Is a Pre-Law Major a Good Idea?

From my personal experience as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, there were many freshmen or sophomores that were already considering law school.  I admired these students' ambition.  Millennials are highly motivated and want to see tangible advancement towards their goals.  Still, Millennials are impatient, and sometimes this impatience can cause anxiety and stress if we aren't seeing quick progress.  College students considering a legal career may think that selecting a pre-law major may be one of the quicker ways to prepare themselves for law school (and perhaps even legal practice).

Having said this, I would generally advise against college students pursuing a pre-law major or any other "track" to prepare them for law school.  College is a time to explore subjects and courses that interest you.  Young college students really have a unique opportunity to explore their passions, so I wouldn’t recommend spending this valuable time on a pre-professional track. And who knows—these students may actually find a different major that interests them and they may ultimately decide to forego law school altogether.

Too many law students feel obliged to prepare for law school while in college. This is especially true if they are pre-law majors.  As these students enter junior or senior year and start thinking about their future, they will naturally think about law school, even if they're somewhat uncomfortable with this decision.  They may think to themselves, “What else can I do with my prelaw major?”  It may be difficult to answer this question without seriously considering the law school path.

In my experience, once you start preparing for law school, it becomes more and more difficult to jump off of the path.  If I were in these students' shoes, I would explore some of their other interests in their earlier years of college.  Law school will always be there.