Basic Tips on Preparing For Law School

Where Do I Begin?
Students will find that many pre-law advisors and law school admissions officers suggest that preparation for law school should include extensive self-assessment.

Students Should Explore the Following Questions:

  • What do I know about the legal profession?
  • What is it about law school/law that I find interesting?
  • What kind of career/future do I envision?
  • How will a law degree help me create the future I want?

To explore how well the realities of the legal profession match the perceptions captured in the above four self-assessment questions, students are advised to consult the National Association for Law Placement's most recent reports on career placement and employment trends.

What Classes Should I Take and What Should I Choose as My Major?

The ABA and the Law School Admission Council decline to endorse any particular major or set of classes as the best preparation for pre-law students. Students are advised to take intellectually demanding courses that enhance critical thinking, textual analysis, research, listening, writing, speaking, and analytical skills. Pre-law students may choose any major, but should know that the chosen major should truly push the student to develop her/his academic skills as fully as possible.

Pre-law students should be familiar with the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Pre-Law Committee, "Preparation for Legal Education" Report. This publication encourages pre-law students to choose courses designed to teach the above-noted skills, as well as courses teaching content in the following general areas:

    • History
    • Political Theory
    • Ethical theory
    • Economics
    • Math/Finance
    • Human Behavior
    • Comparative Analysis of Cultures and Institutions

How Early in My Undergraduate Career Should I Begin Pre-Law Preparation?

You should start gathering information on pre-law preparation as soon as you begin considering the possibility of a legal career. Whether you are a freshman, a UNM graduate, or someone in between, the Law School Admision Council's "Getting Started" page provides useful tips and a checklist for those beginning to think about pre-law options. In addition to reading suggested materials online, you should consider emailing your pre-law advisor and, perhaps, making an appointment to discuss your particular questions and interests.