Mock trial team posing at bell tower

Pre-Law Program

Program Overview

Degree Type

Pre-Professional

Office Name

Office of Pre-Professional Advising

Department Chair Name

Maya Russell

Department Assistant Name

Susan Kindall

What is a pre-law track?

A pre-law track is designed for students who wish to explore career options in the legal profession. Pre-law is a way for undergraduates to engage in law-related classes, internships, research and study away opportunities to 1) help them determine if law is an appropriate path for them, and 2) prepare them with the skills, know-how and experiences to be accepted to law school either after graduation or years later.

Why explore pre-law at Furman?

You’ve thought about law as a profession, but you may not be sure it’s the right career path. Pre-law at Furman gives you the chance to investigate law professions while you pursue any of the 70-plus majors, minors and programs that Furman offers. Guided by a dedicated, full-time pre-law advisor, you’ll develop a powerful set of skills – problem-solving, critical thinking, research, organization, collaboration and time-management – while boosting verbal and written communication competencies and learning ways to promote public service and justice. Plan a visit to Furman’s beautiful campus or start your application today. Furman’s pre-law advisor is with you every step of the way, from introducing you to different legal professions to preparing for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to applying for law school and helping you secure funding for it. Contact the pre-law advisor in the Office of Pre-Professional Advising to start the conversation.

How will you learn?

It’s not surprising that Furman’s law school acceptance rate for alumni far exceeds national averages by over 20 percentage points (see Fast Facts). On top of one-on-one advising for students and graduates alike, pre-law at Furman exposes future juris doctorate candidates to admission workshops, law school visits, regional Law School Admission Council (LSAC) forums and more, to familiarize you with the law school admission process and how to expertly navigate the demands once admitted.

Based in Furman’s Office of Pre-Professional Advising, the Furman pre-law advisor hosts law schools on campus, attorney panels and attorney-alumni gatherings, which connect you to the local legal community. You’ll learn from speakers and participate in career treks to understand the many roles you can play in the legal profession. You’ll also gain practical, hands-on experience through targeted legal internships in the fast-growing city of Greenville, South Carolina. And since Furman’s hometown is not a law school hub, you won’t be competing with law students for the top internships at legal firms and offices in the area.

Careers in the legal profession

A wealth of career possibilities exist in the legal profession. The pre-law advisor, the Internship Office, and the Malone Center for Career Engagement can connect students with attorney alumni mentors across practice areas. Some options for lawyers and attorneys include:

  • Civil rights law
  • Corporate and securities law
  • Criminal law
  • Education law
  • Employment and labor law
  • Environmental and natural resources law
  • Family and juvenile law
  • Health law
  • Immigration law
  • Intellectual property law
  • International law
  • Personal injury law
  • Real estate law
  • Sports and entertainment law
  • Tax law

Law-related courses

There are no academic major or course requirements for pre-law at Furman. You’ll find law-related content in nearly every department on campus. Students should meet with the pre-law advisor to discuss current course offerings and courses they may find interesting. Some samples include:

Business Law

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Philosophy of Law

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94%
law school acceptance rate for Furman seniors in the last five years
71%
national law school acceptance rate in the last five years
70
law schools where Furman students have been accepted in last five years

What our students say

Campus beauty shot Johns Hall

“Furman pre-law has remained a core part of my Furman experience from my first interest meeting with Maya Russell freshman year to tackling the law school admissions process as an alum. Maya is Furman’s greatest asset for its pre-law students and has built pre-law advising from the ground up through open-door student appointments, pre-professional programming with high-profile attorneys in varied fields, and invaluable partnerships and presentations with law school admissions officers.” – Andrew Allen ’21, B.A., politics and international affairs and history; J.D. candidate, The George Washington University Law School

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Furman’s faculty, in addition to your pre-law advisor, represent decades of study and real-world expertise. Take your first steps by contacting the pre-law advisor, or contact Furman Admissions to learn more about how to apply.

While pre-law is not a major at Furman, many of our faculty members teach law-related courses, and some of them have partnered with students on research. Some of our faculty who teach law-related courses include:

  • Erik A. Anderson
    Title:

    Department Chair, Philosophy; Director of Intergroup Dialogue Curricular Initiatives

    Erik A. Andersen headshot

    Erik A. Anderson
    Title:

    Department Chair, Philosophy; Director of Intergroup Dialogue Curricular Initiatives

    Phone Number: 8642382418

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  • Brittany Arsiniega
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Politics and International Affairs

    Headshot of Brittany Arsiniega, visiting professor

    Brittany Arsiniega
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Politics and International Affairs

    Phone Number: 8642943185

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  • Nathan Cook
    Title:

    John D. Hollingsworth, Jr., Professor of Economics

    Nathan Cook

    Nathan Cook
    Title:

