Choosing a major
Prelaw is neither a major nor a minor. Rather, prelaw is an educational goal signifying a student's interest in and intention to pursue postgraduate legal education. The prelaw advisor does not advise for any particular major, but serves as a resource for students as they pursue and apply to law schools. Students have access to both an academic advisor and a prelaw advisor as they complete an undergraduate degree.
The GPA is an important factor in the law school admissions process. Students should strive to develop a strong academic record and challenge themselves in their coursework.
When choosing a major, students should ask themselves the following:
What major most interests me and suits my strengths?
- What have I historically enjoyed studying? What do I enjoy researching and learning about outside of school?
- Where are my academic strengths? Reading? Writing? Analytics? Math? Other?
Students are more likely to succeed and build a strong academic record by choosing an area of study that aligns with their strengths and interests.
Am I challenging myself academically?
- Have I taken progressively more difficult coursework as I moved through school? [100>200>300>400-level courses]
Law schools review transcripts to see if students have challenged themselves academically.
Am I succeeding in my current major?
- Am I struggling in my current major coursework?
Consider whether it is still a good fit. Coursework becomes progressively more difficult.
Students who acknowledge a poor academic fit and so choose a more suitable major show growth, maturity, and good decision-making skills.
The GPA is an important factor in the law school application process, and a significant amount of time in a major that doesn't allow a student to showcase their strengths can result in a commensurate GPA. Students also should realize taking more classes lessens the impact a single class has on the GPA.
Do I need assistance?
The academic advisor can assist students change the major, and it's advisable for students to make the change as soon as they realizes their current major is not the right fit.
Students needing resources to help address academic issues should speak with their academic advisor or faculty, and they also could look into tutoring services.
The prelaw advisor can help students discern the best fit their interests.
Should I pursue a concurrent degree, minor or certificate?
Students with multiple academic interests should meet with their academic advisor to determine the time and coursework necessary to complete the program.
Law schools review the transcript and consider the strength of coursework over time; however, pursuing multiple degrees, minors or certificates is not necessary to show academic aptitude.
Multiple degrees will not necessarily strengthen an application, especially if the additional coursework comes at the expense of pursuing outside opportunities.