Pre-Law
Pre-Law

Why Study Pre-Law?

The Pre-Law Program provides students with access to a variety of resources, activities, and events that focus on mastering the law school admissions process, preparing for a legal education, and understanding the various career paths in the legal profession. The Pre-Law Program of Wheaton College will help you explore or confirm a calling to the legal profession and prepare you for the intellectual rigors and moral complexities in the study and practice of law.

Why Study Pre-Law at Wheaton?

In recent years, about two dozen Wheaton College graduates have gone on to law school each year. Wheaton College students are regularly accepted at the top ten law schools and other excellent Tier 1 law schools.

For the last six years, all but one Wheaton senior applying to law school has been accepted to one or more law schools where they applied. Based on the most recent statistics from the Law School Admissions Council, Wheaton seniors, on average, scored almost nine points higher on the LSAT than their national peers, placing them at 84th percentile.

When you study pre-law at Wheaton College, you’ll learn what it looks like to demonstrate love through stewardship and service, promote justice, and restore shalom through the integration of biblical and legal principles. And you’ll understand why the decision to go to law school should be motivated by a desire to use God-given gifts and talents to glorify God.

If you choose to go on to law school, you’ll be prepared to serve as an instrument of God’s love to your neighbors in the practice of law — clients, colleagues, administrative staff, opposing counsel and their clients, judges, witnesses, and others.

You’ll learn the types of intellectual skills tested by the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and understand the importance of preparing for the LSAT through self-directed practice tests and study or a reputable commercial test preparation service. We also offer free, proctored, on-campus LSAT practice tests under test conditions. You’ll learn about the components of a law school application (the application, the LSAT score, transcripts, the personal statement, the resume, and letters of recommendation) and how to use those components to present themselves to decision makers both truthfully and in the best light. And you’ll learn about the merit-based nature of law school financial aid, the sources of financial aid, the financial aid application process, and the importance of financial aid in making a final decision about which law school to attend.

Wheaton College is committed to pre-law advising with The William Volkman Chair of Business and Law. The Volkman Chair is held by a tenure-track professor who teaches law-related classes in the Department of Business and Economics and Department of Politics and International Relations and who serves as your Pre-Law advisor.

  • The Wheaton Mock Trial offers a hands-on exploration of the theory and practice of trial advocacy through competition in intercollegiate mock trial tournaments. Wheaton Team A is ranked 55th in the nation and Wheaton Team B is ranked 176th of the 680 teams from over 400 schools registered with the American Mock Trial Association.
  • The Wheaton College Undergraduate Law Review published its first issue in Spring 2016. As a student organization and publication, its goal is to publish a journal that glorifies God and exalts Christ through faithful scholarship, commitment to excellence, and a balanced engagement in the multifaceted nature of legal issues. In addition to providing a forum for legal issues, the WCLUR seeks to assist students in acclimating to the law review environment in preparation for law school.
  • Learn from speakers who represent a variety of career paths in the legal profession, such as solo practitioners, associates, and partners in large law firms, in-house counsel from corporations and non-profit associations, attorneys with public interest organizations, and government attorneys.
  • Develop one-on-one relationships with attorneys to obtain firsthand experiences in a law-related setting. These relationships range from one-time informational interviews to longer “shadowing” experiences, internships, and mentor relationships.
  • Law school fairs and workshops on law school applications and financing a legal education
  • Roundtable discussions with Wheaton College graduates who are current law students to learn about their experiences in law school and to answer questions about the transition from a Christian liberal arts college to a secular law school
  • Learning from seniors who are going straight through to law school about preparing for the LSAT and the various elements of the law school application

What Will I Learn?

Like most colleges, there is no formal “pre-law” major at Wheaton. Students who are successful in law school have majored in traditional subjects, such as political science, history, English, philosophy, or economics, while others have majored in areas as diverse as art, music, biblical studies, physics, and biology.

Law Courses - Students can explore various facets of the law through several undergraduate law courses in various departments, such as Introduction to Law, Business Law, Constitutional Law, International Law, and Philosophy of Law.

In addition to your major, you may wish to pursue courses that focus on the law and related matters. The Pre-Law Studies certificate is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide a concentration of coursework that supports the future study and practice of law.

Consult the course catalog for full listing of current courses available in this field.

Possible Careers for Pre-Law Students

Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Center for Vocation and Career will be happy to help you explore the career possibilities available for lawyers.

 

The mechanics of applying to law school involve assembling a mix of objective and subjective criteria.

  • Enroll with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and its Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
  • Prepare for and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
  • Submit transcripts to the CAS.
  • Draft a resume and a personal statement.
  • Collect letters of recommendation and have them submitted to the CAS.
  • Complete and submit a law school application.
  • Plan for financing a legal education.
  • Harvard Law School
  • Yale Law School
  • Columbia Law School
  • New York University School of Law
  • University of Chicago Law School
  • University of Michigan Law School
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • University of Virginia School of Law
  • Duke University School of Law
  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • University of California-Berkeley School of Law

If you decide not to be become a lawyer, there are still many career opportunities available to you after completing the Pre-Law program including: 

  • Paralegal/Legal Assistant
  • Legistlative Assistant
  • Human Resources Representative
  • Compliance Officer 
  • Accountant
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Mediator
  • Law Librarian
  • Government Relations Officer
  • many more!

 

Learning to brief cases [at Wheaton] has been so helpful in making the transition to law school. When everyone was struggling to grasp the concept, I was already in the know. — Jordan Nitz '14
I have such fond memories of constitutional law; I feel like I relive ‘the glory days’ when I give my judiciary lectures in my intro to American politics class. — Katherine Ann (Graham) Francis '09