Advice for Pre-Law Students
Pre-Law Preparation Suggestions
- Determine if law school is right for you - Visit the Career Development Center, attend a Choices workshop, conduct informational interviews and talk to a JCCC counselor.
- Study - Visit the Math Resource Center, the Writing Center and the Academic Achievement Center.
- Get involved - Join a club or organization; write for the Campus Ledger; get involved with Student Senate; get to know your instructors.
- Graduate with Civic Honors.
- Research law schools - Visit the Law School Admission Council.
Preparing for Law School
Law schools will consider your cumulative GPA and your score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). They'll also consider extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, your personal statement and the rigor of your academic coursework.
Law school admissions committees do not have preferred majors. You can obtain the communication and analytical skills necessary for law school by studying a variety of undergraduate majors. Select a major in which you're truly interested so you'll have a better chance to succeed academically.
A double major won't increase your chances of getting into law school.
You shouldn't necessarily take JCCC’s paralegal/legal studies AA degree requirements. JCCC’s paralegal degree is not primarily designed as a transfer degree toward bachelor’s requirements, although certain four-year schools will take the paralegal AA toward their degree completion. An associate’s degree alone will not qualify for law school admission. You should declare an associate of arts general transfer degree and follow a curriculum based on your bachelor’s degree requirements.
There are no required courses for law school admission.
Choose courses that challenge you to write and think clearly and expand your knowledge of different cultures and social and religious philosophies. You don't have to have knowledge of law for the LSAT or to enter law school.
You don’t have to know a foreign language for law school, but learning a foreign language can sharpen your analytic skills and increase your understanding of the English language, both of which are important skills for law school.
You should take the LSAT in June after your junior year of college or in the early fall of your senior year of college. In general, students perform better on the LSAT when they take it after their junior year, and there is no advantage to taking it earlier. The fall test often coincides with mid-term exams, so you may prefer to take the LSAT in June after your junior year.
Letters of Recommendation
Most law schools require at least one letter of recommendation and may ask for up to three letters. The strongest letters come from faculty who are familiar with your intellectual abilities, leadership potential and other skills relevant to a law school admissions committee.
Don't seek a recommender with a fancy title who doesn't know you well enough to speak to your attributes. Letters from members of Congress, judges, ministers and family members do not carry any weight and can have a negative impact.
You don't need to prepare a file of recommendation letters until shortly before you apply for law school, but you should begin building rapport with instructors or faculty advisers early in your undergraduate career.
Transferring to a Four-Year School
To stay on course for a bachelor’s degree, plan your transfer credits as soon as possible. If you haven’t decided on a major, a JCCC counselor can help you choose one. Law school committees look at your entire academic record as well as your school and community involvement during your entire undergraduate period.
JCCC Law-related Courses
Courses listed may help you develop skills necessary for law school, but they may not meet your specific bachelor’s degree requirements. Always check with a JCCC counselor about the transferability of any individual course.
- ADMJ 121 Intro into Admin of Justice (3 CR)
- ADMJ 124 Criminal Justice and Corrections (3 CR)
- ADMJ 127 Criminology (3 CR)
- ADMJ 140 Constitutional Case Law (3 CR)
- ADMJ 141 Criminal Law (3 CR)
- ENGL 115 Revision Skills (3 CR)
- ENGL 121 Composition I (3 CR)
- ENGL 122 Composition II (3 CR)
- HIST 125 Western Civilization I (3 CR)
- HIST 126 Western Civilization II (3 CR)
- HIST 137 African American Studies (3 CR)
- LAW 121 Introduction to Law (3 CR) Note: Additional “LAW” courses require program admissions.
- PHIL 121 Introduction to Philosophy (3 CR)
- PHIL 124 Logic and Critical Thinking (3 CR)
- PHIL 143 Ethics (3 CR)
- POLS 122 Introduction to Political Science (3 CR)
- POLS 124 American Government (3 CR)
- PSYC 130 Introduction to Psychology (3 CR)
- SOC 122 Introduction to Sociology (3 CR)
- SOC 125 Social Problems (3 CR)
- SPD 120 Interpersonal Communication (3 CR)
- SPD 121 Public Speaking (3 CR)
- SPD 130 Elementary Debate (3 CR)
- SPD 180 Intercultural Communications (3 CR)
Common Pre-Law Majors
- Political Science
- Communication Studies
- Social Welfare
- Art History
- Computer Science
- Environmental Studies
- Women’s Studies