How To Prepare for Law School

The best preparation for law school is a sound background in liberal arts.  At Rutgers, there is no such thing as a pre law major, There are however, three skills which a law applicant must demonstrate some skill:

  1. The ability to comprehend and understand what you read.
  2. The ability to write with lucidity and clarity, to know what words mean.          
  3. The ability to logically analyze and understand complex ideas and issues.

It will immediately be seen that familiarity with these skills can come from a wide variety of courses and/or majors.  The old stand-bys such as history, political science, and economic remain popular, but so does a science major, or concentration in philosophy, sociology, or mathematics.  It bears repeating that the skills necessary for success in law school are unique to no undergraduate major in particular.   Rather, of much greater interest to a law school is how well you do in whatever major you select.  Does your transcript, for example, reveal a superior quality of work over four years, with evident maturation as a student?   Is there evidence of demanding course work in such offerings as calculus, or a laboratory science, writing,  a history or economics  seminar—to mention only a few? 

A question might be raised as to whether or not a transcript is more persuasive to the law schools because the student has taken undergraduate courses in law related subjects such as constitutional law or legal history.  The answer is--not really.  A law school course in constitutional law, for example, is usually very different from an undergraduate offering in the same field.   But if such courses do not materially improve one’s chances of admission, in another sense they can be very helpful to the undergraduate applicant.  A student who finds a course in constitutional law, American legal history, or logic either confusing, boring, or both should seriously consider whether or not he/she wishes to undertake at least three years of difficult courses in closely related subject matter.  It is far better to solve such a question before applying to law school.