What is Pre-law?

Do you want to do law in the United States? So, first of all, you need to know what pre-law is! That’s because, in the country, both degrees in law and medicine are done as master’s degrees, which means that you need to take another course before becoming, in fact, a lawyer or doctor. . In this text, you can find a complete explanation on the topic!

What is pre-law

What is pre-law?

The term “pre-law” refers to any undergraduate course that a college student takes to prepare for law school in the United States. Some institutions have specific pre-law courses for students who intend to study law, but you can graduate in any field and still enter a Law School , as long as you successfully complete college and obtain a bachelor’s degree.

Unlike medical schools, which ask pre-med students to fulfill certain requirements, such as Biology and Chemistry classes, Law courses do not have specifications for student admission. This means that you can, in fact, graduate in any field and then apply for a law school. However, you still need to take the LSAT to apply for a position, but we will talk more about this test throughout the text.

Should I take a specific pre-law course?

The general recommendation is that there is no need to take a specific pre-law course, for some reasons. First, these courses are not seen as challenging degrees by universities. This means that, when you do apply, in fact, to law school, you will not have any advantage in relation to candidates who did not attend pre-law and graduated in other areas. In fact, the opposite can happen: they may be better at evaluating than you are.

In addition, very few educational institutions in the United States offer specific pre-law courses. For example, most of the country’s most prestigious universities do not have pre-law majors. Most colleges emphasize traditional academic disciplines and do not offer many pre-professional courses. This can either make your search for a course more complicated or it can make you end up in a low-profile institution.

US Supreme Court

What course, then, can I take?

Now that you know what pre-law is, you may be wondering which degree to take. The best answer, in this case, is to do something you like. That’s because, when you study about something that really piques your interest, you are more likely to get good grades, which, consequently, will increase your chances of entering a law school.

On the other hand, if you are trying to find a course that will prepare you better for law school, you may want to choose a degree that emphasizes logic, analytical skills, text comprehension and writing skills. Those are all the attributes that you need to have to do well in LSAT and in law.

Knowing what other law school candidates in the US are graduating from can also help you make your decision. Below, we have separated a table with the ten most popular courses for candidates for law courses, in addition to the number of candidates, the average LSAT score for that course and the percentage of candidates admitted to at least one law school. These data are the Admission Board of the Faculties of Law ( Law School Admission Council – LSAC) .

To put it in context, the LSAT is scored on a scale of 120 to 180. The average score is about 150. The average score of the 25 main law schools is over 160 and, in the top 10, over 170.

Course Number of candidates Average on LSAT % of candidates admitted
political science 11,947 153.6 80%
OTHER 4,537 148.4 64%
Psychology 3.736 152.5 77%
Criminal Justice 3,629 145.9 62%
English 3.151 154.8 81%
Story 3,138 156.3 85%
economy 2,757 159.0 86%
Philosophy 2,238 157.2 83%
Arts and Humanities 1,947 154.0 77%
Sociology 1,870 150.6 71%

As you can see, Political Science is by far the most popular course for law students in the United States. On the other hand, if you look at the complete data, you will see that Political Science courses represent only about a fifth of all candidates for law schools, which shows that there is a wide distribution in the areas in which these candidates graduate .

Economics courses have the highest average score on the LSAT, in addition to the highest acceptance rate in colleges. If you are wondering, among the data there were 660 candidates who graduated from specific pre-law courses and had an average LSAT score of 148 and an acceptance rate of 65%.

Studying for LSAT

Studying for LSAT

In addition to knowing what pre-law is, you should also be aware of what the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is. It is a standardized entrance test to US law schools and works in a similar way to MCAT and US ENEMs, such as SAT and ACT. Like these other tests, LSAT can be done right here in Brazil, with centers applying the test in Rio de Janeiro (RJ), São Paulo (SP) and Brasília (DF).

In general, LSAT is seen as a challenging test, which means that you must set aside enough time to prepare for it. You can use books or participate in preparatory classes to help you with your studies. However, before buying any book or signing up for a class, do some research to ensure that you are purchasing a high quality book or participating in a good class, which will adequately prepare you for the test. There are a lot of below average books and preparatory classes out there!

You can also do at least a few simulations that reproduce the test conditions. This will improve your stamina, work on your time management and show you if you are close to your scoring goal. There are free LSAT exercises available on the internet.