A pre-law degree program may be offered at some colleges for undergraduates looking to eventually attend law school. In most cases, students can choose their own major, whether it has to do with the legal field or another field, but they need to fulfill certain requirements. For example, they usually need to earn a particular number of credits in areas of study that may include math, languages and communication. At the same time, students usually need to take a few classes that focus only on law to prepare them for law school. Additional pre-law degree requirements usually include an internship, letters of recommendation and a personal statement, all of which can prepare students for law school.
Most pre-law programs accept students with nearly any major, which is why many of the classes are not directly related to legal subjects. Students are, however, usually required to take a certain number of classes that will help them in their future legal career. Such classes tend to focus on politics, philosophy and both written and oral communication. The required credits also often include math, logic and business. As students work to complete pre-law degree requirements, they also are expected to fulfill the credits for their major, many of which should overlap with the classes require for the pre-law program.
What sets a pre-law plan of study apart from other degree programs is the fact that students typically have to take some classes related to the legal field. Such courses often teach legal writing and research, an introduction to contracts, and ethics in the legal field. While some schools feature such classes expressly for undergraduates, others only offer them to current law students, in which case the pre-law degree requirements may state that students have to observe a few graduate courses instead of actually taking them for a grade.
Other common pre-law degree requirements urge students to learn about the law outside the classroom. For example, some colleges encourage or even require students to take on internships at legal firms, which may help them decide if they really want to go into this field before they apply for law school. Some schools also require students to write a few personal statements prior to submitting an application for law school, because this can help them prepare. Additionally, some pre-law degree requirements urge students to start collecting letters of recommendation, which is another way to prepare the law school application months or even years before completing an undergraduate degree.