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Applying to Law School? Take These Classes In Undergrad

Law school admissions typically prefer to see some sort of undergraduate preparation for law school courses.

But not all undergraduate institutions provide pre-law curricula.

Gabriel Kuris, the founder of Top Law Coach and contributor for US News, recently discussed what college courses applicants can take to best prepare for law school, especially if you can’t study law at your undergraduate institution.

AMERICAN HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT

Kuris says American history and government courses typically offer a good foundation for understanding how the American government functions.

“Beyond courses on topics like the U.S. Constitution and American politics, consider courses that approach the American experience from alternative viewpoints,” Kuris writes. “Try a narrower view like the history of a specific region or population, or environmental history, or the history of science. Or try zooming out through a course in comparative politics, international human rights or international relations.”

SOCIAL SCIENCE  

Social science courses, according to Kuris, can provide a broad range of important topics from economics to psychology.

“Social science classes are more important to the law than ever, from the economics used in antitrust cases to the political science used in election law to psychology disputes over rules of evidence,” Kuris writes. “Understanding the wide range of methods that social scientists draw from to make arguments will serve you well in law school.”

STATISTICS AND DATA SCIENCE

While math and science aren’t as prevalent in law as they are in medicine or engineering, topics such as statistics have become increasingly important in the legal field.

“Unsurprisingly, the LSAT increasingly tests statistical concepts and arguments in the logical reasoning and reading comprehension sections,” Kuris writes. “If you fail to grasp the uses and limitations of data and statistical analysis, then you may be easily misled or intimidated with flawed charts and shoddy metrics.”

READING AND WRITING

In a blog post for UC Davis, Kristen Mercado, assistant dean of admission and financial aid at UC Davis School of Law, King Hall, said one of the things she wished she knew when applying to law school was the importance of building strong writing skills.

“A strong writer with excellent analytical thinking and communication skills makes the ideal law student,” Mercado writes. “Whether you developed those skills through the study of English literature or music composition or the human genome, you can be a strong applicant, law student and lawyer.”

Kuris echoes a similar sentiment when it comes to the importance of being able to read, analyze, and draw arguments.

“Ideally you should take a class that involves analyzing material that is totally foreign to you, because lawyers often have to quickly familiarize themselves with fields they know nothing about,” Kuris writes. “You should also take a class that requires writing essays that make logical arguments, rather than mere appreciation or memorization.”

Sources: US News, UC Davis