It is that time of year again! Each semester we receive many questions from pre-law students regarding courses helpful in preparation for law school in advance of course registration. To assist in this process, Pre-Law Advising has made a handy chart with suggested classes pre-law students might find useful and interesting in planning and exploring a legal education.
In general, students interested in going to law school should take classes that focus on analytical and critical thinking, communication, research and writing, and when possible – legal topics of interest. The recommended course list includes classes from many different disciplines that might serve one, or more, of these goals. Take a look at the chart to find courses that are both interesting to you and will help build necessary skills for law school.
Click Here for the list of Spring 2022 Recommended courses!
Please keep in mind that this list should not be viewed as exhaustive as there are many beneficial courses offered each semester. This list should be used to highlight courses of particular interest and give a broad overview of options.
Want to learn more?
See what fellow Illini say are some of the most helpful courses at Illinois…
Abbey is currently the Vice President of the Pre-Law Honors Society and shared the following perspectives on her list of favorite pre-law related course…
- Phil 102 – Logic and Reasoning – This class was great for learning simple logic and being able to understand and work with complex arguments.
- PS 270 – Intro to Political Theory – This class was helpful for getting comfortable with older texts and being able to put ideas about different political ideologies together.
- PS 301 – The US Constitution I – This class helps you set a foundation for understanding how to brief cases, and the different branches of government, specifically the judicial branch.
- PS 370 – Justice in the Law – This class was useful for reading and discussing a lot of court cases and practicing briefing skills. You learn how to brief cases in a way that helps you to truly understand and connect certain cases to the bigger picture of law.
- PS 492 – Undergrad Research – I did undergrad research for Prof. Samantha Frost, and found it to be super beneficial. I got to work with a team of research assistants and collaborate on a 25 page research paper. There are tons of professors who are looking for research interns, all you have to do is reach out to them via email to express your interest!
- PS 375 – Feminist Political Theory – This class is very beneficial if you want to work on your writing skills. You get to learn different political theories, how they are connected, and how to form your opinions on which theories are the most effective and why.
MaryAllison is currently a student at the University of Illinois College of Law where she serves as the Notes Editor on the Elder Law Journal. She will graduate as a double Illini in spring 2022 before sitting for the bar examination! Take a moment to view her list of favorite pre-law related course from her time as a University of Illinois undergraduate student and perspectives as a current law student…
- LAW 199: I took this my first year of college and honestly wish I would’ve wait to take it later because I completely forgot what it was like before law school. I believe the topics change each semester; when I took it, it was topics in domestic violence law. It was an awesome class, and a great primer to what law school is like.
- CMN 101: Public Speaking. Pretty sure everyone has to take this, or most people, it was a good class and got me comfortable speaking publicly.
- CMN 220: Communicating Public Policy. An interesting introduction to what public policy is, how people create policy and laws, and what it looks like in the public sector. If you want to go into government, its a great class.
- CMN 323: Argumentation. While this isn’t exactly the type of arguing you’ll be doing in law school, it helped me learn how to form arguments and use evidence to back up my claims.
- SOC 275: Criminology. An interesting view of social factors that relate to crime. I really liked this class and found it very interesting, especially for someone who wanted to go to law school.
- CMN 211: Business Communication. A great class to help you with resume tweaking, interview prep, and making presentations! While it is more business oriented, I found my resume was helped a LOT from this class and I got a lot of interview experience in, which you’ll need in law school.
- LAW 301: Intro to Law. While I didn’t take this class, I’ve heard many people liked it and it was a good introduction to topics that you’ll learn about in law school…
Considering possible minors?
Check out information about the Legal Studies Minor, including Q&A with Professor Pahre: Legal Studies Minor At A Glance
Still Not sure what to take?
Schedule a pre-law advising meeting to discuss course options!