Pre-Legal Education


Southwestern requires all students to have completed a Bachelor's Degree at an accredited undergraduate institution prior to their start of any of the J.D. programs. Transcripts submitted as part of the application process must evidence that the applicant has been conferred a Bachelor's degree or that a Bachelor's degree will be conferred prior to the start of the applicant's chosen program. Applicants with a degree obtained outside the United States must have the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree earned at a U.S. institution.

Southwestern does not require applicants to have taken a particular pre-law major or curriculum and selects prospective law students from every field of undergraduate education. However, since it is especially important that law students have strong oral and written communication skills, enrolling in courses that develop these skills is highly recommended.

In reviewing academic work, the Southwestern Admissions Committee looks at trends in an applicant's undergraduate grade point average (UGPA), school(s) attended, major area of concentration, and formal study undertaken beyond the undergraduate level. In attempting to determine motivation and potential for success, the Admissions Committee also considers civic and professional activities, evidence of leadership qualities or positions held, current and prior employment, and law-related work or volunteer experience.

Please note that although successful completion of graduate work is considered a positive additional factor in an applicant's file, an applicant's graduate GPA will not be used as a substitute for the UGPA in the overall evaluation, nor can it be combined with the UGPA.