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Future Law Students Should Avoid Prelaw Majors, Some Say

But some schools say their undergraduate programs can pave the way to law school.

Law School or School of Law.
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Other schools have longer standing programs, such as University of Maryland—University College, which offers a major in legal studies, and Nova Southeastern University in Florida, which also has a legal studies major designed for students with law school or other graduate legal study ambitions. The UMUC program "provides a solid foundation for challenging paralegal work in various legal settings as well as for further education in a variety of fields," according to its site.

[Read about how recent J.D.'s are skeptical of Yale Law's new Ph.D.]

But the bachelor of science in legal studies program at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt., which launched in 2011, is unique, says Eric Friedman, the program director.

Champlain's curriculum emphasizes not only theory, but also practice, with courses in criminal, contract, real estate, torts, family, and constitutional law, he says. Most of the other legal studies majors at other schools are "mere spin-offs of prelaw political science and philosophy courses," he adds.

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