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.

What courses will I take?

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.

What skills will I develop?

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.

What career opportunities are there for someone with this degree?

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.

Where can I get more information?

Center for High Achievement & Scholarly Engagement (CHASE)
Jordan Hall 153    
(317) 940-9723

All Law Online Database

Internship and Career Services
Atherton 315       
(317) 940-9383

Exploratory Studies
Jordan Hall 136  
(317) 940-9308

Pre-Law Academic Information

Occupational Outlook Handbook




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents...

Recommended Readings (October 2011)

Need a good book? Take a look at the recommendations below. This page is designed to highlight readings suggested by people in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. We've created this site because expressing our enthusiasm for a favorite book is a wonderful way to share ideas, to stimulate discussion, and to simply embrace a love of reading. We hope you will find this useful in your search for a good book!

Peripatetic -Philosophy 50

Peripatetic Philosophy, 200 BC to AD 200: An Introduction and Collection of Sources in Translation, by R.W. Sharples, Cambridge University Press, 2010 - Reviewed by Tiberiu Popa

The roughly four centuries of Peripatetic tradition covered by Sharple's recent book have been somewhat of a blank spot on the map of ancient philosophy. While a considerable number of articles have dealt with particular figures pertaining to late Peripatetic philosophy, there have been . . .
Complete Book Review

Major -Pettigrew 50

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson,Random House, 2010 - Reviewed by Richard McGowan

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is a very well written, uplifting, seriously funny book, especially for people of a certain age (mine) and sensibility (guilty again).  It is a measure of Ms. Simonson's skill that halfway through the book, I could . . .
Complete Book Review

Still -Alice 50

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, Pocket, 2009 - Reviewed by Eloise Sureau-Hale

Still Alice by Lisa Genova is one of the most poignant books I have read in a long time. It follows Alice Howland, a vibrant middle-aged tenured professor of neuropsychology at Harvard, as she becomes more and more forgetful, starting small with misplacing everyday objects, to finding herself completely lost and disoriented in her own neighborhood . . .
Complete Book Review

Battle -of -the -Big -Hole 50

The Battle of the Big Hole: The Story of the Landmark Battle of the 1877 Nez Perce Wary, by Audrey L. Haines, Twodot, 2006 - Reviewed by George W. Geib

In August of 1877, several bands of the Nez Perce fled government attempts to force them on to an Idaho reservation.  At the Big Hole in western Montana, their camp was attacked at dawn  by U. S. soldiers in the bloodiest action of the pursuit. 
Complete Book Review