Birmingham-Southern College has a long tradition of preparing students for the study and practice of law. Our graduates are admitted to law schools across the country, including the most prestigious and go on to make outstanding contributions to the legal profession. While most BSC lawyers are in the private practice of law, many serve as judges or prosecutors, provide legal aid to the poor, or work as corporate "in house" counsel. Still others, while not actively engaged in the practice of law, are corporate executives or civil servants. The great advantage of legal training is that it opens up a wide array of career opportunities.
We believe the best preparation for law school is a four year liberal arts curriculum, such as one finds at Birmingham-Southern. Through a broad selection of courses, a liberal arts education provides a student with the core skills recognized by the American Bar Association as essential for competent lawyering, including analytic and problem solving skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening abilities, general research skills, ask organization and management skills, and the values of serving faithfully the interest of others in promoting justice (1992 American Bar Association Task Force of Law Schools and the Profession).
As a result of this philosophy, like all quality undergraduate liberal arts institutions, Birmingham-Southern has no set prelaw curriculum. We do not tell students they must take this or that course or even that they should major in a particular subject. One of the common misconceptions is that law schools, like medical schools, expect students to have had certain courses as part of a student's undergraduate prelaw preparation. This is not the case. "Unlike the premedical curriculum that contains specific courses," as the Law School Admission Council makes clear, "there is no set of prelaw courses ... Law schools prefer that you reserve your legal study for law school and fill your undergraduate curriculum with broad, diverse, and challenging courses."
While we might recommend that students take a few particular courses, if their schedule permits, we mainly encourage them to take a broad spectrum of demanding courses in many different areas of study. Also, since law schools do not require any set undergraduate curriculum for admission and, indeed, prefer that you reserve your legal study for law school, you can major in any subject you wish. It is true that most prelaw students are English, history, philosophy, or political science majors; nevertheless, many Birmingham-Southern students have gone on to law school with majors as diverse as music and chemistry.
For more information about the Birmingham-Southern prelaw program contact:
Office of Admissions
Birmingham, Alabama 35254