Many people think that law schools are looking for students who have majored in "pre-law" at the undergraduate level. Generally, however, law schools are interested in students who have liberal arts backgrounds with majors in a variety of academic fields. Most Geneseo students who are interested in legal careers major in areas including English, History, or Political Science. However, increasingly students with backgrounds in mathematics, economics, international relations, foreign languages, philosophy, and the sciences are desired by law schools given the diversification and internationalization of the legal field. Regardless of your major, law schools admit students with strong academic records suggesting that students should strive to achieve solid academic performance from the very start of their undergraduate studies.
The SUNY Geneseo pre-law program emphasizes an inter-disciplinary approach to undergraduate studies stressing critical thinking and the development of critical skills. It is recommended students interested in pre-law choose core courses which will teach you to read accurately, thoroughly, and rapidly; to speak and write clearly, persuasively, and accurately; to think precisely; and to analyze complex situations and concepts. The development of a critical approach and of orderly and mature study habits is essential, as is demonstrating your ability to succeed in challenging courses.
The SUNY Geneseo liberal arts core requirements are ideally suited to developing the broad cultural and intellectual background that is increasingly important for law school and a successful legal career. Students are encouraged to contemplate the full breadth of the legal profession that includes traditional "domestic" areas of law as well as growing areas involving intellectual property and international law.
As noted earlier, numerous majors are appropriate for students considering a legal career, and many students consider pursuing double majors or adding one or more minors. All students considering Pre-Law are strongly urged to declare a Pre-Law Concentration through the Dean's Office, which does not require any specific coursework but instead allows the Pre-Law Advisor to track student performance and keep interested students informed of topical information. Students considering double majors or one or more minors are encouraged to choose fields that interest them and that help develop critical skills. Students interested in the legal field sometimes consider the Legal Studies Minor which concentrates specifically on theoretical and analytical legal issues. However, students considering law school are not required to minor in pre-law and there is no evidence that specific concentration in this area influences law school admissions decisions.