Pre-Law is an advising category for students preparing to enter law school. Pre-Law is not a major and, therefore, does not grant students a baccalaureate degree. However, students can choose any major at UNL to help them prepare to go to law school.
The legal profession is one that will challenge and enliven the future professional. A lawyer is a professional who has strong oral and written communication skills. Throughout their education and experiences, they have developed excellent analytical and logical thinking skills. Using these skills, a lawyer helps clients navigate a range of legal issues. A student who studies law may find himself or herself working in many different capacities. Some lawyers choose to pursue careers in government, health, or non-profit environments; others use their legal background in politics or business. There are many avenues for the future lawyer to pursue.
Explore a career in law by visiting the links at the bottom of this page.
Pre-Law Academic Expectations
A Bachelor's degree is required for admission to law school. Because law is such a broad field, any major is acceptable preparation for law school. Law schools are looking for students who have a variety of majors. Common majors include political science, history, English, psychology, sociology, economics, finance, philosophy, business, engineering, and foreign language. Law schools encourage students to major in the field that most interests them based on the belief that students will be more academically successful when they are pursuing a major that most interests them.
There are no specific courses required for admission to law school. Students should consider taking courses that will give them a broad base of knowledge that challenges them to develop excellent written and oral communication skills and logical reasoning skills. Upper level courses that require extensive reading, writing, and analysis of texts are great preparation for law school. Law school admissions committees look at GPA, the level of difficulty of courses taken, and how many classes are taken Pass/No Pass. Students should avoid a series of withdrawals or pass/no pass courses.
Pre-Law Professional Degrees
Juris Doctorate (J.D.)
Law school education is comprised of three years of rigorous coursework leading to a J.D. (Juris Doctorate) degree. The total number of credit hours may vary from school to school. The first year curriculum covers foundational topics including constitutional law, torts, legal procedure, contracts, criminal law, and legal writing; years two and three include electives in more specific types of law (e.g., space law, intellectual property, tax law, or international law). Most law schools also offer joint degree programs (e.g., MBA/JD). Practical experience is important so most law schools will have clinics where students have their own caseload of clients under the supervision of a professor.
Pre-Law Entrance Exams
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is given four times a year: June, October, December and February. Most students take the LSAT in June (recommended), October, or December of their final undergraduate year so that they can meet application deadlines for law schools. The LSAT measures logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, and writing ability. Students are encouraged to take as many practice tests as possible. There are many study guides and books available to help you with this process. Much more information on the LSAT can be found on the LSAC website. Sign up for an on-campus practice LSAT exam here.
Pre-Law Application Information
The Credential Assembly Service (CAS) is a standardized reporting service that prepares a report of your credentials for distribution to law schools. CAS will compile LSAT score(s), undergraduate transcripts, and letters of recommendation and submit application information to law schools. Most law school application deadlines are between February and April. However, since most law schools use rolling admission, it is best to apply earlier than the deadline.
There are 186 American Bar Association (ABA) Law Schools in the United States, with two in the state of Nebraska: University of Nebraska College of Law and Creighton University School of Law. To find out more about specific law schools, visit the LSAC's searchable law schoool database.