Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2023-2024

Pre-Law (advising track)

VCU Student Success

 
Program description

Students interested in a pre-law track may pursue any undergraduate major as there are no particular prerequisites or specific majors necessary for entrance to law school. 


Because students cannot earn a specific pre-law degree,  students with an interest in preparing for law school must declare an academic major.  Pre-law students are encouraged to major in fields of  interest to them and develop their reading comprehension, writing, research, and analytical skills.  Students wishing to specialize in a particular area of law may choose majors from academic disciplines as diverse as art, music, computer science, engineering, nursing, education, business or social work. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for a legal education. 


VCU Career Services supports aspiring law students by offering career advisory services regarding the law school admissions process.  Pre-law advising through Career Services does not guarantee admission to law school. Students must apply separately to law schools of their choice at the appropriate time.

Career opportunities

Lawyers or attorneys represent and provide legal advice to clients, participate in legal proceedings, and may draft legal documents or oversee legal transactions.  They work for law firms, private businesses, government agencies, and public interest organizations.  Lawyers may choose to specialize in a particular area such as criminal law, corporate law, intellectual property, family law, or environmental law or may be general practitioners.


A lawyer should be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; strong writing skills are required to prepare briefs and other legal documents.  They may be required to identify risks and effectively communicate the same to clients and represent them during litigation.  In addition, lawyers must be able to work independently with strong attention to detail with the ability to organize and prioritize a heavy workload, conduct research, critically analyze information, review contracts, evaluate evidence, and interpret previous court findings.

Change of major requirements

None.


Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Attorney
  • Congressperson
  • Judge
  • Lawyer
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • Quantitative Foundations requirement only
Science required
  • Natural Sciences requirement only
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • Focus on achieving a high GPA for more likely acceptance into law school: a 3.0+ cumulative GPA is recommended.
Department name:
VCU Career Services
Building/room location:
University Student Commons, 907 Floyd Avenue #143, Richmond, VA 23284
Phone:
(804) 828-1645
Email:
careers@vcu.edu
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe Park

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Enroll in a student success course to connect with campus advisors and build community around your interests and goals.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in the DegreeWorks Student Educational Planner.
  • Meet with a writing consultant to hone your writing skills.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and choose electives.
  • Sharpen your study skills in supplemental instruction sessions at the Campus Learning Center.
  • Prioritize your grades since GPA is an important factor for law school admission.
  • Pursue a major that interests you and focus on developing your reading comprehension, writing, research, and analytical skills—there are no required majors or prerequisite classes for law school.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Apply to live in a program-in-residence or a living learning community.
  • Consider applying to the Honors College.
  • Get involved, meet people, and develop your interests by joining one of VCU's 50 student clubs and organizations.
  • If living on campus, connect with your Resident Assistant, attend hall events, and participate in Community Council.
  • Participate in RAM CAMP to get a jump start on learning about VCU’s campus community.
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s many museums and parks.
  • Consider joining the Pre-Law Society or other student organizations that interest you.
DEVELOP CULTURAL AGILITY
EXPLORE CAREERS AND DEVELOP ESSENTIAL SKILLS
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Look for writing-intensive classes within your major or consider writing-focused classes outside of your major.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
DEVELOP CULTURAL AGILITY
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Volunteer with vulnerable or underserved communities, focusing on depth of experiences instead of breadth and reflecting on the challenges various populations might face within the legal system.
EXPLORE CAREERS AND DEVELOP ESSENTIAL SKILLS
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Apply for the Virginia Capitol Semester program to develop exposure to the legislative process.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Build a resume and LinkedIn profile with help from VCU Career Services, make at least 10 connections, and check out the VCU alumni career programs page.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Meet with a coach in the Financial Success Center to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Review resources on the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
DEVELOP CULTURAL AGILITY
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Continue your volunteer experiences to develop long-term relationships and get more involved in the organization.
EXPLORE CAREERS AND DEVELOP ESSENTIAL SKILLS
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Get expert advice from VCU Alumni ranging from graduate school to your career simply by asking a question through Ask A Ram.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • If considering time off before law school, talk to your career advisor about your plans for your gap year(s).
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Draft your personal statement and have it reviewed by your career advisor.
  • Research and contact law schools that interest you, make a list of minimum LSAT scores, and get ready to take the LSAT.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
DEVELOP CULTURAL AGILITY
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
EXPLORE CAREERS AND DEVELOP ESSENTIAL SKILLS
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Ask your mentors and other potential recommenders to write a letter of recommendation.
  • Most law schools have rolling admissions with fewer seats left as the final deadline approaches so try to apply early in the cycle before December 1.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2023-2024

Pre-Law (advising track)

VCU Student Success

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY DEVELOP CULTURAL AGILITY EXPLORE CAREERS AND DEVELOP ESSENTIAL SKILLS PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Enroll in a student success course to connect with campus advisors and build community around your interests and goals.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in the DegreeWorks Student Educational Planner.
  • Meet with a writing consultant to hone your writing skills.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and choose electives.
  • Sharpen your study skills in supplemental instruction sessions at the Campus Learning Center.
  • Prioritize your grades since GPA is an important factor for law school admission.
  • Pursue a major that interests you and focus on developing your reading comprehension, writing, research, and analytical skills—there are no required majors or prerequisite classes for law school.
  • Apply to live in a program-in-residence or a living learning community.
  • Consider applying to the Honors College.
  • Get involved, meet people, and develop your interests by joining one of VCU's 50 student clubs and organizations.
  • If living on campus, connect with your Resident Assistant, attend hall events, and participate in Community Council.
  • Participate in RAM CAMP to get a jump start on learning about VCU’s campus community.
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s many museums and parks.
  • Consider joining the Pre-Law Society or other student organizations that interest you.
Experience Year 2
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Look for writing-intensive classes within your major or consider writing-focused classes outside of your major.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Volunteer with vulnerable or underserved communities, focusing on depth of experiences instead of breadth and reflecting on the challenges various populations might face within the legal system.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Apply for the Virginia Capitol Semester program to develop exposure to the legislative process.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Build a resume and LinkedIn profile with help from VCU Career Services, make at least 10 connections, and check out the VCU alumni career programs page.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Meet with a coach in the Financial Success Center to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Review resources on the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) website.
Year 3
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Continue your volunteer experiences to develop long-term relationships and get more involved in the organization.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Get expert advice from VCU Alumni ranging from graduate school to your career simply by asking a question through Ask A Ram.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • If considering time off before law school, talk to your career advisor about your plans for your gap year(s).
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Draft your personal statement and have it reviewed by your career advisor.
  • Research and contact law schools that interest you, make a list of minimum LSAT scores, and get ready to take the LSAT.
Excel Year 4
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Ask your mentors and other potential recommenders to write a letter of recommendation.
  • Most law schools have rolling admissions with fewer seats left as the final deadline approaches so try to apply early in the cycle before December 1.