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Planning your Education

At Syracuse University, there is no formal prelaw major or any specific major in which to enroll to be considered a prelaw student. Law school admissions committees do not require any specific majors. Students should seek breadth in their undergraduate programs by exploring courses offered in the liberal arts and through unique electiives. Your academic major should provide an element of depth to your curriculum through the intensity of courses offered from a specific department or interdisciplinary program. We encourage students to select a major and complimentary coursework that they enjoy yet find challenging, and that directly reflects their interests, skills, intellectual curiosity and aptitude.


Developing Core Skills, Values, Knowledge and Experience

The American Bar Association (ABA) has identified some of the primary skills, values, knowledge and experience which are important to enhancing one's preparations for law school:

  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Reading
  • Writing and Editing
  • Oral Communication and Listening
  • Research
  • Organization and Management
  • Public Service and Promotion of Justice
  • Relationship-building and Collaboration
  • Background Knowledge
  • Exposure to the Law

* Excerpted from The ABA Prelaw Advising Website

As an undergraduate, you can cultivate these core developmental qualifications by choosing optimal courses, internships, work experiences, and extracurricular activities. Consult with a member of our professional advising staff for guidance in your preparations for law school.


Choosing Courses

Pre-law students are encouraged take courses that expose them to the following areas of knowedge that are identified by the American Bar Association as helpful to a legal education:

  • A broad understanding of history, including the various factors (social, political, economic, and cultural) that have influenced the development of our society in the United States.
  • A fundamental understanding of political thought and of the contemporary American political system.
  • Some basic mathematical and financial skills, such as an understanding of basic pre-calculus mathematics and an ability to analyze financial data.
  • A basic understanding of human behavior and social interaction.
  • An understanding of diverse cultures within and beyond the United States, of international institutions and issues, of world events, and of the increasing interdependence of the nations and communities within our world.


* Excerpted from The ABA Prelaw Advising Website


Building Your Experiences

An applicant's resume should accurately reflect a student's experiences in the areas of employment (on or off campus), internships (paid or unpaid), community service, study or service abroad, extracurricular activities, student organizations, and leadership.
A member of our professional staff can help you to achieve a balance between a rigorous academic plan and a variety of undergraduate experiences.  We can then assist you in preparing a well-rounded resume that soundly reflects all of your achievements.

See currently recognized Student Organizations.


Networking with Professors

We encourage all students to be conscientious learners and active participants in the classroom while cultivating positive relationships with professors.  Faculty are experts in their chosen academic fields and can serve as excellent mentors to students in regards to university resources, graduate/professional study, potential internships, employment opportunities and career paths. If you invest the time to know and be known by your professors, you will be more likely to obtain a well-informed and potentially influential letter of recommendation, a significant factor in advanced study and employment.


Qualifications for Admission to the Bar

Note:  In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction.  Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction.  Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Consult the State Bar Examiner's Office of the states in which you intend to practice law, regarding character and fitness for admission to the bar.