Academics/Choosing Your Major

Any major can be a pre-law pathway.

The best academic preparation for law school is a stimulating and challenging curriculum. Successful law students come to their legal education from a wide range of educational, professional, and life experiences. There is no subject or major that an applicant cannot take or that law school admissions will frown upon. Boston University, therefore, does not offer a specific pre-law major. Instead we suggest that students choose a curriculum based on interest in the subject matter while developing the skills that will help prepare the student for the challenges of law school. Our students and alumni have been admitted to law school from virtually every major discipline. Majors in the traditional pre-law areas will neither help nor hinder the admissions process simply on the basis of choice of major. What matters most is how well you perform in your chosen field of study and overall.

Develop skills and relationships.

Pre-law students should focus on strengthening their reading, writing, and oral communication skills. The future law school candidate should seek opportunities to exercise critical readings of texts, complex problem solving, task organization, and substantial research planning and management. Establishing a network of faculty and advisors is also essential. Most law schools will require at least one (and often recommend two) letters of recommendation from professors who have had the student in one or more classes and who can make positive observations about the candidate’s academic achievements and potential for success in legal education. Pre-law students should make efforts to get to know their professors and have their professors get to know them and their aspirations well.

Consider some foundational coursework.

Some students may wish to take a course that will expose them to legal issues or materials or that enables them to see what the law is and how it operates. There are many courses related to law, legal thinking, and the legal process in numerous departments within the Schools and Colleges of Boston University. Students are also encouraged to become more familiar with the historical foundations and contemporary function of political, economic, and social institutions.

Consult with your advisor.

Students are encouraged to discuss their course selection with a pre-law advisor. Pre-law advisors can recommend courses particularly helpful to students for developing the skills and knowledge foundation they will need for future success. Again, while there is no specific pre-law major, a pre-law advisor can help you to identify areas of interest and affinity within the legal field to explore.

Finally, the American Bar Association’s Pre-Law Committee discusses in detail in the No Single Path statement the many ways to prepare for legal education. We encourage you to view the statement here: