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Preparing for Law School
For undergraduate students planning to apply to law school, Santa Clara University provides a wide range of opportunities for building a strong pre-law foundation.
There is no specific major or curriculum required to qualify for law school admission. Successful law school applicants come from majors as diverse as anthropology, philosophy, communication, political science, physics, English, history, biology, and economics. Law school admissions officers recommend undergraduate preparation in a major that demands discipline, analytical ability, precision in written and oral work, critical thinking, research, and communication skills. The Department of Philosophy offers a pre-law emphasis within the major and minor and Political Science offers a pre-law emphasis within the major. The Director of Pre-Law Advising and the other designated pre-law advisors can help provide students with advice and resources helpful in preparing them to enter law school.
“The most valuable aspect of the college record for applicants...is not the grade point average or even the overall academic record. The applicants I have admired most have chosen their majors to suit their interests, taken rigorous courses in and beyond their major, and integrated their extracurricular and work experiences with their academic experiences.... Most importantly, they found at least one thing they loved to do and/or to study.” Joyce Curll, The Best Law Schools’ Admissions Secrets, p. 37.
The Santa Clara pre-law student's preparation is served not just by the University's Core requirements, but also by a variety of elective courses that provide valuable training and breadth of academic and analytical experience. Some elective courses strengthen specific skills, while others provide perspective on legal issues and topics.
Many Santa Clara students successfully pursue careers in law. For example, Santa Clara University undergraduates are consistently among the most represented students in the incoming class at the Santa Clara University School of Law.
This Pre-Law website is intended to provide the pre-law student with a starting point and a general outline, not a detailed path, leading to law school. Early in their undergraduate careers, all students thinking of careers in law should arrange personal conferences not only with their major advisors, but also with one of the specially designated pre-law advisors, to formulate a program designed for their specific needs, interests, and career goals.