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What Are the Different Types of Law School Prerequisites?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2016
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The different types of law school prerequisites mainly involve a bachelor's or higher degree, a good score on an official admissions test, previous legal work experience, a letter of recommendation and a panel interview. Not all law schools expect applicants to have every type of prerequisite. The amount of weight given to each prerequisite also varies depending on the specific law school. In addition to the formal prerequisites for law school admission, approval committees also look for strong communication skills.

Both oral and written language skills are considered to be crucial abilities in candidates for law school. While many law schools are flexible in the type of bachelor's or other degree an applicant has, proper grammar, spelling and punctuation are always expected. Degree subjects for law school prerequisites must be seen by admissions councils as relevant to the kind of lawyer the prospect wants to become. For instance, an educational background in sociology may be considered appropriate for a human rights lawyer, while an accounting degree is likely to be evaluated as more suitable for an aspiring tax attorney. Some schools place more weight on a multi-disciplinary degree curriculum with a wider range of courses such as a program of foreign languages, science, philosophy, math and English.

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A high, or at least passing, score on a law school admission test is a main prerequisite in being accepted to pursue a legal education. The allowable passing score will depend on a particular school's standards. Typically, the more prestigious the law school, the higher the score required for entry. If the applicant has previous legal work experience, this is usually given consideration and may or may not carry more weight than other law school prerequisites. If a letter of recommendation is given from a well-known firm in which the candidate has gained previous experience, some law schools may give it considerable weight toward acceptance.

Passing a panel interview by a law school admissions council or other deciding body is a common prerequisite. Depending on the particular school as well as the applicant's location, the interview may be done over the telephone or face to face. Since entry into this education is typically competitive, the interview component of law school prerequisites gives candidates a chance to answer questions to promote themselves as the best fit. The interviews also allow the decision makers for admission to meet or at least speak with each law school candidate to add more depth to the paper application and admission test score.

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