The pre-law specialization emphasizes analytic and problem-solving skills, oral communication, political theory, history, ethics and justice.
The Calvin pre-law program assists students in gaining an excellent liberal arts education, culminating in a bachelor's degree that prepares them for the rigors and focus of law school. There is no prescribed or generally accepted program for students planning to enter law school other than that applicants have earned an undergraduate degree and taken the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
Average GPA of recently graduated Calvin law school applicants
Number of students in the Pre-Law Program in the 2016-2017 year
Number of different majors and minors represented
Average LSAT score of recently graduated Calvin seniors (81st percentile)
of lawyers work in "private practice", with 62% in offices of five or fewer attorneys
was the national median starting salary for all law school graduates nine months after graduation in 2015
of new law school graduates in 2015 were employed in business and private sectors
the average debt for law school graduates in 2014 — almost $1294/month on a ten-year repayment plan
of the jobs obtained by 2015 law school graduates required passing the bar
How do I choose my major?
Since pre-law is a specialization, rather than a specific major or minor course of study, students should consider some basic information about both their skills and interests, as well as fields of study which are generally applicable to the practice of law.
The American Bar Association (ABA) advises students to:
- Select a major that fulfills their intellectual interests
- Seek out difficult courses and demanding professors
- Take courses that develop core skills of writing, analyzing, problem-solving, researching, organizing, communicating, and listening
- Develop a broad knowledge of history (especially American history), political theory, ethical theory and justice, economics, basic mathematics, human behavior and diverse cultures
Common majors selected by pre-law students:
The most common pre-law majors are political science, international relations, business, philosophy, psychology, economics, history and English, but law schools admit students from a wide variety of majors. For example, current Calvin College pre-law program students represent more than 27 different majors and minors, and between 1996–2005, the University of Michigan Law School accepted students from 74 different undergraduate majors.