Best Pre Law Schools In The South

Last Updated on February 15, 2023 by

If you plan to practice law in the United States, you must earn a law degree and pass the bar exam. While that may seem a long way off for an aspiring lawyer, your journey to your law degree and your dream career starts with your decision in your college and your major in your undergrad years.

There are lots of factors to consider if you one day plan to be a lawyer and want to start your education off right. It’s a big decision since the right school can help your chances of getting into your top law program, which can in turn help you land the job you’ve been thinking about for years.

Information on the best pre law schools in the south, including best pre law schools in new york, pre law programs for undergraduates, best pre law schools in massachusetts, best pre law schools in california, and best suny schools for pre law. You will also find related articles on best pre law schools in the south on collegelearner.

What Is Pre-Law?

Pre-Law students are those who have decided in their undergrad careers that they intend to go on to law school. Pre-law is an unofficial track in a lot of schools, as most colleges and universities do not have an official pre-law major. Unlike pre-med, there is no specific required coursework for pre-law students to qualify for law school, and there are very few official undergraduate law degrees.

Pre-law students have a variety of majors, and it’s most important that pre-law students demonstrate academic excellence and leadership. Law schools prefer students with majors that also demonstrate a challenging coursework that’s heavy in writing, analysis, and critical thinking. Many students who major in the humanities have success in their law school applications and in their academics once they begin their law school coursework.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Pre-Law School

Choosing where you go to college is a big decision no matter what, and you have to remember that where you complete your undergrad can affect your law school applications in certain ways. Law schools do consider where you attended undergrad in terms of academic rigor, and where you attend undergrad can help you build connections and a strong application.

While the schools on this list can help you excel and provide wonderful resources for your law school career, it’s important to excel at your school and in your major, both academically and in your social or extracurricular activities. As you research schools, keep in mind that you want to make sure you choose the right school for you that will allow you to get the most out of your education and choose the best pre-law school for you.

Major

Since law schools want students that are academically strong and have analytical skills, you want to pick a school with a strong humanities program where you will become a well-rounded student. Common majors for law school are: political science, history, English, criminal justice, business, philosophy, economics, and other arts and humanities. Law schools love majors that prove you’re a critical thinker, and your GPA will be vital for getting into your top law school choices. It is really great in this case to get your bachelor’s in something you love and can excel at.

Clubs and Organizations

Most colleges and universities have many student organizations where you can develop and cultivate your interests. Extracurriculars look great on your law school applications, especially if you are a leader of any of those organizations. You can join anything that interests you, but organizations that are well established and are a chapter of a national or international group are helpful because they are recognizable and you may be able to forge connections based on these groups.

Additionally, you should also choose a few organizations and stick with them, instead of joining a lot of groups that you can’t balance. This shows commitment, which law schools are looking for in applicants. Law school is tough, and admissions committees want to make sure you’re ready for the challenge!

If you’re looking for law-based extracurriculars, Phi Alpha Delta is an international fraternity that offers membership to law students and students who are pre-law or planning to attend law school. PAD can help guide students through the law school application process, and help you build connections with fellow law students.

Feeder Schools

Some of the best pre-law schools are known for being “feeder schools” for top law schools. If your goal is to go to a top-ranked law school, you definitely want to look into the big feeder schools, even if they don’t have a pre-law major. Even if it’s not a feeder school, there are a lot of schools with amazing reputations and great track records for getting students into law school.

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Cost

Cost is a huge factor for many college students. While it’s exciting to consider going to a top university and it may help your law school application, you may want to think about saving money now so you can attend a more expensive school later.

A state school in your state, or one where you can commute if that’s possible, can help lower the cost of your undergrad tuition. A lot of students find it helpful to work hard at a state or local university for undergrad and do well on their LSATs, so they can save money and still attend a top ranked law school.

Should You Actually Major in Pre-Law?

If your university offers a pre-law major, you’ll study the legal and criminal justice system, legal philosophy, writing, legal history, and more. You’ll gain a thorough understanding of the law, and will develop critical thinking skills.

If you major in pre-law, you will have a better understanding of how law school works, and you may also have an advantage on the LSAT. Being a pre-law major can also help you determine if the law path is right for you before making the commitment to go to law school. Being a pre-law major can also show your dedication to becoming a lawyer, and can help you make connections and get faculty recommendations.

