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While some schools do offer pre-law undergraduate degrees, students do not need a pre-law bachelor degree to apply to law school. Political science and history degrees offer strong foundations for law school as well. Some students enter law school with an unrelated undergraduate degree, but have strong recommendations and high Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores.
Law school generally involves three years of full-time coursework. Students study an interdisciplinary curriculum, but nearly every school includes some of the following: constitutional and criminal, civil procedure, contracts, law, property, and legal research and writing. At the end of a law student's three years, he or she should be prepared to take the bar exam. If the law school is accredited by the American Bar Association, the successful completion of the bar exam will result in the award of a Juris Doctorate, or J.D. The bar exam requires a great deal of preparation, and many students opt to take a course to help them achieve their highest possible score. The bar exam is different from state to state, although there are cluster exams which allow for practice in several states with similar laws.
Law students can choose from a broad selection of areas for specialization. Most sectors of business, non-profit and medicine require lawyers. Some tracks include: environmental, international, tax, criminal, intellectual property (trademarks and copyrights), business, constitutional and healthcare, among many others. A law degree will also prepare students well for careers in legal writing and dispute resolution. Some law students go on to teach law, but professorial positions generally require experience, too.