About Pre-Law Advising
GW's pre-law advisors in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences help students and alumni on the path toward a future in law.
The law touches every area of life and society. Law students come from every conceivable field of work and undergraduate and post-graduate study. Given this range, undergraduate study in the liberal arts is an ideal preparation for law school.
While law schools do require a student to have earned a bachelor’s degree at the time of law school matriculation, there is no required, or even preferred, major for law school. Likewise, there are no required courses for admission to law school. The practice and study of law does, however, require certain skills—including the ability to think and read critically, analyze situations, communicate effectively orally and in writing, perform research, listen effectively and manage time.
Students interested in law school are encouraged to take advantage of the wide variety of courses and areas of study available through the Columbian College and the George Washington University. Students should choose a major that interests them and will keep them engaged. Doing so will lead to higher grades, which will in turn increase their chances of getting into the law school of their choice.
Pre-law advisors are available for individual appointments in the Columbian College Pre-Professional Studies Office in Phillips Hall.
- First Years and Sophomores: Students requesting a meeting for the first time should first attend a pre-law info session. Information sessions are offered each fall and spring semester.
- Juniors and Seniors: Students requesting a meeting for the first time should attend an Applying to Law School Workshop. Juniors should plan to meet with the pre-law advisor in the spring (must have attended a pre-law information session), and then again in the senior year as needed.
- Seniors and Alumni: Seniors and alumni who are actively applying to law school can make an appointment online or call our office.
- All students: Join the pre-law listserv to receive e-mail communications from our office. In addition, students interested in law school should visit the Law School Admission Council’s website as well as individual law school websites.
Pre-law Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there a pre-law major? Are there required courses for law school?
There is no pre-law major at GW. The Sociology department does offer a “Law and Politics” Minor, but students are encouraged to select a major that interests you and one in which you could envision establishing a career should your plans to attend law school change. When a student says they are “pre-law,” they are declaring an intention to attend law school. It is helpful to let your academic advisor know you are considering applying to law school. Law schools do not require prerequisites to apply to law school, but there are courses that may help with the logical and reasoning section of the LSAT and develop skills necessary for law school and the legal profession.
Law Schools are looking for courses that develop your analytic and problem-solving skills, critical reading and research abilities, and effective written and oral communication, as well as organization and time management skills.
- Can I apply for admission to law school while my bachelor's degree is in progress?
Yes, but you must complete your baccalaureate degree requirements, prior to the beginning of law classes. For example, if you will be a senior in the Fall of 2018 intending to enter law school in August of 2019, you should finish your undergraduate degree requirements prior to this date.
- What criteria do law schools use to evaluate an applicant for admission?
The two main components the admission committee review is the applicant's undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) score. In addition, letters of recommendation (academic), the personal statement, leadership and extra-curricular activities such as community service are considered. Thus, it's important to maintain a strong academic record and establish professional relationships with your professors and instructors early in your undergraduate studies.