Mr. Michael Haas, UNCW pre-law advisor
Dr. Jamie McClintock Brenner, University College academic advisor – pre-professional
Ms. Carly Wilson, University College academic advisor – pre-professional
Students who plan to prepare for law school may select a major in any discipline that fulfills the requirements for a baccalaureate degree at UNCW. In developing a pre-law program, the student should be aware of the recommendation of the Association of American Law Schools, which describes the basic skills and insights it believes fundamental to the later attainment of legal competence. These are (a) comprehension and expression in words; (b) critical understanding of human institutions and values with which the law deals; and (c) creative power in thinking. In order to develop these capacities, the association recommends a pre-legal education of “the broadest scope.” To accomplish these goals the University of North Carolina Wilmington offers a wide range of pre-law courses. Although political science and business are frequently selected by pre-law students as their major, economics, English, history, sociology and others are sometimes selected. Regardless of the major, the pre-law student should be zealous in the selection of electives that will facilitate critical understanding of economic, political and social institutions. Since a lawyer must be able to communicate effectively, the pre-law student is well-advised to lay special emphasis on communicative skills. Also, knowledge of elementary accounting is highly recommended.
Finally, the pre-law student should remember that the quality of undergraduate instruction is more important than the subject matter area. The Association of American Law Schools recommends the selection of courses which require the greatest preparation and intellectual discipline. “The best trained applicant for law school,” states the association “is the student who has studied under teachers who have inspired, challenged, and pressed him.”
All candidates for law school should apply in time to ensure that their completed file is available by January 1 of the year they plan to enter. This means that they should register for either the June or September administration of the Law School Admissions Test and for the Law School Data Assembly Service. The LSAT and the LSDAS are explained fully in the Law School Admission Bulletin, which is available in the Department of Public and International Affairs. Additional information and advice may be secured from the pre-law advisor in the Department of Public and International Affairs.