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Law-Related Courses

There is no formal schema for CLA pre-law students to follow concerning which courses to take or when to take them. Law schools look favorably upon students who have a broad base of coursework in the liberal arts. Having said this, there are certain courses which help to develop skills useful or even necessary for studying law, and others can provide you with an understanding of the larger social and ideological contexts surrounding the study of law. It should however be emphasized that the courses listed below are not necessary as background for success in law school, and there are probably many more which you could find useful in preparing for law school. Remember that every law-related course you take is one less course you can take in other areas, and law schools tend to look less favorably upon a transcript filled with law-related courses. s



Law schools expect that students will be able to:

  • read and understand large quantities of information.

  • think critically about issues and reason through complex problems.

  • communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. 

  • research efficiently.

  • be familiar with the basic social, economic and political contexts surrounding the American legal system.

Generally speaking, courses in the humanities and social sciences, particularly history, literature, and philosophy, often require a heavy reading and writing load, as well as assignments which demand critical analysis.  Courses in logic, mathematics, and the natural sciences can train a student in analytical thinking. Courses in anthropology, psychology, and sociology teach theories of human behavior, both at the individual level and at the societal level. Many communication courses emphasize developing articulateness in written and oral communication.


Following is a list of particular courses which may be of interest to the pre-law student. This list can be found in the  Pre-Professional Advising section in the Temple University Undergraduate Bulletin, which can be accessed online at http://www.temple.edu/bulletin/ugradbulletin/cla.htm#advising. Please note that this list is not to be taken as exhaustive.



To develop a basic knowledge of the legal system and connected issues:

American Studies 0109 -- Courtroom in American Society
Anthropology 0223 -- Comparative Law
Criminal Justice 0150 -- Introduction to Criminal Law
Criminal Justice 0243 -- American Jury System
Criminal Justice 0247 -- Criminal Procedure: Prosecution and Adjudication
History R267 -- Race & U.S. Constitution
Philosophy C062 -- Morality and the Law
Philosophy 0154 -- Political Philosophy 
Philosophy 0243 -- Philosophy of Law
Political Science 0117 -- American Constitutional Principles I 
Political Science 0118 -- American Constitutional Principles II
Political Science 0270- Classics in Political Philosophy
Sociology 0270 -- Sociology of Law
Sociology 0283 -- Social Movements
Women's Studies 0273 -- Women and Criminal Justice 


To develop communications skills:

Communication Sciences 0180 -- Introduction to Linguistics
Communication Sciences 0214 -- Conflict and Communication
English W103 -- Writing the Research Essay 
English W101 -- Developing Prose Style 
English Upper level literature courses 
Speech Communication 0065 -- Public Speaking 
Speech Communication 0180 -- Persuasion 


To develop analytical reasoning skills:

Philosophy C055 -- Critical Thinking 
Philosophy C066 -- Logic 
Philosophy 0100 -- Introduction to Philosophy 
Philosophy 0121 -- Introduction to Ethics 
Speech Communication 0174 -- Argumentation 
Courses in Computer Science and Mathematics 
Courses in Natural Science



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