Pre-Law

Pre-Law
PreProf

Introduction

Pre-Professional Pathways are not offered as majors at Western, nor are they at most other universities, but they can be incorporated into or taken alongside any degree-granting major offered at Western.

Law schools require a baccalaureate degree, but do not require a specific undergraduate major for admission. They are looking for students who have strong oral and written communication skills, a broad understanding of economic, political and social institutions, and well-developed objective and critical thinking skills. Western offers a variety of majors and minors that will develop these skills. The General University Requirements will also aid students in gaining competence in such skills. 

Western grads admitted to law schools have come from varied academic backgrounds. Recent majors have included Communications, Economics, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Psychology as well as interdisciplinary studies.

Students interested in issues of law and social justice are encouraged to learn more about Fairhaven College’s Law, Diversity and Justice concentration. All Western students may take Fairhaven classes such as American Legal System or Court Watch, but Fairhaven students get first priority. 

Beyond the Classroom

Each November, Western hosts a Law School Info Fair that draws 50+ law schools to the campus. Students meet directly with school representatives to discuss requirements, academic preparation, and application procedures. This event is co-sponsored by the Career Services Center and the A.S. Legal Information Center

Careers and Graduate Studies

Admission to law school is extremely selective based primarily on GPA, ​ Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores, a personal statement and letters of recommendation. The LSAT, normally required of applicants to American and Canadian law schools, is offered on Western’s campus several times each year. 

Students interested in the legal profession can work with Law School Admissions Council (LSAC)-designated pre-law advisors on campus.

explore

Sample Jobs

  • Prosecuting Attorney
  • Lobbyist
  • Environmental Law
  • Property Law
  • Legal Analyst
  • Intellectual Property
  • Family Law
  • Educator 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

Pre-Law

How do I prepare for law school?

Law schools require a baccalaureate degree. They do not require a specific undergraduate major, but do seek students who are broadly educated with strong skills in reading, writing, and ctitical thinking. Admission is extremely selective and based primarily on GPA, LSAT (Law School Admission Test) scores, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

Students interested in issues of law and social justice are encouraged to learn more about Fairhaven College’s Law, Diversity and Justice (LDJ) concentration and minor. All WWU students may take Fairhaven classes such as American Legal System, International Human Rights, or Advanced Topics in Law (topics include Criminal Law and Mock Trial). See the Center for Law, Diversity and Justice Website for more information at https://fairhaven.wwu.edu/center-law-diversity-and-justice.

What should I major in to gain acceptance to law school?

Law schools want students who have strong oral and written communications skills; a broad understanding of economic, political, and social institutions; and well-developed objective and critical thinking skills. No particular major is required. Western offers a variety of majors and minors that will develop these skills. The General University Requirements (GUR) will also aid students in gaining competence in such skills.

LSAT Information

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT), normally required of applicants to American and Canadian law schools, is offered on Western’s campus several times each year. Applications and testing schedule information may be obtained from the Testing Center (333 32nd Street) and the Department of Political Science. Students should plan to take the LSAT late in their junior year or by December in their senior year.

Program Checkpoints

(Note: each person’s path will look different; use this as a guide ONLY)

Freshman and Sophomore year

  • Complete prerequisites for the major and declare your major.
  • Meet with a pre-law advisor for general information.

Junior year

  • Research law schools; attend the Career Center’s annual Law School Fair in November.
  • Prepare for the law school admissions test (LSAT).
  • Think of people from whom you would like to request a letter of recommendation.
  • Take the LSAT in June (or else wait until October of your senior year).

Senior year

  • Complete your major requirements and apply for graduation.
  • Take the LSAT, if you haven’t already, in October.
  • Request letters of recommendation from professors, administrators, and professionals.
  • Start preparing your law school applications in early fall and complete by December 1st.

Resources

Law School Admission Council

Nonprofit organization providing products and services to facilitate the admissions process for law schools and applicants. All law schools approved by the American Bar Association are LSAC members.

Legal Information Center

WWU center dedicated to helping students know their rights, understand their options, and find solutions to legal questions they face.