Classes to Take Before Applying to Law School

From History to Public Speaking, the Classes Every Undergrad Needs

University student sitting in classroom
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If you are considering applying to law school it might be a relief to know that, generally speaking, there are no required courses for admission to law school. Law students come with a variety of different majors, but admissions officers want to see well-rounded applicants who have a broad range of knowledge. Choose a major and courses that are challenging and interesting to you—and do well. Below are some courses that will help you develop into a well-rounded applicant and prepare you to succeed in law school.

History, Government, and Politics: The Backbone of Law

The study of history, government and politics are interwoven with the field of law. Therefore it is imperative in applying to law school that you are able to showcase some demonstratable knowledge of the government and history of the law school's country of origin. So, if you plan to apply to school within the United States, it is recommended that you take an undergrad course in United States History, or for a broader sense of how the country's laws fit in with the rest of the globe, consider taking a World History course. Similarly, Economics and Government courses would benefit your displayable knowledge in the basic function of laws within a country. Typically these courses are prerequisites for graduation anyway, but you should also seek out some not on core curriculum. 

If you plan on pursuing a career in immigration law, for instance, it might behoove you to take a course in Immigration Law (if offered) or a specific history course pertaining to the country of origin from which immigrants you wish to help come. Jurisprudence, Taxation Law, and Family Law courses also offer specifics into politics and government and would look great if you were applying to programs that heavily focus on those pursuits.

Writing, Thinking, and Public Speaking: Expressing the Law

A career as a lawyer is all about critical thinking, writing and speaking. It is therefore important to also consider taking classes that offer opportunities for extensively critiqued writing, debate and speaking publicly. These courses will immerse the student in a curriculum that challenges him or her to think outside the box.

Almost all law students take debate before entering grad school, which provides ample experience of critical applying the student's understanding of laws and policy in a public forum. In doing so, students are afforded the chance to truly test their applicable understanding of basic policies in an environment akin to a courtroom. English, Literature, Public Policy and Speaking, and Creative Writing can also influence the student's ability to debate and eventually to take to the courtroom. Enrolling in these classes will show admissions officers that you, the student, possess the drive to understand the basic fundaments of being a lawyer.

But it doesn't end with simply taking courses that speak directly to being a lawyer. Hopeful law students should also enroll in courses that examine the vastly interesting dynamics of human behavior—which much of law is concerned with. Anthropology, Sociology and even Religious Studies can go to influence what a future law student will be able to comprehend in regards to how their laws and policies affect the global, national and local population. Similarly, Criminology and Sociology can help to show admissions officers that the student has a complete understanding of how the law works from a societal standpoint.

It is important to remember that you pay for college and should be garnering an experience that suits your wants and needs. Most of these courses form the backbone of a solid undergraduate liberal arts education. Choose challenging courses that fit your interests and aspirations. Equally important though is to show admissions officers that you are a rounded student with multiple interests that all (or mostly) lead back to the pursuit of a career in law. 

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Kuther, Tara, Ph.D. "Classes to Take Before Applying to Law School." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Kuther, Tara, Ph.D. (2020, August 27). Classes to Take Before Applying to Law School. Retrieved from Kuther, Tara, Ph.D. "Classes to Take Before Applying to Law School." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 21, 2023).

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