Best Pre Law Schools In The South

Pre-Law students are those who have decided in their undergrad careers that they intend to go on to law school. Pre-law is an unofficial track in a lot of schools, as most colleges and universities do not have an official pre-law major. Unlike pre-med, there is no specific required coursework for pre-law students to qualify for law school, and there are very few official undergraduate law degrees.

Pre-law students have a variety of majors, and it’s most important that pre-law students demonstrate academic excellence and leadership. Law schools prefer students with majors that also demonstrate a challenging coursework that’s heavy in writing, analysis, and critical thinking. Many students who major in the humanities have success in their law school applications and in their academics once they begin their law school coursework.

University of Virginia School of Law (Charlottesville, VA)

University of Virginia School of Law
Mmw3v at English Wikipedia, University of Virginia School of Law, frontCC BY 3.0

Widely considered among the top law schools worldwide, the University of Virginia School of Law had an amazing bar passage rate of near 100% in 2020.

Additionally, the Princeton Review names UVA as having the #1 quality of life of all law schools in the entire nation.

There is even a designation for the top law schools in the nation called “T14” – names on the list include places like Columbia, Harvard, and Stanford. 

UVA is, in fact, one of these T14 schools.

One of the amazing things about UVA’s program is the study abroad opportunities the school affords its students. A number of international exchange programs exist, including those with law schools in countries such as Israel, Australia, and Japan.

Wake Forest University School of Law (Winston-Salem, NC)

With only about 40 law students in each first-year section, Wake Forest University offers an intimate learning environment and a tight-knit campus community. 

Current first-year enrollment at Wake Forest Law is 167, and the student-faculty ratio at the school is 7.4:1.

The school provides students with a traditional classroom experience, paired with an emphasis on service-based education. 

The first-year curriculum includes the customary course offerings and a required professional development course intended to help students develop an understanding of the connection between legal theory and legal practice. 

After completing the first year, Wake Forest law students have the opportunity to work with a faculty advisor to create their own upper-level course plan tailored to their professional goals.  

George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School (Arlington, VA)

Located in close proximity to Washington DC, the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School sits at the heart of one of the nation’s most important political and legal centers.

The school offers its students an almost unparalleled array of employment opportunities in many areas of government and federal agencies and the area’s numerous private law firms.

The college has 16 different clinical programs, through which students can gain invaluable hands-on experience with representing clients, legal writing, preparing cases, and more.   

Emphasizing the intersection of law and economics, Scalia Law prepares its graduates exceedingly well for careers in the business sector. Over half of Scalia Law graduates are employed at the time of graduating from the school. 

Additionally, Scalia Law students have a history of landing stellar clerkship positions after graduation. 

William & Mary Law School (Williamsburg, VA)

Only an hour from Richmond and Virginia Beach and three hours from Washington, DC, William & Mary Law School is a suburban public university located in Williamsburg, VA. 

One of the oldest law schools in the United States, W&M Law has a long-standing commitment to training citizen lawyers, or lawyers who work first and foremost to pursue the public good.

Affectionately referred to by students as “the ‘Burg,” Williamsburg boasts its deep sense of reverence for its historical roots, as well as its vibrant, dynamic collegiate atmosphere. The town’s suburban environment 

W&M Law students have access to all the amenities and opportunities that come with living in a city, but in a place small enough to maintain the intimate, close-knit community atmosphere of living in a small town.  

Washington & Lee University School of Law (Lexington, VA)

The School of Law at Washington & Lee University is a small private school located in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley, only about 3 hours away from Washington, DC. 

The student-to-faculty ratio is 7.3:1, so students can expect small class sizes. 

At W&L Law, students do not have to select a particular concentration, but rather have the opportunity to personalize their education through selecting elective courses. 

The school offers a handful of options for clinical programs, including one in which students help coal miners who developed black lung disease with getting federal benefits. 

Another clinic allows students to work with attorneys who are representing defendants facing the death penalty. 

Around 20% of those who graduate from W&L Law go on to practice law in Washington. 

Emory University School of Law (Atlanta, GA)

Emory University School of Law
Daniel MayerEmory University School of LawCC BY-SA 3.0

Emory University School of Law is currently tied for the #29 rank among law schools in the country, according to the US News and World Report’s annual list

The school is located in Atlanta, Georgia, one of the most affordable metropolitan areas in the United States. The city is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, as well as the world’s busiest airport. 

