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Contact Us
Gregory J. Shaffer, Esq.
Coordinator of Pre-Law Advising
prelawadvisor@umd.edu
(301) 405-2793
Hornbake Library, Rm 0110

Courses Supporting Pre-Law Interest

Most law schools do not prescribe specific majors nor courses which must be presented for admissions, but do require that one of the standard programs offered by the undergraduate institution be followed. Students are advised to select a major that strongly complements their interests and will allow them to do their best work.

Students should attempt courses that will require substantial writing under close scrutiny, and also courses that will assist them in developing their basic skills in reading comprehension and oral and written expression. Students' undergraduate curriculum should be designed to enhance the essential skills needed for both the study and practice of law, namely, reading, writing, critical thinking and analytical reasoning. Below is a list of suggested courses to assist students in their efforts to develop these essential skills. Classes in bold-print are strongly recommended. This list is not meant to be exhaustive nor should it be regarded as a list of required courses for law school admission.


GOVERNMENT & POLITICS (GVPT) - Behavioral & Social Sciences –»
  • 100 - Principles of Government and Politics
  • 170 - American Government
  • 272 - Politics of Race Relations in the United States
  • 280 - Comparative Politics and Government
  • 331 - Law & Society
  • 339 - Topics in Public Law
  • 402 - International Law
  • 431 - Introduction to Constitutional Law
  • 432 - Civil Rights and the Constitution
  • 433 - The Judicial Process
  • 434 - Race Relations and Public Law
  • 436 - The Legal Status of Women
  • 439 - Seminar in Public Law
  • 443 - Contemporary Political Theory

HISTORY (HIST) - Arts & Humanities –»
  • 200 - Interpreting American History: Beginnings to 1877
  • 201 - Interpreting American History: 1865 to Present
  • 275 - Law and Constitutionalism in American History
  • 454 - Constitutional History of the U.S.: Colonial Origins to 1860
  • 455 - Constitutional History of the United States: Since 1860

ENGLISH (ENGL) - Arts & Humanities –»
Generally, any of the English courses are excellent pre-law preparation. Note: Most upper-level English courses require junior standing.
  • 392 – Legal Writing and Analysis

JOURNALISM (JOUR) – Journalism –»
  • 181 – Grammar for Journalists
PHILOSOPHY (PHIL) - Arts & Humanities –»
  • 100 - Introduction to Philosophy
  • 140 - Contemporary Moral Issues
  • 170 - Introduction to Logic
  • 173 - Logic and the English Language I
  • 174 - Logic and the English Language II
  • 340 - Making Decisions
  • 341 - Introduction to Ethical Theory
  • 347 – Philosophy of Law
  • 446 - Law, Morality, and War
PSYCHOLOGY (PSYC) - Behavioral & Social Sciences –»
  • 100 - Introduction to Psychology
  • 221 - Social Psychology
  • 443 - Thinking and Problem Solving

FAMILY SCIENCE (FMSC) - Health & Human Performance –»
  • 487 - Legal Aspects of Family Problems
  • 497 - The Child and the Law
  • 498M - Family Mediation
  • 498T - Mock Trial Preparation

SOCIOLOGY (SOCY) - Behavioral & Social Sciences –»
  • 100 - Introduction to Sociology
  • 105 - Introduction to Contemporary Social Problems

COMMUNICATIONS (COMM) - Arts & Humanities –»
  • 107 - Oral Communication: Principles and Practice
  • 125 - Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
  • 230 - Argumentation and Debate
  • 330 - Argumentation and Public Policy

CRIMINOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE (CCJS) -Behavioral & Social Sciences –»
  • 100 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • 105 - Introduction to Criminology
  • 230 - Criminal Law in Action
  • 234 - Law of Criminal Investigation
  • 330 - Contemporary Criminological Issues
  • 331 - Contemporary Legal Policy Issues
  • 400 - Law of Corrections

BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT (BMGT) - Business & Management –»
  • 110 - Introduction to Business and Management
  • 220 - Principles of Accounting
  • 380 - Business Law I
  • 381 - Business Law II
  • 480 - Legal Environment of Business

ECONOMICS (ECON) - Behavioral & Social Sciences –»
  • 200 - Principles of Microeconomics
  • 201 - Principles of Macroeconomics
  • 456 - Law and Economics

AMERICAN STUDIES (AMST) - Arts & Humanities –»
  • 201 - Introduction to American Studies
  • 207 - Contemporary American Cultures
  • 330 - Critics of American Culture
  • 428 - American Cultural Eras
  • 429 - Perspectives on Popular Culture

CLASSICS (CLAS) - Arts & Humanities –»
  • 170 - Greek & Roman Mythology
  • 310 – Ancient Philosophy
  • 374 - Greek Tragedy in Translation
  • 375 - Ancient Comedy
  • 419 - The Classical Tradition