Still looking for some fall courses? As you know, students in ANY major can attend law school, and there are NO specifically required courses for pre-law undergrads. However, given an interest in law, here are some fall courses that pre-law students may find particularly helpful and interesting. CLICK ON THIS LINK for a handy chart version of Fall 2019 course options. These courses are only suggestions and are not requirements. Check out Course Explorer and speak to your academic advisor about the best courses for you.
NONE of these classes is REQUIRED for law school. How did we pick them? We’ve simply chosen courses that build skills law schools like to see and/or cover topics of interest to many pre-law students. Please be aware that some of these classes listed and other summer classes have prerequisites. Check Course Explorer for details.
For more info on selecting courses that build academic skills for law school, visit this blog post.
AAS 370/LLS 372: Immigration, Law, and Rights. Exploration of the histories, cultures and experiences of immigration to the US by examining cultural production (literary and visual narratives and texts) alongside legal discourses (legislation, federal court cases).
ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning–Understanding financial instruments and tax implications is critical for many lawyers
ACE 306: Food Law and ACE 406: Environmental Law
ADV 310: Intro to Public Relations: Introduces the student to the practice and profession of public relations. Course material covers topics such as the history of public relations and the role of law and ethics in public relations.
Community Health courses are helpful for people interested in healthcare law, such as
- CHLH 100: Contemporary Health
- CHLH 101: Intro to Public Health
Communication courses are helpful, as all lawyers must demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills.
- CMN 101: Public Speaking (this is a prereq for most upper level CMN courses)
- CMN 211: Business Communication
- CMN 310: The Rhetorical Tradition
- CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
- CMN 323: Argumentation
ECON 484: Law and Economics Applications of economic theory to problems and issues in both civil and criminal law and the effect of legal rules on the allocation of resources.
EDUC 202: Social Justice, School & Society
English courses help develop writing, research, and analysis skills.
- ENGL 199: Career Planning for Humanities Majors
- ENGL 360: Environmental Writing (same as ESE 360)
ESE 210: Social & Environmental Issues and ESE 466: Environmental Policy for those interested in environmental law
FIN 241: Fundamentals of Real Estate A survey of real estate finance, appraisal, investment, law, brokerage, management, development and economics.
FSHN 101: Intro to Food Science & Nutrition Discusses the evolution of the food system to meet the needs and desires of a complex, heterogeneous society. Provides an overview of food in relation to nutrition and health, composition and chemistry, microbiology, safety, processing, preservation, laws and regulations, quality, and the consumer.
Geography courses may be particularly engaging for students interested in environmental issues, global politics, and/or international legal issues
- GEOG 101: Global Development & Environment
- GEOG 210: Social & Environmental Issues
GLBL 100: Intro to Global Studies; GLBL 260: Global Human Rights; GLBL 340: Policy & Governance
GWS 387/HIST 387: History of Sexuality in the U.S. Explores a wide variety of sources to understand how notions of sexuality have emerged and been contested at key moments in U.S. history. Our guiding questions include: How have “official” or governing discourses of sexuality (in law, medicine, religions, science) been formulated? In turn, how have “ordinary” people understood and practiced their sexuality? How has the meaning of particular sexual practices changed over time?
INFO 303: Writing Across Media, a skill that all careers integrate and value.
LAW 301: Introduction to Law
Serves as a general foundation course for those interested in applying to law school.
Labor & Employment Relations offers multiple courses for undergraduates on labor law and employment law issues, including:
- LER 100: Introduction to Labor Studies
- LER 290: Introduction to Employment Law
- LER 320: Gender, Race, Class, and Work
Philosophy options include:
- PHIL 102: Logic & Reasoning This course is particularly helpful for students who have yet to take the LSAT, as two sections of the LSAT are based on Logical Reasoning.
- PHIL 104/105: Intro to Ethics This course includes some basic exploration of ethics, including looking at the relationship between social morality and the law.
- PHIL 436: Philosophy of Law and of the State
Political Science options to explore specific legal areas include:
- PS 101: Intro to US Government & Politics
- PS 199: Politics, Power and Protest
- PS 220: Intro to Public Policy
- PS 225: Environmental Politics & Policy
- PS 280: Intro to International Relations
- PS 301/302: US Constitution I &II are helpful primers for law school
- PS 306: Judicial Politics
- PS 313: Congress and Foreign Policy
- PS 329: Immigration & Citizenship
- PS 491: Internship with the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office Unlike other internships that require a substantial research project completed in conjunction with the internship itself for academic credit, credit in this program is based on class meetings and structured assignments that integrate readings on political systems, the legal system, and constitutional and human rights, with on-the-job experience summarizing case files, witnessing trials and colloquies, and interviewing witnesses and clients. Students are supervised by the Champaign County Public Defender or attorneys in the office. Applications are due Thursday, April 4, by Noon. To apply, click on this link: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/7215596 . For more information, go here: https://pol.illinois.edu/academics/undergraduate-program/internships.
PSYC 468: Psych and Law
Examines relationship of the administrative, civil, and criminal justice systems to educational and mental health institutions; individual rights, social issues, and psychological well being.
- SOC 275: Criminology
- SOC 373: Social Inequality
- SOC 378: Sociology of Law
SOCW 200: Intro to Social Work studies systemic social issues and resources, working with vulnerable populations
Other courses to explore different areas of law include:
- JOUR 199: Free Speech & the Right to Offend (2nd 8 weeks) What is the law of Hate Speech? Cross Burning? Flag burning? Can you say the F-word? The N-word? Can a judge or the government do anything about it? This course separates the law from the B.S. and informs you in clear terms what you do and do not have a Constitutional right to say and do in America.
- JOUR 311: Media Law Detailed analysis of the theories of freedom of expression, the legal doctrines of greatest concern to mass communicators, and contemporary issues related to free speech and press, including libel, copyright, and news-gathering in a digital age.
- REL 214: Introduction to Islam History of Islamic thought from the time of Muhammad to the present, including the prophethood of Muhammad, the Qur’an, theology and law, mysticism and philosophy, sectarian movements, modernism and legal reform, and contemporary resurgence.
- RST 225: Environmental Politics & Policy (cross listed as PS 225) Examinations of the political, economic, ecological, and cultural trade-offs between the use and the preservation of the environment, with particular emphasis on the preservation of land and water resources in national parks, forests, and other reserved lands.
- RST 354: Legal Aspects of Sport A study of legal principles and their impact on the sport industry; the course examines the application of different areas of law including tort, contract, constitutional, anti-trust, and intellectual property law to professional, amateur and recreational sport.
- SE 400: Engineering Law – note – only prerequisite is Rhet 105. Course covers: nature and development of the legal system; legal rights and duties important to engineers in their professions; contracts, uniform commercial code and sales of goods, torts, agency, worker’s compensation, labor law, property, environmental law, intellectual property.
- TE 450: Startups: Incorporate, Fund, Contracts, Intellectual Property Explore legal tools used in constructing and operating companies. Topics include: issues with business formation, intellectual property, NDA, contracts, and other corporate legal issues impacting startups.
- UP 211: Local Planning, Government and Law Provides students with a basic understanding of the governmental structure, legal aspects, and practice of local municipal planning, with special emphasis on case law, constitutional principles, zoning, subdivision regulations and comprehensive planning. Gives an introduction for students interested in pursuing more advanced studies in land use law and local government planning.
Remember that these are only suggestions and that none of these courses is required for law school. Further, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. There are many other great courses described in the Course Explorer, some of which have prerequisites but are still open to undergrads. Do your own research and talk with your academic advisor to identify courses that are the best fit for you.