Preparing for Law School

There’s no such thing as a prelaw major.

At Cornell we agree completely with the Association of American Law Schools and the American Bar Association—both of which state, as policy, that there’s no ideal prelaw curriculum. Of course, if you have your sights set on law school, attending Cornell as an undergraduate is a great way to get there. You’re even welcome to call yourself a prelaw student. But if you look for a description of a prelaw major in our course catalog, you won’t find one.

Law schools look for people with good minds. To be a strong candidate for law school, we recommend selecting a major that you’re genuinely interested in and that develops your intellectual skills—particularly your skills in writing, research, problem solving, and analysis.

Cornell’s undergraduate colleges and schools offer you almost unlimited opportunities to explore different areas of the curriculum as you consider the direction of your future legal career. For example:

  • Courses in international studies or a language might lead to a career in international law.
  • Work in environmental science could grow into an interest in environmental law.
  • Study in industrial and labor relations might help you decide to specialize in labor law.
  • Classes in human development might lead you to concentrate on family or advocacy law.
  • Studying engineering might be your first step toward becoming a patent lawyer. 
  • Participating in the six-week Prelaw Program in New York City during Summer Session would give you an opportunity to work in an internship while gaining an understanding of fundamental legal concepts and earning four academic credits.

Prelaw Advising Resources