Pre-Law

Pre-Law

According to the American Bar Association, a Lawyer is "a licensed professional who advises and represents others in legal matters, who must uphold the law while also protecting a client's rights." Lawyers can advise and represent individuals, businesses, or government agencies on legal issues and disputes.

How to become a Lawyer:

1.      It is recommended that you receive exposure to the field prior to entrance into law school.

  • To validate your interest in the law, you should engage in practical learning opportunities such as internships or volunteering. 
  • Research the profession with recommended books and conduct informational interviews with professionals. 
  • Join student organizations to share ideas and questions with students who are also interested in a career in law.

2.      Obtain a bachelor's degree in any major. 

  • Start looking into graduate programs that interest you early in your college career so you will be aware of their requirements and coursework.
  • See Academic Requirements below.

3.      Prepare for and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
4.      Choose an area of law you would be interested in practicing and determine if there are specific programs to help you focus in any of these specific areas.

  • Criminal Law (prosecutors and defense attorneys)
  • Government Counsels
  • Corporate Counsels
  • Legal Aid/Public Service
  • Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy
  • Technology and Intellectual Property Law
  • Family and Juvenile Law International Law
  • Health Law and Policy
  • Entrepreneurial and Business Law
  • Securities
  • Litigation
  • Tax Law

5.      Apply to various law schools through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC)

6.      Complete three to four years at an ABA-accredited law school.
7.      Prepare for and take the State Bar Exam in the state in which you want to practice as a lawyer.

  • In Colorado, the bar exam is held twice yearly, on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July, with 12 hours of testing time. Cost of Bar Exam Application is $710.00.
  • The Colorado Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) consists of three parts:  The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE).  In order to pass the Colorado Bar Exam, an examinee must score 276 scale points (of a possible 400).
  • Most states have their own Bar Exam and you must pass it in order to practice law in that state. Most bar exams are administered twice a year, take roughly 12-18 hours to complete and are spread over two-three days.

8.      Pass a character and fitness review.
9.      Complete your Oath swearing to support the laws and the state and federal constitutions.
10.  Receive your license! **Most states will require you to participate in continuing legal education every year-three years.

Academic Requirements

Pre-law is any studies or activities that help prepare you for law school.  Pre-law is not a major at UCCS and you still must select a degree option.  There is no prescribed or preferred major for students who want to become lawyers and the ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education.  Rather, there are certain skills and types of knowledge that will train you best for law school.  These core skills, values, knowledge, and experience include:

  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking & Reading
  • Writing & Editing
  • Oral Communication & Listening
  • Research
  • Organization & Management
  • Public Service & Promotion of Justice
  • Relationship-building & Collaboration
  • Background Knowledge
  • Exposure to the Law

The best preparation for law school will involve choosing a major that relates best to your interests and abilities and helps develop the previously mentioned skills.

Schools & Programs

Click here for the LSAC official guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools

ABA-Approved Law Schools in Colorado:

Additional Resources and Links