Philosophy Pre-Law BA

law school

 What Skills Do I Need In Law School?

The pre-law committee of the American Bar Association mentions seven “core skills and values” that should guide a student’s course selection: (1) analytic/problem solving skills, (2) critical reading, (3) writing skills, (4) oral communications/listening abilities, (5) general research skills, (6) task organization/management skills, and (7) public service and promotion of justice.




How Will A Philosophy Major Prepare Me?

An especially important benefit of studying philosophy is learning to think about things from a variety of viewpoints and to carefully examine fundamental assumptions. The philosophy major provides rigorous training in reading and understanding complex texts, critical thinking about disputed ideas, expressing views clearly and cogently in written and oral form, analyzing and evaluating arguments, as well as general research skills. In addition philosophy deals directly with moral and political issues that are of central concern in legal practice, including the nature and value of justice.


What Courses Are Required?

Courses in Philosophy and Religion:

  • PHI 151: Introduction to Philosophy
  • REL 131: Comparative Religion
  • PHI 253: Logic
  • PHI 351: Critical Thinking
  • PHI 356: Ethics (Writing Intensive)
  • PHI 451: Political Philosophy or PHI 453: Philosophy of Law
  • PHI 480: Philosophical Discourse (capstone course)
  • 12 semester hours of philosophy electives, or 9 hours from Philosophy and 3 hours from Religion

Additional Degree Requirements:

  • CMS 111: Oral Communication or CMS 320: Business and Professional Speaking
  • ECO 101: Basic Economics
  • ENG 332: Advanced Composition or ENG 333: Technical Writing
  • PS 380: Introduction to Law in American Society
  • PS 480: U.S. Constitutional Law or PS 489: U.S. Supreme Court and Civil Liberties
  • A foreign language through the 202 level (4th course)


Law School Success

Philosophy majors have the highest average scores on the Law School Admission Test of any liberal arts major.

Philosophy majors from USM have succeeded at schools such as:

            Duke University
            Boston College
            Univ. of North Carolina
            University of Baltimore
            Loyola University
            Mississippi College
            University of Mississippi
            University of Alabama


Thoughts From Our Graduates

“My philosophy degree put me ahead of the curve …. I did not know the first thing about law, but that didn’t matter because I knew how to think.” Mark Harris, University of Alabama Law School

“… reading philosophy prepared me for the kind of analytical approach you need to take to reading homework in law school.” Brad Champine, University of Mississippi Law School

“… the ability to argue in a very precise and stepwise fashion is the single most important skill in law school.” Justin Roland, Duke University Law School

“Critical reading, thinking and writing are the tools of the law, and a good philosophy program should create these skills both directly and indirectly.” Jason Busch, University of Oregon Law School