The Catholic University of America

Pre-Law Advising

Pre-law advisers:
Anthony Chiappetta, Career Services Office, 202 Pryzbyla Center, 202-319-5623
e-mail: chiappetta@cua.edu
Dr. Renate Chancellor, Library and Information Science, 457 Columbus School of Law, 202-319-6272
e-mail: chancellor@cua.edu

Applying to law school? Go to http://careers.cua.edu and follow the link.

There is no standard pre-law curriculum; law schools do not establish preferences for specific undergraduate majors. Rather, they are looking for individuals with solid and broad academic backgrounds. Emphasis is on your performance in your chosen field of study. Course work that suggests sensitivity to the foundational issues and traditions of Western civilization is valued. Therefore, as a "pre-law" student, choose a major in which you have a strong interest and, at the same time, which will provide a broad educational foundation. 

The legal profession requires several important skills: abilities to read critically, to express one's ideas effectively in both oral and written forms, to analyze clearly, and to form logical conclusions. It is prudent to include within your curriculum courses that will aid you in developing these vital skills.

Relevant courses include, in particular: English composition, literature, and rhetoric; mathematics; and philosophy, especially logic. Broad exposure to the humanities develops a flexible mind, while mathematics and science courses provide experience in organizing data and applying general rules. Psychology and sociology courses are also appropriate for obtaining a better understanding of individual and group behavior. You may also choose courses in areas directly related to law, such as politics, economics, and business. CUA offers two tracks that may be of special interest for students interested in applying to law school. Students interested in majoring in Philosophy may choose a Pre-Law Program in Philosophy. The Department of Politics offers a Minor in Politics Pre-Law.

In addition, some courses may be helpful for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or the law school curriculum, while others relate to the work of most attorneys. In the first category, argumentative writing or constitutional law would be recommended. The second category would include courses in accounting, business, and public speaking.