Non-Professional General Legal Studies
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Non-Professional General Legal Studies Overview

Do you love the lively exchange of a good debate? Can you successfully navigate the complex laws that govern our society? If you have it in your heart to become a lawyer, you may want to choose a major in General Legal Studies.

This major prepares you to practice law independently, take the state and national bar examinations, and complete advanced research. The main reason for choosing this major or certificate program is to help you get into law school. You will refine your thinking, reading, writing, and communication skills which will help your ability to reason. This program is most offered as a certificate program that will help prepare you for law school. This can be successfully paired with a major in English, Political Science or History.

You will take courses in theory and practice of the legal system. You will learn about statutory and administrative components of both civil and criminal law. Law schools look for candidates with a broad education. In addition to classes on logic, advanced writing, constitutional law, political science and social science, you will also learn history, philosophy, math, and science.

Required Skills

Critical thinking and the ability to reason are the most important skills to have as a pre-law student. It is absolutely necessary to be a strong reader and writer. Excellent communication skills will help you prepare convincing arguments to persuade a judge and jury. Students who have confident and outgoing personalities tend to do well in this field.

You should be a careful thinker who can creatively see ways to get out of tricky situations. This will help show your strong analytical and problem solving skills. It is also important to work hard and be prepared for an intense schedule. You will be juggling difficult classes while studying rigorously in order to keep your GPA(grade point average) high. Most programs will suggest you intern in a law office or legal rights organization. It is also important to join and be involved in student government.


This major or certificate program prepares you to get into law school. Upon graduating law school and passing the bar examination you will be able to become a professional lawyer, a judge, a prosecutor, or acquire some other law-related position.

Graduates who major in General Legal Studies report an average of $37,128 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $57,007.

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Related Majors

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Non-Professional General Legal Studies might open up.

Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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