Close up of ornate, old books lined up on an unseen shelf for the Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law Studies Program Pages

Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law Studies

computer icon for 4 week courses

4-week Courses

Start sooner and finish faster with our innovative course design.

calendar icon for year round enrollment

Year-Round Enrollment

Our admissions team reviews applications year-round.

graduation cap icon for alumni community

230K+ Alumni Worldwide

Become a member of NU’s global community.

Home » Programs » Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law Studies

Program Overview

Prepare for a career in the legal profession by developing important verbal and analytical skills and expanding your ability for critical thinking. The Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law Studies provides you with a solid foundation in legal studies and concepts needed to seek entry into law school. If you’re uncertain if law school is the next step, this program will not only help you decide, but will also provide you with a basic understanding of the complex legal issues you will face if you choose to pursue a career in business or government.

In the pre-law degree program, you’ll master strong written, oral communication, and presentation skills used in law, and learn techniques for effective planning in preparation for the negotiation process. You’ll also learn to develop strong, comprehensive, and concise legal arguments.

WASC logo

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

Course Details

Prerequisites for the Major

  • 4 courses; 18 quarter units

An introductory course on the written academic discourse patterns required for college-level writing. Emphasizing essay-length compositions, the course covers critical reading, thesis formation, essay organization, and basic revision techniques.

A lower division introductory course exploring the practical application of Civil Law and the various area of practice. The student will learn rudimentary legal research and be introduced to the form of legal writing referred to as “IRAC.”

  • Choose ONE of the following TWO courses

Critical introduction to basic sociology concepts. Examination of major theoretical perspectives and research methods. Topics include: economic stratification, race, gender, family, deviance, complex organizations.

A survey of the field of psychology that provides an overview of the scientific principles and theories in psychology. Topics include: biological psychology, abnormal behavior, motivation, emotion, sexuality and gender, and personality theory.

  • Choose ONE of the following TWO courses

PrerequisiteENG 102

A study of a variety of ways of thinking about such fundamental issues as the nature of knowledge and belief, human nature, the nature of reality, and the relationship between mind and body. Develops skills in thinking critically and reflectively. Fosters an awareness of world philosophies and diverse ontological perspectives.

PrerequisiteENG 102

A critical introduction to the structure of American government. Topics include classical and modern democratic theories, constitutionalism and federalism; the political process, including the mass media, voting behavior and political parties and interest groups; the institutions of government; the courts, civil liberties and civil rights; and public policy. (Includes study of the Constitution)

Requirements for the Major

  • 9 courses; 40.5 quarter units

A survey of contracts, sales, agencies, personal property, commercial paper and associated topics. Emphasizes prevention of litigation and liability arising from business operations.

PrerequisiteLAW 204

A sequential course to LAW 204. A survey of business organizations (partnerships, corporations, government regulations), property (real property and leasing, estates, community property), business torts, business crimes and associated topics. Emphasizes prevention of litigation and liability arising from business operations.

A broad-based overview of the various stages of the civil/criminal litigation process. Covers the complete litigation process starting from the initial filing of the criminal information and/or civil complaint, progressing through the client interview, motion and trial phase. Explores the process of court pleading and discovery, including interrogations, depositions and the voir dire process. Also covers heavy strategies and the role of the law office assistant. Students must demonstrate their legal knowledge and understanding of the material through the drafting of a civil complaint, accompanying forms, summons and depositions.

This course will review contemporary issues including minority rights, abortion, free speech and criminal justice with a special emphasis on the affect these issues have on the business community

This introductory course will provide students with a broad understanding of ADR. The course will cover Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration how each is used, and the advantages and disadvantages of each method. The course utilizes role plays, simulations, and case studies.

The development of analytical reasoning through identification of critical issues in the legal, business and political environments, by analyzing historical and contemporary events, followed by the application of established rules of law, ethical standards and social models in developing oral and written arguments for and against specific positions.

This class is devoted to learning the written and oral skills necessary for presentation of legal issues. Students will prepare and argue an appellate case in moot court format. Each student will prepare an appellate brief for one side of a case dealing with a controversial current legal issue. In team format students will then argue the issue presented before a panel of judges. To prepare for oral argument students will visit and discuss presentations made before the Trial Courts and the California Court of Appeal.

  • Choose ONE of the following TWO courses

A workshop course for pre-legal and pre-professional students to develop the verbal and analytical skills needed to be effective negotiators in the practice of law and business. Examines general negotiating principles and uses practical student exercises.

An introductory interactive course designed for students and the business professional to develop the verbal and analytical skills required to perform effectively as a negotiator in conflict situations. Students will participate in negotiating exercises, and learn different negotiating techniques through simulations, videos, and case studies.


  • Choose ONE of the following TWO courses

A capstone course that requires students to participate in a mock trial. Students write trial briefs, create pre-trial discovery strategies, give oral arguments and examine witnesses in a simulated civil case

PrerequisiteLAW 310; LAW 400 and LAW 408

This course represents a culmination of the skills learned in previous research and writing courses. It consists of the preparation of a research document equivalent in form and content to an appellate brief. In the case of those students who have received an internship, this course will be assigned and the student graded on the writings produced during the internship, whether legal memorandum and/or briefs.