Emory students are thus able to benefit from close proximity to this hub for all the business, travel, and legal activity that have earned the city the nickname “the gateway to the world.” 

With over 60 student organizations to choose from, students at Emory have many opportunities to get involved on campus, build their resumes, and establish network connections.   

University of Georgia School of Law (Athens, GA)

The University of Georgia School of Law is a public institution located in Athens, GA. 

The average enrollment at the school is around 600, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7.7:1. 

An impressive 80% of all students at Georgia Law receive scholarship aid, while an even greater 100% of first-generation graduate students and military veterans get financial aid scholarships.

Georgia Law offers many concurrent enrollment programs in which students can earn an additional degree during their second and third years of law school. Concurrent enrollment programs can be taken through any of the university’s 17 other schools and colleges. 

The School of Law emphasizes global opportunities, offering students a variety of study abroad programs, work abroad programs, and other global experiences. 

University of Alabama School of Law (Tuscaloosa, AB)

Founded in 1872, the University of Alabama School of Law was the first law school in the state of Alabama. Today, it is the only public law school in the state.

The school is located in Tuscaloosa, or “T-Town,” along the Black Warrior River in West Alabama. 

The city is within a few hours of major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans.

Beyond its advantageous location, the University of Alabama School of Law has a tradition of producing highly successful students. 

Within ten months of graduation, an astounding 96.1% of the Alabama Law graduating class of 2020 was either employed or pursuing another degree. 

The school also boasts a 93.6% bar passage rate for first-time test takers. 

University of North Carolina School of Law (Chapel Hill, NC)

Founded in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first public university in the country. According to the Wall Street Journal’s 2022 college rankings, UNC is the best public university in the entire southern United States. 

Although UNC Law was established 56 years later in 1845, it has come to earn itself prominent distinction as an elite law school, ranking #20 in reputation among lawyers and judges. 

The school has a long-standing tradition of producing top lawyers, providing high-quality legal education through a number of rigorous, hands-on, interdisciplinary academic programs.  

The city of Chapel Hill is known to offer numerous social and professional opportunities and a vibrant music scene, historic architecture, and all the city amenities students at UNC Law could ever need. 

University of Florida Levin College of Law (Gainesville, FL)

University of Florida Levin College of Law
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

Located in the sunny city of Gainesville, within a two-hour drive of Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa, the University of Florida Levin College of Law is the oldest operating law school in the state of Florida.

The college is known for its robust alumni network, called the UF Law “Gator Nation.” 

This network consists of over 21,500 graduates from all over the world, many of whom remain involved with the school through offering mentorship, connections, and professional opportunities to current UF Law students. 

For those who are interested in practicing tax law, UF Law is a great choice, as their tax law program is currently ranked second in the nation. In fact, the school is in the top 25 law schools in the country in general, so UF Law evidently has a lot to offer all of its students.  

Vanderbilt University Law School (Nashville, TN)

Founded in 1874, Vanderbilt University Law School is an elite law school located just over a mile from the heart of downtown Nashville. 

Named America’s “friendliest city” by the Travel + Leisure magazine, Nashville is known as a hub for a number of industries, including music, research, and business. 

The Vanderbilt campus is home to over 300 species of trees and shrubs, earning it designation as a national arboretum since 1988. 

The weather is mild year-round, allowing students to enjoy outdoor activities no matter the time of year. 

Vanderbilt’s first-year curriculum consists primarily of required courses, while the second- and third-year curricula allow students great freedom in selecting elective courses that align with their passions. 

Duke University School of Law (Durham, NC)

Duke University School of Law is ranked #10 among the top law schools in the country, according to the 2022 list by the US News and World Report. 

With an acceptance rate of only 20.2%, Duke Law is the eleventh most selective law school in the country. 

However, this selectivity is not unwarranted, as the school has a highly prestigious reputation for its high-quality academics and extensive resources, including its professors.   

With a 5.2:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Duke law students have the opportunity to receive ample guidance and direct attention from the school’s highly respected, expert faculty. 

Duke’s location is also known for being stellar — Durham has been named the second-best place to live among the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States. 

Which School is Right for Me?

The law schools at the University of South Carolina and the University of Charleston provide law school students with an incredible education. The job placement rates are fairly high at each institution.

South Carolina doesn’t have as many options for law school compared to other states. However, neither law school in South Carolina is considered inferior compared to the rest of the nation so that you can count on high-quality education.


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