Preparing for Law School

Brown students and alumni enjoy a high degree of success when applying to law school. Our data show that no particular pre-law track or academic concentration is required for admission to law school. Rather, law schools look for a core set of skills and values1 as a necessary foundation for success in legal  education and the profession. 

The American Bar Association encourages students to pursue a broad course of study that includes history, political thought, mathematical and financial skills, human behavior, and diverse cultures. As you plan your course of study, select courses that will help you develop the following skills and abilities: 

  • Analyzing and solving problems
  • Reading critically 
  • Writing well
  • Speaking effectively 
  • Listening closely
  • Researching 
  • Organizing tasks and managing your time
  • Serving others and promoting justice

Brown's database of concentrations, Focal Point, is an outstanding source of information for exploring possible areas of study that will develop the knowledge and skills that will serve you well in law school and beyond.

Service-oriented activities can further your general preparation for legal study and practice.  Whether you volunteer in the Providence community, in another area of the United States, or abroad, service is a natural extension of your learning and can help you connect your academic interests to life beyond Brown. Our website contains a wealth of Resources to guide you through your educational and co-curricular choices. 

As a potential law school applicant, you might also consider interning or working at a law firm, legal services bureau, advocacy or lobbying organization, a state legislature, the U.S. Congress, or some other setting where lawyers work.  Though not explicitly required for admission, these kinds of experiences can help you decide if law is the right career choice for you. Explore our Fields of Law page to learn more about the breadth of specializations in the legal profession.  

We encourage you to explore your interest in law broadly so you can make an informed choice to pursue law as an academic and professional direction.  Although you most likely associate being an attorney with the Juris Doctor degree, a number of academic programs and degrees lead to legal practice in one form or another. Explore our Legal Education page to learn more. 

1ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, 2009 Edition