Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalogue 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalogue


According to the Law School Admission Council,

A college education should stand on its own merits as preparation for a lifetime of active involvement in a diverse and changing society. Admission committees are usually impressed by applicants who can convincingly demonstrate that they’ve challenged their thinking and reasoning skills in a diverse course of undergraduate study. While no single curricular path is the ideal preparation for law school, you should choose courses that sharpen analytical reasoning and writing skills. Law schools prefer students who can think, read, and write well, and who have some understanding of what shapes human experience. You can acquire these attributes in any number of college courses, whether in humanities, the social sciences, philosophy, or the natural sciences. It’s not so much a matter of what you study as it is a matter of selecting courses that interest you, challenge you, and require you to use researching and writing skills. Because a lawyer’s work involves most aspects of our complex society, a broad liberal arts curriculum is the preferred preparation for law school.

High academic standards are important when selecting your undergraduate courses. The range of acceptable majors is broad; the quality of the education you receive is most important. You should acquire skills that enable you to think critically, reason logically, and speak and write effectively. Undergraduate programs should reveal your capacity to perform well at an academically rigorous level. An undergraduate career that is narrow, unchallenging, or vocationally-oriented is not the best preparation for law school.

Additional information about Cornell’s Center for Law and Society, Mock Trial, Phi Alpha Delta and preparation for law school may be found on the Cornell College Law and Society website.

Consistent with the best advice of law schools themselves, Cornell College has no formal “pre-law major” and no specific list of recommended courses. Rather we have pre-law advisors who can help you plan a curriculum to meet your personal needs while maximizing your chances of admission to law school. If you are considering a legal career, you should consult regularly with a pre-law advisor about your course of study.


Prospective law students are encouraged to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) no later than October of the year preceding their anticipated matriculation in law school. The LSAT contains sections on reading comprehension, analytical reasoning (structure of relationships), and logical reasoning (verbal arguments). Application materials and advice on preparation are available from the pre-law advisors: Craig Allin, M. Philip Lucas, Genevieve Migely, Mary Olson, and Rob Sutherland.