    John D. Hollingsworth, Jr., Professor of Economics

    Phone Number: 8642943026

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  • Teresa Nesbitt Cosby
    Title:

    Professor, Politics & International Affairs

    Associate professor, Teresa Nesbit Cosby

    Teresa Nesbitt Cosby
    Title:

    Professor, Politics & International Affairs

    Phone Number: 8642942129

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  • Akan Malici
    Title:

    Professor, Politics and International Affairs

    Akan Malici

    Akan Malici
    Title:

    Professor, Politics and International Affairs

    Phone Number: 8642943576

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  • Laura L. Morris
    Title:

    Professor, English; Co-director, Furman Prison Education Partnership

    Dr. Morris

    Laura L. Morris
    Title:

    Professor, English; Co-director, Furman Prison Education Partnership

    Phone Number: 8642943159

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  • Glen Halva-Neubauer
    Title:

    Dana Professor, Politics and International Affairs

    Glen Halva-Neubauer

    Glen Halva-Neubauer
    Title:

    Dana Professor, Politics and International Affairs

    Phone Number: 8642943608

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  • Danielle Vinson
    Title:

    Professor, Politics and International Affairs

    Danielle Vinson

    Danielle Vinson
    Title:

    Professor, Politics and International Affairs

    Phone Number: 8643200105

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  • FAQ

    How do I get in the pre-law advising loop at Furman?

    To connect with pre-law at Furman, contact the pre-law advisor in the Office of Pre-Professional Advising. It’s also a good idea to fill out the pre-law interest form.

    Are there any study away opportunities?

    Furman’s study away programs represent engaged learning at its finest. Add a global dimension to learning as you cultivate intellectual curiosity, develop new skills and build self-confidence – keys to competing in a complex, ever-evolving world. The majority of study away programs, including semester-long and three-week May Experience (MayX) courses, are interdisciplinary in nature and open to students of all majors. Law-focused MayX options led by alumni who are attorneys have addressed the intersection of medicine, poverty and law, as well as trial advocacy.

    What practical experiences are available?

    In addition to interning at legal firms, our students have secured internships at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, public defender agencies, government agencies, health care systems and nonprofits. Through the Upstate Medical Legal Partnership, our students gain valuable experience at Prisma Health. Furman remains the only undergraduate institution in the nation to partner with a medical legal partnership.

    Working under the supervision of practicing attorney faculty members, our students acquire real-world experience representing clients through The Justicia Project, a partnership with the Department of Politics and International Affairs and a local law firm. Joining Furman’s prestigious mock trial program is another way aspiring attorneys develop and polish their skills in trial advocacy, public speaking and critical thinking.

    What major should I declare if I’m interested in pre-law at Furman?

    If you are interested in law, choose any major you are passionate about. Students typically declare a major by the end of their sophomore year, so there’s plenty of time to explore options. There are no academic major requirements to participate in pre-law activities at Furman. Grades matter in pursuing downstream law schools as do LSAT scores, so select a major that inspires you and one in which you think you’ll excel.

    When should I take the LSAT?

    Students planning to go directly to law school after graduation typically take the digital LSAT in the summer after junior year. Ideally, students would only need to take the LSAT once; however, LSAC permits students to take the exam up to three times in a testing cycle. While law schools have access to all test scores, they overwhelmingly consider students’ high LSAT score. Because the rolling admissions cycle opens in September or October each year, it’s in your best interest to submit applications as soon as you have a strong admissions packet ready in the fall. Students taking gap years have more flexibility, and many students opt to take the LSAT in the summer after graduation. The LSAT remains on file for five years.

    What types of law schools are Furman alumni admitted to?

    Furman graduates gain admittance to a range of institutions from smaller colleges to larger Tier I, Top 50 universities (as ranked by U.S. News and World Report). Some of the Tier I law schools our Furman alumni have attended in the last five years include University of Chicago, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, New York University, University of Virginia, University of California Berkeley, University of Michigan, Duke University, Cornell, Northwestern, Georgetown, Boston University, University of Texas, Vanderbilt University, University of Florida, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, George Washington University, University of Alabama, Notre Dame, University of Georgia, Emory, Ohio State, William and Mary, University of Illinois, Washington and Lee, Boston College, Fordham University, Wake Forest University, University of Maryland and University of Colorado. Other Top 100 schools our alumni have matriculated to in the last five years include University of Richmond, SMU, Loyola, Georgia State and University of South Carolina.

    What salary can I expect if I go into the legal profession as a lawyer?

    Payscale.com reports that the average starting salary for attorneys is $87,606. If you study at the Top 14 law schools, then gain employment in “biglaw” (the largest and most successful firms), your starting salary could be as much as $235,000 including bonus pay.

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