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Academics > Interdisciplinary Pre-Law & Society
Interdisciplinary Pre-Law & Society

Athens State University has an established and vibrant pre-law program. Many students attend Athens State with the goal of applying to law school.

Lawyers find opportunities in a wide variety of careers. This is reflected in a professional study noted in THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO LAW SCHOOL PRE-LAW HANDBOOK, published by the Law School Admission Council in cooperation with the American Bar Association. According to that study, 70 percent of American lawyers are in private practice from one-person firms to large multi-state law firms. About 12% work for government agencies while the rest work in a variety of pursuits such as journalism, higher education, politics, banking/finance and insurance. Eighty nine percent of lawyers surveyed say they are happy with their career choice and many “upwardly mobile” students find practicing law an excellent path.

Law schools do not require or prefer specific “pre-law” major. Though the majority of practicing attorneys have probably majored in political science, English, philosophy, or business (management, business administration) all majors are suitable and represented. Law schools do want students who posses the following academic skills: (1) comprehension and expression in words (oral skills) (2) critical understanding, especially of human institutions and values and (3) creative thinking and problem solving. No specific undergraduate program can guarantee admission into any law school.

Athens State students have graduated from many A.B.A. accredited law schools, such as the University of Alabama, Cumberland Law School at Stamford University, L.S.U., the University of Tennessee, George Washington University, Mississippi College of Law, the University of Mississippi, the University of Oregon, Southern Illinois University, Gonzaga University, and others. Jones Law School in Montgomery is now ABA accredited and offers day and evening programs. A.B.A. accredited law schools offer superior academics/education, networking, and earning potential.

In addition, some students who could only go to law school by commuting from their current homes attend non - A.B.A. accredited commuter evening programs at Birmingham School of Law and Nashville Law School. These law schools are less competitive, and may be less costly. However, they also provide lower bar exam passing rates, less prestige, fewer networking advantages and statistically lower earning potentials. A degree from these schools can also pose problems in attempting to practice in certain other states. Nevertheless, for someone who cannot attend law school any other way, these schools offer respectable programs within their states and turn out many practicing attorneys.

A general rule of thumb is to attend the best school one can. Normally, it will more than pay in career earnings for any higher costs that may possibly be entailed.

The Athens State pre-law program does not recommend specific courses to take as electives here. Law-based and writing-based courses and courses involving analytical and critical thinking may be helpful.
Prelaw

The PRE-LAW SOCIETY
is available to interested students of any major. It is an optional, campus student organization that offers group support, speakers from the legal community, scholarships/other academic benefits, practice LSAT's and other campus activities, as well as serving as a clearinghouse for pre-law information for its members. Membership, however, is not required for pre-law students to enjoy all other benefits of Athens State Pre-law program.

For more information contact:
Dr. Jess Brown
Founders Hall Room 341
(256)233-6518
Email



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