Posts Tagged ‘Pre-law’

Pre-Law? And that is…?

November 4, 2010

What exactly is pre-law?  This is what I found myself wondering today. 

For whatever reason, career service offices at law schools are not supposed to speak with 1L’s until November.  Probably to avoid compounding stress early on, or distracting from figuring out how to read a case in the first few weeks, or… whatever.  It’s the rule here.  So, in a bit of an effort to make up for lost time, career services has had a week of kick off events.  There’s been a basic orientation, resume tips, how to write a cover letter, and today was a demonstration of proper interview technique.  All very useful and appreciated.  During this week, there’s been many sample resumes floating about.  Today, I found myself looking at one that listed an undergraduate degree as “Finance/Pre-Law.”  This left me wondering, what exactly is pre-law?  Is it anything like engineering, my own pre-law endeavour?  How would the two compare?

Honestly being far more curious than actually caring, I turned to Wikipedia for some help.  Sure, I once read a quote from some higher up at Encyclopedia Britannica or similar about Wikipedia being as accurate as graffiti scrawled on a men’s room toilet stall, but I figure it was safe for a quick check.

Here’s what I found:

The article didn’t have much meat.  It’s really just a list of a few classes.  There was communication and English composition.  Okay, took those as a freshman long ago.  Rhetoric.  Sort of can guess what that might cover, but never, ever took it, let alone realized it was a class.  And then: theater.  Theater?  Seriously?  The Wikipedia article lists sixteen classes, and who ever wrote it, and who ever has read over it with the willingness to edit it, has decided that one of the sixteen should be theater?  Can not say that was part of my undergraduate preparation.

The article goes on to list: accounting (check), philosophy (nope), statistics (check), mathematics (check), anthropology (nope), history (check), psychology (does industrial/organizational count?), sociology (nope), political science (nope), economics (macro), government (in twelfth grade), and legal management or paralegal studies (nope). 

So I got about half a pre-law education.  The article does explain that there’s no set pre-law education, it’s just an emphasis on courses like those it listed.  I’m thinking, so far, engineering has been a decent preparation.  I may not be able to spell correctly to save my life (thank goodness for spell checker!), but it did do a good job of teaching how to think through a problem logically.  And I don’t freak out when talking about compartive fault in torts and dividing up damages among multiple defendants.