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"Take courses that enhance the basic skills of a liberally educated person: reading with comprehension, writing, speaking, and reasoning Become more familiar with political, economic, and social institutions as they have developed historically and as they function in contemporary society."

 - The American Bar Association

Students planning to enter law school after graduation from Oglethorpe should realize that neither the American Bar Association nor leading law schools endorse a particular pre-law major. The student is advised, however, to take courses that enhance the basic skills of a liberally educated person: reading with comprehension, writing, speaking, and reasoning. The student is encouraged to become more familiar with political, economic, and social institutions as they have developed historically and as they function in contemporary society.

An Approach Endorsed by the Authority in Legal Studies
In many ways, Oglethorpe University's entire academic program could have been custom-built for Pre-Law students. As the American Bar Association recommends above, undergraduates interested in the study of law should use their time in college to refine the selfsame skills for which Oglethorpe University's Core Curriculum is nationally-hailed. In sequential Core courses like Human Nature and the Social Order, Historical Perspectives on the Social Order, and Narratives of the Self, Oglethorpe students are rigorously trained to become expert critical thinkers and writers.

In addition to the outstanding interdisciplinary preparation of the Core, Pre-Law students benefit from an intensive advisory program dedicated to providing tailored preparatory coursework and unparalleled mentorship through the law school admission process. Students work closely with the Pre-Law Studies Advisor, who helps them not only identify specific areas of interest and affinity within the legal field, but coaches them as they apply to law schools.

"The marks of my Oglethorpe education on my character have been more often the subject of positive comments, both in school and professionally, than any of the technical abilities that I have acquired through law school."

Whit Farrow '98
Currently enrolled at Boalt Hall School of Law, University of
California, Berkeley
Politics Major, Pre-Law Student

What do Pre-Law students major in?
The American Bar Association discourages undergraduate students from pursuing any pre-formulated major called "Pre-Law". Indeed, there is really no such thing as a prescribed Pre-Law curriculum. Ours is an advisory program, not a major. Almost all law school admission professionals contend that the best way that students can prepare for law school is by taking challenging course loads focusing on reading, writing, and critical skills. Because these are built-in emphases in Oglethorpe's Core Curriculum, our students are also encouraged to major in fields that they enjoy and for which they harbor strong affinities. While law school GPA requirements are exceptionally competitive, of significantly lesser concern is a student's undergraduate major. Oglethorpe students have been admitted to law school from virtually every major field - from Philosophy to Biology, English to Sociology - though most gravitate toward at least some coursework in politics and history. The advisory program format allows students to have an expert faculty mentor in their corner. This Pre-Law Studies Advisor helps students plan coursework from semester to semester, and even assists with preparation for the LSAT, the national standardized test for law school admission.

An Outstanding Track Record
Once in law school, Oglethorpe alumni uniformly report having been well-prepared by the rigors of our program. They do well and distinguish themselves as leaders. Many excel at writing, and work for and/or edit the Law Review while working toward their law degrees. Recent Oglethorpe alumni have found, or are finding, success at the following institutions, to name a few:

  • Beasley School of Law, Temple University
  • Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley
  • Columbia University Law School
  • Cumberland School of Law, Sanford University
  • Duke University School of Law
  • Emory University School of Law
  • Florida State University College of Law
  • Georgetown University Law Center
  • Georgia State University College of Law
  • Harvard Law School
  • Loyola University New Orleans School of Law
  • Mercer University School of Law
  • New York University School of Law
  • University of Chicago Law School
  • University of Georgia School of Law
  • University of Michigan Law School
  • University of Tennessee College of Law
  • Vanderbilt University School of Law
  • Villanova University School of Law

Our alumni attorneys work in a variety of practice areas all over the U.S. Many are members of the Stormy Petrel Bar Association, an alumni organization whose purpose is to assist current Oglethorpe students in learning about the legal profession. The SPBA sponsors lectures and social events, and annually present the Charles S. Weltner Award, an honor with a monetary prize, to an outstanding Pre-Law student.

An Expert (and Accessible) Faculty
Oglethorpe has a student/faculty ratio of 13:1, ensuring that students and professors share collegial relationships. Law schools recommend that students get to know their professors well in order to ensure comprehensive letters of recommendation in their law school applications. Oglethorpe's smaller student body and familial environment makes interacting with professors natural and easy. Oglethorpe's faculty members are highly qualified (96% hold the Ph.D. degree or the terminal degree in their field) and dedicated to their students, serving as allies as well as teachers.

Students interested in pursuing a legal career should ask the Registrar for the names of faculty members serving as pre-law advisors.


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