Pre-Law at UNC

Though UNC has a pre-law program that freshmen often mistake for a major, there is no pre-law major at UNC. UNC is like nearly all other universities in offering no specific vocational program in law. What it does offer is a broad liberal education that is the basis for success in the law. There are many majors that can give you insight into the law and help you develop skills that will prove helpful with your legal studies.

You can, of course, choose a vocational major such as Accounting. Or you can choose a major that emphasizes a sound liberal arts education—Philosophy, perhaps (maybe with an emphasis in Ethics and Public Policy), or Political Science, History, or English. Such majors typically require that you write well and often, and they encourage clarity in speech and thinking as well. They prepare you with the skills and confidence for any job. You couldn’t go wrong if you chose a political science major, a philosophy major, or a legal studies minor, for example, not because they offer specific training in legal studies alone, but because they are good programs that will provide you with the sort of solid undergraduate education that law schools look for in their applicants.

The US Supreme Court Building

The US Supreme Court Building

You may ask, “Why should I select law for a career?” William A. Brennan, U.S. Supreme Court, retired, argued: “There are several reasons, but one that particularly comes to mind. Only by preserving, enriching and strengthening the rule of law can this nation continue to be the world’s foremost commonwealth respecting and furthering the dignity of every human being in it. Law schools have a major role in the job of thinking through just what it is, to achieve our goals, we must inculcate about the rule of law and the Bill of Rights.” Stephen Gillers, ed., Looking at Law School, Rev. and Expanded Fourth edition, New York: Penguin Books, 1997, p. x.

Many law schools have admitted UNC students who have subsequently become successful law students. UNC alums are currently studying law at the University of Colorado, Denver University, and the University of Wyoming, as well as other prestigious American law schools. Remember, of the more than 100 students at UNC who declare an interest in a legal career in their first year at UNC, fewer than 10 to 15 students enroll in law school after graduation from UNC. Choose the strongest general education courses and a good, solid major.

Now is the time to come by our office (McKee 318, Greeley, CO 80639; telephone: (970) 351-2572) and pick up an LSAT booklet, take a practice test, and start preparing to do well. Pick up your pre-law handbook in McKee 318.

If you would like additional information about the Pre-Law Program at UNC contact:

  • Paul Hodapp, Philosophy, McKee 318, Pre-Law Advisor and Coordinator of the Legal Studies Minor
    Phone: (970) 351-2574
    Fax: (970) 351-2311
    E-mail: paul.hodapp@unco.edu

    To contact Prof. Hodapp by mail, write to:
    Prof. Paul F. Hodapp
    Philosophy
    Campus Box 126
    University of Northern Colorado
    501 20th Street
    Greeley, Colorado  80639
  • Garth Allen, Finance, Kepner Hall 1090-F, Pre-Law Advisor
    Phone: (970) 351-1234
    E-mail: garth.allen@unco.edu

  • Lin Allen, Communication Studies, Candelaria 117, Pre-Law Advisor
    Phone: (970) 351-2655
    E-mail: lin.allen@unco.edu

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