Did you know that there are no official pre-requisite courses for Law School? Instead, Law Schools want prospective students to focus on building general knowledge and skills and finding an undergraduate major in which you will be academically successful. Though there are no required courses for
Resources for Pre-Law Students
Considering Law School? Visit the UW-Madison Center for Pre-Law Advising website for extensive information on exploring, preparing for, and applying to Law Schools. You can also schedule an appointment with a Pre-Law Advisor. We are here for UW-Madison undergraduates and alumni!
Analytical & Problem Solving Skills
In law school, you’ll spend lots of time structuring and evaluating arguments. Look for opportunities to develop your analytical skills and solve difficult problems during your undergraduate education.
- Economics 102 Principles of Macroeconomics*
- Educational Policy 412: History of American Education*
- Philosophy 341 Contemporary Moral Issues*
Critical Reading & Critical Thinking Abilities
As a legal professional, you’ll need to read closely and with a critical eye. You will practice this skill in law school by reading judicial opinions, statutes, and other complex documents.
- Psychology 225: Research Methods*
- Sociology 134: Problems of American Racial and Ethnic Minorities
- Sociology 138: The Sociology of Gender*
Expressing yourself clearly and concisely is a must in the legal world. Law school will teach you some writing forms and techniques found in legal settings, but you’ll need to become a skilled written communicator before this.
- Art 236: Writing for and about the Arts*
- History 201: Writing the Louisiana Purchase from the West
- RP & SE 501: Rehabilitation-Counseling Psychology: Applications*
Oral Communication & Listening Abilities
Speaking clearly and persuasively is another key skill in the legal profession, and being an excellent listener is crucial to building strong relationships with clients and colleagues. The American Bar Association (ABA) advises undergraduates to develop “basic speaking and listening skills, such as by engaging in debate, making formal presentations in class, or speaking before groups.
- Communication Arts 100: Introduction to Speech Composition*
- Communication Arts 373: Intercultural Communication & Rhetoric*
- Counseling Psychology 225: Coming to Terms with Cultural Diversity: Invitation to Dialogue*
Broad Knowledge on Social, Economic, & Political Topics
Broad knowledge of social, economic, and political topics is beneficial in law school and beyond. The ABA recommends exploring history and the social, political, economic, and cultural factors that have influenced the development of American society; political thought and the workings of the contemporary American political system; and human behavior and social interaction.
- Afro-American Studies 156: Black Music and American Cultural History*
- Gender & Womens Studies 425: Crime, Gender and Justice*
Gauging Interest in Law
If you are unsure whether law school is right for you, the courses below may help you gauge your interest. Law schools do not require students to take courses related to law – these are for your own illumination.
- Economics 522: Law and Economics*
- Educational Policy Studies 412: History of American Education*
- Political Science 434: The Politics of Human Rights*
- Political Science 414: The Supreme Court as a Political Institution*