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College of Arts and Sciences

Pre-Law and the History Major

Undergraduates wishing to pursue a legal career need to choose a major that will help them get into a good law school and provide the skills necessary for success. Many students, however, do not realize that law schools consider a wide variety of majors. As the American Bar Association has stated, there are no set prerequisites for admission to law school. Thus, undergraduates interested in becoming a lawyer should strongly consider that a history major with a strong record of academic achievement will be very competitive in the law school admissions process.

Specifically, a student who majors in history shows law schools mastery of essential skills. Lawyers must be able to write well, to analyze complex fact patterns, and to compose persuasive arguments. History courses require these skills, provide the opportunity to hone them to a sharp edge, and allow students to demonstrate their mastery on material that excites as well as educates. The history major at Seton Hall University is an excellent stepping-stone to a successful legal career.

In recent years, those who have majored in history at Seton Hall have gone on to study law at Columbia, NYU, UCLA, Georgetown, George Washington, Rutgers, Seton Hall Law, and other leading schools.

The History Department's Services for Future Lawyers

The history department's diverse offerings stand on their own as a solid preparation for a career in law. Yet students seeking a more specialized pre-law program can select a course of study that allows them to deepen their understanding of how the law works. There are two recommended courses in American legal history – HIST 2381 and HIST 2382, American Legal History I-II – that offer a substantive overview of the development of law in the United States and provide students with a chance to prepare the writing samples that some law schools require in their applications. The history department also offers a variety of courses of relevance to students interested in pursuing legal study, including those on medieval law, race and civil rights, women and gender, economics, and diplomacy and foreign affairs.

The history department also has its own pre-law advisor, Dr. Williamjames Hoffer, who holds a law degree as well as a Ph.D. As pre-law advisor, Dr. Hoffer assists students with all aspects of the law school admissions process, including studying for the LSAT, preparing an excellent academic record, and exploring extra-curricular activities that will improve the results of the application process. The history department's pre-law advisor is a valuable resource for history majors who wish to navigate the law school admissions process.

Department of History Pre-Law Advisor:
Professor Williamjames Hull Hoffer, J.D., Ph. D.
(973) 275-2184 / e-mail: [email protected]

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