A pre law degree (or pre law major) is not required to obtain admission to law school. So are there any benefits of obtaining this degree from an undergraduate university? A pre law degree (and/or) enrolling in undergraduate pre law courses are mainly beneficial because they provide a good introduction to a law school classroom setting.
In your pre law courses you will most likely be introduced to the Socratic Method (classroom style where the professor doesn’t lecture and instead the professor asks the students questions and lessons are learned through that classroom discussion).
Also, hopefully you will be introduced to the case law learning method.
Court decisions are written legal reports drafted by the judge (or judges) who ruled on the case. The legal issues and reasoning will be identified and explained in that written decision. These reports are colloquially referred to as “case law”, and the learning method in law school is for the students to read and analyze that case law.
Case law is important in the American legal system because certain decision or rulings are “binding” on certain courts in future cases. Thus, case law is used by lawyers and judges to argue and rule on legal matters at hand.
Law schools use case law to familiarize the law students with how to read and analyze legal issues, and overall becomes familiar with the writing style of legal case law. Reading case law will be your main homework in law school and will be the subject of your classroom discussions.
Benefits of a degree in pre law will depend on the way professors at your undergraduate university conduct their classroom. I would advise that you sit in on a few classes to observe same.
Is there any detriment to obtaining a degree in pre law at your undergraduate university? Some people may tell you that law schools do not particularly favor applicants with this type degree. (The belief is that perhaps students with a pre law degree may have to unlearn certain habits.) However, I would argue that your grades and law school admission test score are drastically more important vs. your major, and if you have those in control you will have no problems obtaining admission into law school.
In conclusion, a pre law degree is not necessary, may have some benefits, but can only help you to address the question regarding whether you might like law school, and not the more important question of whether or not you should become a lawyer or if a lawyer career is a good fit for you.
Overall, major in whatever interest you the most, that way your grades will be higher… if you decide on a pre law major/degree then go for it.
Continue to read more and advance your pre law investigation!
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