechanical-science backgrounds for patent law and health sciences for health care law. For such students, double majors may be useful.

How Can I Best Prepare Myself?

The main admission variable for almost all law schools remains undergraduate grades. So if you really want to go to law school, you have to make getting a high GPA your major priority. Other things – publications, work experience, travel – may make a student more attractive, but will not compensate for poor grades. The Law School Admission Test (LSAT), usually taken at the end of the junior year, is important. When the time comes, you will need to prepare for it carefully. But the LSAT scores “correlate” with grades; the students who do best on the test are usually the ones who have been making good grades all along.

Where Do I Go For Help In Preparing For Law School?

If you are serious about attending law school, you should both (1) select a rigorous major and (2) take advantage of Bradley University's Pre-Law Center, including participating in the Pre-Law Program, which is currently being developed. Thus, the first person you will work closely with is your academic advisor. Next, you’ll work closely with the full-time director and staff of the Pre-Law Center. By taking advantage of the resources and activities provided by the Pre-Law Center you can increase your chances of admission and then success in law school.