The 10 Best Pre-Law Schools in the US

Acquiring knowledge about law and the justice system as an undergraduate student is invaluable for those looking to go to law school. Not to be mistaken as an attainable degree, pre-law is not a major, but rather an advising track. 

Unlike medical school, law schools do not require students to meet a list of specific requirements. Students are encouraged to explore the various undergrad degrees that will help them better understand the type of law they would like to pursue.

Many universities offer pre-law services that help students explore various legal careers while providing them with assistance on their law school applications. While law school is demanding, it is a versatile degree that helps s. 

Today, we will discuss the 10 best pre-law schools in the United States that offer educational resources, summer programs, and mentorships to help guide students looking to pursue law in the future. 

Ranked by schools that are the biggest feeders into law school, as compiled by College Transitions at the time of this writing.

Here are the 10 best pre-law schools in the US.

Tied-10. Duke University (Durham, NC)

Duke University
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

Duke University offers students and alumni from Trinity College and Pratt School of Engineering Pre-Law Advising

Since a pre-law degree does not exist, the University guides students through a specific process that helps them gain soft and hard skills needed to succeed in law school like mediation, research, and negotiation. 

Duke’s various mentorship programs, like the Bench and Bar undergraduate pre-law society, offer students the opportunity to be paired up with a Duke law school alumni. This unique program encourages students to receive 1:1 mentorship and understand the pre-law process. 

The active pre-law advising office also sponsors a variety of programs throughout the year including mock admission panels, LSAT workshops, and informational sessions regarding law school applications. Through their network, they invite law school admission officers, practicing lawyers, LSAT prep companies to speak to their pre-law students.

Tied-10. University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)

University of Chicago
Damien Koziel |

The University of Chicago provides its students with great resources to determine if a legal career path is suited for them. The Careers in Law program offers undergrad students one-on-one advising, access to workshops, featured panel discussions, and a listing of internships related to the legal field. 

The school offers a one-year Law & Politics program catered towards rising second, third, and fourth-year students who are interested in attending law school. Through this track, students will receive specialized advising, professional field mentorship, and take specialized courses.  

The University of Chicago also has the Rising Attorneys Program, a specific program dedicated to supporting future law students from underrepresented backgrounds and/or low-income families. 

As an alumni or undergrad senior, students have the added bonus of applying for 

early decision to UChicago Law School through their Chicago Law Scholars Program

9. Georgetown University (Washington, DC)

Georgetown University Law Center
Karatershel, Georgetown Law Campus, CC BY-SA 3.0

Georgetown University is located in Washington DC, the heart of America’s justice system. With The White House, District of Columbia Courts, and the Library of Congress just a ways away, students will have the unique opportunity to breathe and see the fast-moving world of politics. 

Through GU’s Cawley Career Education Center, undergrad students have access to pre-law resources, including advising, LSAT preparation, and workshops. 

With Georgetown’s overall acceptance rate of just 12%, undergrads will already be acclimated to the intense and rigorous course study that will prepare them for the demand of law school. 

For students looking to study foreign policies and international relations, GU offers a bachelor’s in International Politics, Global Business, and International Economics, making this a well-rounded introduction to the study of international law. 

8. Columbia University (New York, NY)

Columbia University
Beyond My Ken, Columbia University, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Columbia University Undergraduate Law Society allows students access to information about law school applications, admission processes, and advice on legal professions. 

With its network of practicing attorneys, law students, and educators, students will have the opportunity to establish their working relationships and expand their network. 

The acceptance rate to attend the private Ivy League law school is 18.4%. Columbia Law continues to rank in the top five law schools in the U.S., making it the ideal learning environment for pre-law students to interact with brilliant minds studying and teaching in the field. 

The University has a vast range of majors to pursue, including Sustainable Development, Sociology, and Political Science, which are beneficial to learning the backbone of the criminal justice systems, public policies, and environmental law. 

7. University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)

UCLA Student Activities Center
Josh Lee, UCLA Student Activities Center, CC BY-SA 3.0

The University of California, Los Angeles is perfect for pre-law students looking to get into the entertainment industry. Located in Hollywood itself, entertainment and media lawyers are constantly needed to represent high-profile clients, negotiate film rights, and work on legal issues involving athletes or the use of sporting arenas. 

