Interested in Studying Law?

The Pre-Law Pathway is designed to be flexible and personalized courses of study that prepare students for the rigorous demands of law school through a combination of mentorship, coursework, and extracurricular activities.

At Gardner-Webb, we recognize that a well-rounded liberal arts education is the best preparation for careers in the legal profession and for law school. Law schools do not require a specific major but do emphasize that successful applicants should have well-developed skills in critical thinking, research, textual analysis, and written and oral communication.

Preparation for law school begins as soon as the freshman year. Students considering law school should meet with the pre-law mentor in order to learn about pathway, how it fits with many majors, elective course offerings, and extracurricular activities.


What will I study?

The Pre-law Pathway is not a major; rather, it is a carefully designed plan intended to prepare you to achieve your unique academic and career goals.

Many majors can provide pre-law students with a well-rounded liberal arts education that emphasizes essential law school skills such as critical thinking, research, textual analysis, and written and oral communication.

Pre-law students may choose one of the following majors for their academic studies and are strongly encouraged to take the specified courses within their major.


  • CHEM 310 – Environmental Chemistry
  • CHEM 380 – Forensic Chemistry


  • ENGL 270 – Rhetoric


  • HIST 314 – Making America
  • HIST 401 – The Long Civil Rights Movement


  • PHIL 200 – Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL 201 – An Introduction to Logic
  • PHIL 338 – Epistemology


  • POLS 320 – Constitutional Law I
  • POLS 315 – Constitutional Law II


In addition to a major, pre-law students can expand and supplement their skill set through elective courses. Electives are courses taken from disciplines outside of a student’s major and minor. The following courses should be considered by pre-law students eager to build an individualized course of study.

  • CHEM 310: Environmental Chemistry (Pre-requisite is CHEM 112.)
  • CHEM 380: Forensic Chemistry (Pre-requisite is CHEM 112.)
  • CJAD 210: Criminal Law
  • CJAD 230: Criminal Justice Procedures- Law and Practice
  • COMM 310: Media Writing
  • COMM 380: Communication Theory
  • COMM 480: Media Law & Ethics
  • ENGL 270: Rhetoric
  • HIST 200: Introduction to Historical Study
  • HIST 314: Making America
  • HIST 402: The Long Civil Rights Movement
  • PHIL 200: Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL 201: Introduction to Logic
  • PHIL 388: Epistemology
  • POLS 320: Constitutional Law I: Structures and Institutions
  • POLS 315: Constitutional Law II: Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment

Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.

extracurricular activities

Boost your Law School Applications

As important as success in the classroom is to pursuing a legal career, pre-law students should seek opportunities outside the classroom to grow their leadership, public-speaking, and presentation skills. Law schools look for applicants who are multifaceted and dynamic individuals and extracurricular activities are a way for pre-law students to demonstrate their individuality.

Pre-law students should participate in the Pre-Law Society and other campus organizations such as:

  • Pre-Law Society: The Pre-Law Society aims to prepare students for law school. Students will meet members of the legal profession, explore different areas of law, attend law school fairs, participate in mock trials, take practice LSAT exams, learn leadership skills, practice interview skills, and find LSAT study partners.
  • Alpha Chi: Alpha Chi is a coeducational academic honor society that promotes academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students and honors those who achieve such distinction. Membership is open to students with junior and senior classification who demonstrate strong character and whose GPA ranks them in the top 10 percent of their academic classes.
  • Model United Nations: Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, or other multilateral body, which introduces students to the world of diplomacy, negotiation, and decision making.
  • Student Government Association: SGA is a great way to lead and serve by representing the student body on issues that pertain directly to the academic and campus experience. SGA is comprised of a student senate including executive officers and officers from each of the four student classes elected each year by the student body. Whether it’s planning homecoming festivities or advocating for change on behalf of students, SGA strives to improve the Gardner-Webb experience.

Next Steps

Law School Admissions

Upon declaring a major, faculty advisers will mentor students to discover the courses within and outside their major that will build and reinforce the skills that are crucial to success in applying for and also thriving at law school. In the sophomore year, students will meet with their faculty advisers and the pre-law faculty mentor to discuss a study schedule for the LSAT. In the junior year, students will be encouraged to consider potential law schools tailored to their interests and schedule their LSAT exam. In the senior year, students will prepare materials for law school applications with the assistance of their faculty advisor, the pre-law mentor, and other qualified faculty members.


What will you learn?

  1. Demonstrate analytical and problem solving skills
  2. Interpret and examine written texts critically
  3. Develop written and spoken arguments clearly, effectively, and persuasively 
  4. Define and apply fundamental aspects of U.S. and/or international legal systems

What are potential career opportunities?

A law degree can be used in traditional legal employment, non-traditional legal employment and non-legal employment. Below are just some of the careers paths that you can take with a law degree:

  • Lawyer
  • Judge
  • Mediator
  • Paralegal
  • Secretary
  • Consultant
  • Educator
  • Corporate attorney
  • Court Administrator
  • Governmental administrator
  • Politician

Ready to take the next step?

Apply Now
The analytical reading and writing proficiency I developed [here] as an English major was crucial to helping me get accepted into a top-tier law school, perform well in my classes, and be an effective advocate for my clients."
Having small classes at GWU also made it a necessity to be comfortable participating in class discussions, which served me well in law school classes where you may be randomly called on."
It was important to me to be able to effectively research, analyze, write, and communicate on a variety of topics in a variety of situations. My studies accomplished this, in addition to challenging me on a daily basis to think about things in new ways.”