Upper-Division Electives

  • 8 courses; 36 units

Choose eight upper-division degree related electives. The courses noted with an * below are strongly recommended.

A survey of the historic development of Constitutional Law in the United States. The student will learn the philosophical foundations of the Constitution and review how the political climate shaped landmark decisions throughout the history of the United States.

A survey of international law in (1) the civil environment including trade agreements and contracts, and alternative dispute resolution and (2) criminal law, including investigation and prosecution of human rights violation and the remedies for such violations.

An advanced survey of administrative law and procedure and manner in which the various state and federal agencies are a part of the integral workings of business operations, including, but not limited to, the areas of environmental operations, employee relations, consumer good regulations, occupational safety.

A survey of public contract law and the differences from commercial contract law; including clear record keeping for audits, overseeing activities of sub-contractors, and the impact for violation and breach of contract.

A preparatory course for the undergraduate student who is preparing to apply for admission to law school. The course will involve learning strategies and practice for those preparing to take the Law School Admissions Test. Additionally, students will prepare their dossier and personal statement for law school applications. Grading is by S or U only.

An interactive, introductory course designed for students and business professionals to develop an understanding of group dynamics and decision making as a basis for learning the roles, processes and techniques of group facilitation. The course utilizes role plays, simulations, and case studies.

An introductory interactive and entertaining course designed for students and business professionals to develop the skills required to perform effectively as a mediator. Students will be introduced to different mediation styles such as facilitative, transformative, and evaluative methods. The course utilizes negotiating principles, role plays, videos, and case studies.

This course will explore workplace, interpersonal and team conflict dynamics and methods for effective communication in such conflict situations. Participants will learn communication skills for resolving such conflicts for themselves, between others and within a team or group, and strategies for preventing or defusing rising conflict. Additionally, participants will learn how to integrate conflict resolution into various organizational cultures.

This course will explore the nature of cultural differences in various conflict situations. Through the examination of various cultural perceptions, participants will learn how to apply concepts of cultural fluency in a variety of conflicting cultural scenarios, and employ personal, interpersonal and inter group skills to bridge cultural differences and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. Students will participate in role plays, videos, and case studies to enhance their understanding of these issues.

This course explores the behavior of mediators, arbitrators and other neutrals to avoid conflicts of interest and perceived partiality. Through case study and role playing the participant will learn appropriate behavior that improves the quality of the process, enhances competency and promotes acceptance of and confidence in ADR processes. Students will be introduced to topics such as how to remain impartial during a mediation, avoiding conflicts of interest, quality of the process, competency, confidentiality and promoting public confidence in the mediation process.

A study of the fundamentals of the U.S. Constitution, the rights and protections of the accused; an exploration of the case law and the judicial system, the rights and responsibilities of the police and citizenry.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Uses the functionalist, conflict and interactionist perspectives, this course explains how human conditions come to be perceived as social problems, and how to evaluate their proposed solutions.

PrerequisiteENG 102

An examination of theories of value and ideological differences in practical applications to clarify ethical differences. Course emphasizes the dilemmas of personal and professional responsibility, including business and workplace circumstances, social relationships, and political practice.

Degree and Course Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Pre-Law Studies, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level, and minimum of 69 units of the University General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree. The following courses are specific degree requirements. Students should refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information on admission and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Develop legal and critical-thinking skills in judicial issues.
  • Describe, analyze, and anticipate legal issues in a business environment.
  • Analyze contemporary legal issues in the state, federal, and administrative law forums.
  • Analyze issues by application of relevant rules of law, ethical standards, and social mores.
  • Develop concise legal arguments.
  • Describe need for effective planning in preparation for the negotiation process.


Enrolling in a university is a big decision. That’s why our dedicated admissions team is here to guide you through the admissions process and help you find the right program for you and your career goals.

To that end, we’ve simplified and streamlined our application process, so you can get enrolled in your program right away. Because we accept and review applications year round, you can begin class as soon as next month, depending on your program and location of choice.

Learn more about undergraduate, graduate, military, and international student admissions, plus admissions information for transfer students. You can also learn more about our tuition rates and financial aid opportunities.

To speak with our admissions team, call (855) 355-6288 or request information and an advisor will contact you shortly. If you’re ready to apply, simply start your application today.

Man in a button-down shirt smiles at a young boy in glasses who also wears a backpack
Our course structure is built to make earning your degree accessible and achievable, one month at a time, so you can start sooner and finish faster.

Why Choose National University

  • Four-Week Courses
  • 190+ Degree Programs
  • Online or On-Site
  • Year-Round Enrollment
  • Military Friendly

We’re proud to be a Veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 230,000 alumni worldwide.

Headshot of Francisco R., Class of 2016, a man with short hair and a beard, who wears a polo shirt.

“National University has impacted my career. You can immediately apply what you learn in class to your business.”

-Francisco R., Class of 2016

A mother sits on a couch with a laptop and smiles at her toddler-aged son, who is looking forward.
We know your life may not happen on a 9-5 schedule, so we offer courses online or on-site at locations across California.
white scholarship oppotunities icon

The Key Grant Scholarship

Do you qualify for a needs-based scholarship? Learn more about the NU Key Grant Scholarship and other scholarship opportunities to unlock the door to your dreams!

Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.