Pre-Law Advising

To practice law, you must attend law school, earn a JD, and pass the state bar exam.  However, there are many other jobs that relate to law broadly defined and that do not require a JD. To find out if a law degree would compliment your area of interest, do some career exploration to identify your skills and values.

First step  decide if law is right for you

The UofL Career Development Center has online assessments (the Cards Career Navigator), or you can make an appointment to meet with a career counselor.  These assessments can help you choose your career based on your strengths and interests. They can also connect you to internship, shadowing, and part-time employment opportunities so you can get a sense of what different jobs are actually like.

Consider a career in Public Service or Public Affairs

If you are interested in working on policy change broadly applied to a group of individuals, you may want to consider a career in public affairs.  Many jobs in this area involve working with the law in some capacity (developing, implementing, or evaluating laws), but not practicing law.

Public Affairs Council – search for public affairs jobs, hiring & career management tips.

UofL School of Urban & Public Affairsfind degree options and opportunities.

Publicservicecareers.orglearn about professional jobs in the public sector.

Planning Your Public Interest Career - sponsored by Harvard Law School

Consider a career in teaching law

If you decide that you want to study and teach aspects of the law but not practice law, consider investigating the Master’s and PhD programs in social sciences or humanities.  For a listing of UofL graduate programs, visit the website for the UofL School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

Masters of Legal Studies Program
Consider these programs as alternatives to a J.D. or as potential stepping stones to law school.

Read what others have to saw about law school

“Understanding Law School: 3 Common Misperceptions" (Achimalbe, Shannon. 2014)

“Are American Law Schools Failing?" (Tamanaha, Brian. 2013)

The Law School Scam.” The Atlantic" (Campus, Paul. 2014)

“Seven Reasons You Shouldn’t Go to Law School" (Taub, Amanda. 2015)

“Four Charts That Explain Why America Has Too Many Law Schools" (Kitroeff, Natalie. 2015)

"What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices" (William D. Henderson and Andrew P. Morriss, The National Law Journal 2008)

      Getting started

      If you've considered all of your options and interests and are ready to pursue and undergraduate degree that leads to law school, learn more from the following topics:

      Choosing an Undergraduate Major

      Choosing and Applying to Law School

      Career Planning

      More Pre-Law Resource Centers