Pre-law at Butler is not a major. It is a program that a student participates in along with his or her declared major. It is designed to give students exposure, information, and opportunities as undergraduates that will help prepare them for the law school experience and the practice of law. A pre-law program with this design is preferable to a pre-law major in many aspects. Law schools want applicants with a broad-based background. By choosing a major based in a strong Liberal Arts tradition students develop their analytical and critical reasoning skills which are essential to any successful attorney. While participating in their chosen major, students will also receive guidance from the pre-law program to help them choose courses that will develop their skills, prepare for Law School application, practice their oral and debate skills, and learn more about the wide range of options available in the field of Law. By participating in the pre-law program, students are not committing themselves to law school. They still earn a bachelors degree that will provide them with all the accompanying opportunities whether they choose to continue on to law school or not. The program is a good choice for students who are convinced that law is right for them as well as for those who simply want to learn more about the option of law school.
There are no required classes for law school. The best advice is to take classes that interest you because you are likely to do well in them. However, you should generally choose courses that stress writing skills and will give you ample opportunities to practice because writing is perhaps the most important skill you will need as a lawyer. While courses in law are not necessary, it may be a good idea to do so in order to see if you really enjoy the subject matter. Pre-law students are also strongly encouraged to participate in the Mock Trial team which can be done for credit.
Students who participate in a pre-law program can learn valuable skills regardless of whether they choose to continue on to law school or not. Students who participate will benefit from the opportunity to develop strong writing skills and the ability to clearly and articulately state an argument or point of view. Pre-law students learn to analyze complicated situations and arguments and make decisions based on their research. These skills are valuable to anyone in a position of leadership and responsibility. The mock trial team will give students the chance to practice their oral skills as well which can translate to the boardroom as well as the courtroom. The skills that make a good law student are skills that can benefit you in almost any field.
While most students enter the pre-law program with the intention of going on to become attorneys, this is not the only option available. Again, a pre-law student does not actually earn a degree in Pre-Law. Students actually choose a major from amongst the numerous options available at Butler. They take all the same required courses as any other student in that major. They simply augment that major with the additional skills and opportunities they gain from participation in the pre-law program. Therefore, a student's career opportunities after college are the same as any other student in their chosen major. However, the pre-law student has the added advantage of the skills they have developed through participation in the program.
Center for High Achievement & Scholarly Engagement
Jordan Hall 153
All Law Online Database
Internship and Career Services
Jordan Hall 136
Pre-Law Academic Information
Occupational Outlook Handbook