UCLA’s Law JumpStart program invites students to learn from a panel of professionals that come from a variety of legal careers. The program hosts informative workshops from how to write an effective personal statement to researching law schools to help prepare their students for the grueling application process. 

The school’s pre-law advisors also encourage students to take the following courses to best help prepare them for law school, which includes law and politics, international law, principles of critical thinking, and logic. 

6. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

University of Pennsylvania
Bestbudbrian, North facade of College Hall, Penn Campus, CC BY-SA 4.0

Undergraduates at UPenn have access to the Law School Admissions Council, an organization publishing insightful resources into the rigorous process of applying to law schools. Choosing the right-fit law school, LSAT preparation, and even in-depth webinars are just a few of the offerings from LSAC.

Outside of LSAC, pre-law students at Penn can participate in an abundance of student-run organizations, like the Penn Undergraduates for Refugee Empowerment or the Penn Youth Debate. In these two groups, students have the opportunity to learn about the different concentrates of law from social justice to juvenile justice systems. 

The John Marshall Pre-Law Honor Society is also a great resource for Penn undergrads to explore the different career perspectives and meet attorneys, law school admissions representatives, and other students looking to pursue a legal career. 

5. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

University of Michigan Law School
Flavinista, University of Michigan Law School, CC BY-SA 4.0

At the University of Michigan, student-run organizations like Wolverine Street Law allows students to utilize their legal education by teaching communities about legal rights. 

In addition, the University offers several resources through its student organizations, career centers, and advising workshops that will help aspiring law students decide whether a legal career is suited for them. 

Undergraduate students can shadow practicing attorneys through the University Career Alumni Network and seek internship programs through the UM’s opportunity hub. The school also has very active student organizations. 

4. Yale University (New Haven, CT)

Yale Law School
Nick Allen, Yale Law School courtyard, CC BY-SA 3.0

Yale University’s pre-law resources provide students with diverse opportunities to study, explore, and familiarize themselves with the many aspects of law. 

With the variety of extracurricular activities, students can join the Yale Mock Trial Team, Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association, or the Moot Court Team to nurture their interests in the field. 

For aspiring law students interested in human rights, Yale works closely with the organization Lawyers without Borders and has created a Student Division on campus. 

The student organization dedicates its time to promoting human justice by working with pro bono lawyers that serve disadvantaged and underserved communities. 

3. Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)

Harvard Law School Building
TimothyHorrigan, Griswold Hall, Harvard Law School. Cambridge, Massachusetts, CC BY-SA 4.0

Harvard Law School (HLS) has mentored the minds of notable thought leaders, including numerous federal court judges, state governors, and even former President Barack Obama. 

As a University with prestige and academic caliber, undergraduate students attending Harvard have access to mentors, pre-law tutors, and career services to help them with their application process. 

The Harvard Law School Junior Deferral Program invites college juniors to apply to HLS during their spring semester. If accepted, students have a deferred enrollment of two years after graduation. 

The campus offers accessibility to pre-law tutors through the Pforzheimer house. Previously, the committee has mentored first-years and sophomores through their studies so they can begin to apply to law schools as upperclassmen. The University also provided informational sessions and workshops in the law application process. 

2. Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)

Cornell University Risley Hall
Kenneth C. Zirkel, Risley Hall, Cornell University, CC BY-SA 4.0

Cornell University offers a variety of undergraduate degrees that will not only set students up for law school but will help them decide on a specific track. 

With a degree in international studies, environmental science, and human development, the challenging courses offer undergrads a wealth of knowledge in global, environmental, and advocacy laws. 

The University offers various summer programs, including a six-week Pre Law Program and Internship in New York City and a ten-week intensive training through the Cornell Defender Program. This Defender program includes online instruction from lawyers, judges, investigators, and service providers from all across the U.S. 

A team of advisors is made available to help guide students through their law school applications and provide valuable advice on potential legal career tracks. 

1. University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

UC Berkeley
Louis H. G., Memorial Glade, CC BY-SA 4.0

As one of the top-rated Law Schools in 2021, the University of California, Berkeley understands what law schools look for when sifting through pools of applications. 

While pre-law is not a degree, UC Berkeley has endless amounts of resources and a team of advisors and professionals who assist undergrads with application strategies, managing timelines, and insight into school options. 

UC Berkeley also offers internship programs with the ASUC Legal Clinic, JusticeCorps, and UC Berkeley Washington Program.

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