(Not) Majoring in Pre-Law at UGA

Chapter 3
Pre-Law is a declaration of intent to attend law school.

As a student at the University of Georgia, it is important to understand that UGA does not have a Pre-Law major. Therefore, you cannot declare Pre-Law as a major, nor can you graduate from UGA with a Pre-Law major. However, as an incoming student, it is useful to inform your academic advisor that you plan to attend law school because this may help your advisor direct you to courses (See Chapter 4 of the Pre-Law Guide for Course Recommendations) that may be beneficial to someone with plans to attend law school.

All students should choose and declare their academic majors by their 3rd year and it is definitely helpful to decide earlier since different degrees have different prerequisite courses required in the core.

As a UGA Pre-Law student, you are encouraged to utilize all of the services and programs offered through the Pre-Law Advising Office.

WHAT GENERAL SKILLS SHOULD YOU HAVE OR SEEK TO DEVELOP AS A "Pre-Law"?

The American Bar Association (ABA) has prepared a short document concerning Preparation for Legal Education, available from the Pre-Law advisor and on the ABA web site. It states: "The core skills and values that are essential for competent lawyering include analytic and problem-solving skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities, general research skills, task organization and management skills, and the values of serving faithfully the interests of others while also promoting justice."

It is clear that a student may develop these skills through many different majors and life experiences. There is not any one major that is best for the Pre-Law student. Law schools accept students with every possible degree and major. The best major is the major that is best for you, and choosing it is an important decision. Your grade point average is a very important component in the application and admissions process, so you will want to choose an academic discipline that you enjoy and in which you will do well.

OKAY, SO WHAT MAJOR SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

This is probably the most asked question of incoming students who wish to go to law school. Well, as with most issues dealing with the law, it is at the same time very simple and complicated. In almost all cases, no specific major is required to enter a legal specialty. (The exceptions are certain, very technical areas of patent law.) For example, you do not have to get a business degree if you want to be a corporate lawyer or a major in criminal justice to be a criminal defense attorney. However, your interest in a particular area of law may mean you have a natural interest in majors which are similar. Law schools select students who demonstrate they have developed the ability to think and write clearly. These analytical and communication skills can be developed in many different academic disciplines.So, choose a major that you like and one in which you will be able to realize your full academic potential. Further, it would be beneficial if the major you choose to develops the general skills necessary to succeed in law school and as a lawyer. However, if your major does not develop these skills as well as you would like, talk to your academic advisor about taking courses that might develop these skills, or if you have the electives available, choose a minor.

 

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