Philosophy majors are employed in nearly every field you can imagine, including law. If law school is in your future, a philosophy degree may be right for you.
UNCG’s online Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree offers a pre-law concentration for those preparing for law school.
Gain Skills for Studying Law
Besides a basic liberal arts education, a philosophy degree provides the skills needed to prepare for studying law. Students learn to analyze and break things down into explainable parts. They learn to be better thinkers, communicate clearly, and make better arguments.
The pre-law concentration emphasizes:
- critical thinking
- logical reasoning
- theory of evidence
- philosophy of law
- political philosophy
“In general, philosophy provides perhaps the best available training in critical thinking, a skill that is essential to the study of law,” says Michael Zimmerman, professor and pre-law concentration advisor.
Critical thinking involves both conceptual analysis, examining the elements of key ideas or concepts (the concept of a law, for example), and conceptual synthesis, combining ideas in such a way as to create new insights into the issues under investigation, he says.
Explore Courses in Law
For the pre-law concentration, students must satisfy requirements for the philosophy major, as well as complete courses in specific areas that will prepare them for law school. Students learn the basic principles of reasoning and argumentation, develop and defend answers, and discuss current topics such as capital punishment and environmental ethics, and more.
Areas for pre-law courses include:
- Logic—focuses on construction, analysis and criticism of arguments
- Epistemology—examines concepts of knowledge, evidence, doubt and reasonable belief
- Ethics—explores the ultimate basis of right and wrong as well as particular moral issues, especially those relevant to the law and medicine
- Political Philosophy—topics include the nature and source of political authority and obligation
- Philosophy of Law—philosophical issues that pertain specifically to the nature and justification of the law
Tailor Your Concentration
While the concentration requires 27 credits, there is some flexibility in course selection that allows students to customize the pre-law concentration. Course options in the concentration areas allow students to choose what interests them.
“In addition, satisfying the requirements for the major and the concentration requires at most 30 hours of courses in philosophy, leaving students free to supplement these courses with still other courses in philosophy or courses in some other subject or subjects — for example, political science, history, or sociology — that they judge would be especially beneficial to them in their preparation for a career in law,” Zimmerman says.
For more information about the Pre-Law Concentration in Philosophy, download a brochure.