Department of History and Political Science - Pre-law Program
Quick fact: Since 1990, 75 percent of Manchester University seniors applying to law school have been accepted for admission. Nationally, the acceptance rate is 62 percent.
1. IS THERE A PRE-LAW CURRICULUM? The American Bar Association (see Preparation for Legal Education) does not recommend any particular group of majors or courses that should be taken by students wishing to prepare for legal education. Developing such a list is neither possible nor desirable, for there is no ideal preparation for law school. So, at Manchester, there is no prescribed pre-law curriculum.
2. WHAT MAJOR SHOULD I CHOOSE? Choose a major on the basis of two criteria, personal interest and rigorous standards. Major in something you care about, so that you will enjoy learning and do well at it. Major in a field whose professors have standards for achievement that provide you with a significant challenge in learning, research, communication, and critical thinking.
3. WHAT COURSES SHOULD I TAKE? There are important skills, values, and significant bodies of knowledge that will provide a sound foundation for a legal education. Plan to take courses that (a) develop skills in problem-solving, critical thinking and oral and written communication and (b) provide substantive knowledge in the social sciences, the natural sciences, the humanities, and the professions. There are also many law-related courses that will give you some insight into the study of the law and its relation to society. For specific course suggestions, though, consult your pre-law advisor.
4. WHAT ELSE CAN I DO? To improve your chances of getting into law school, you should participate in various extracurricular activities, such as student government or the Pre-Law Club's Mock Trial team. The Pre-Law Club lets you meet other pre-law students. It will provide you with an opportunity to learn about the law by competing in regional and national Mock Trial Tournaments and by talking with practicing attorneys. Also, the Pre-Law advisor (as well as the attorneys who serve on the faculty) can help you plan for your law school experience by providing you with vital information about the admissions process, including the LSAT.
Remember, the best pre-law program is one you design with the cooperation and advice of your pre-law advisor. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about course selection, suggested readings, the admissions process, law school programs, or career opportunities.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Leonard Williams, Pre-Law Advisor