Programs

Pre-Law


Students planning to attend law school will find that Cottey’s liberal arts curriculum prepares them well. They are encouraged to choose a major that challenges and interests them and in which they will excel. The American Bar Association (ABA) does not recommend any particular major before attending law school. Some Cottey students opt for majors traditionally associated with preparation for law school, including Business, English, International Relations, and Liberal Arts. It is just as acceptable to major in fields such as Criminology, Environmental Studies, Organizational Leadership, Health Sciences, Psychology, or Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

During their time at Cottey students should take demanding courses that develop vital skills and provide critical background knowledge. While the ABA does not recommend any specific group of courses prior to law school it does seek students who are equipped with the following core skills and knowledge:

   Core Skills

  • writing, revising, and responding to constructive criticism
  • reading comprehension, especially of lengthy, challenging texts (e.g., anthropology, economics, gender, history, literature, philosophy, political science)
  • library research and the analysis and synthesis of findings in substantial written projects
  • public speaking and careful listening
  • problem-solving, including the critical examination of current events and ethical issues that help students clarify their beliefs and help them tolerate differences of opinion and criticism
  • organization and management of large amounts of information from varied sources (e.g., capstone project)

   Knowledge

  • history of the US as well as other countries and regions
  • political thought and government, particularly that of the US
  • basic math and finance
  • human behavior and social interaction
  • diverse cultures, global issues, and international institutions

In and beyond the classroom students are advised to find ways to gain experiences that will help them in law school.  The ABA encourages students to gain exposure to the legal profession through internships and shadowing or mentoring opportunities with lawyers.  These experiences can help them decide if a career in law is a good fit and might help set them apart from other applicants to law school. In addition, students should consider involvement in activities that demonstrate their concern for others and their ability to collaborate and work as a member of a team, such as involvement in community service or social justice causes.