Careers in Law

pre-law at career services

Law school admissions committees seek students with well-rounded liberal arts educations that focus on strong writing, research and verbal skills.

While there is no pre-law major or required sequence of courses, throughout their college careers students should seek a breadth and depth in their coursework regardless of their major. In addition, they should make certain to take courses that reflect both a rigorous and increasingly advanced curriculum as they proceed through Penn. To be a competitive law school applicant, it is important to perform well in ones undergraduate coursework by selecting a major/minor out of genuine interest, rather than one assumed to facilitate admission to law school. Strong candidates from the full spectrum of majors and minors are admitted into law schools each year.

Students interested in a career in law should familiarize themselves with the pre-law section of the Career Services website as a starting point. Additionally, they should contact a pre-law advisor as they approach the law school admissions process, although they may certainly be in contact throughout their undergraduate career.

The College Office can write a Dean's Letter/Certification for all students and alumni who are applying to law school. However, because of the volume of requests received, and in order to expedite the process for everyone, the College cannot fill out individual law school Dean's Letter/Certification forms. Students and alumni wishing to make this request must therefore open an account with Career Services’ partner Interfolio, a web-based credential file management service. Interfolio will store the letter and deliver it upon request.

Those wishing to request a Dean’s Letter/Certification must complete all of these three steps:

  1. Set up an Interfolio account.
  2. Complete the Request for Release of Information form and email it to or send as a hard copy to: Ms. Tracey Dennis-Booker, The College Office, 120 Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  3. Through the Interfolio account, create an email request for a “Recommendation Letter.” In the “title” field, enter the phrase “Dean’s Letter.” Be sure to direct the request to

It is recommended that a minimum of three weeks be allowed for the Dean’s Letter to be processed and sent to Interfolio. The letter will be signed by Dr. Niel McDowell, Associate Director of Academic Advising. Please note that it should not be necessary to submit the law school’s own “Dean’s recommendation” form in addition to this letter, though if there are any questions applicants are advised to contact the admissions office of the relevant law school. Applicants are strongly advised to check with the admissions offices of the law schools to which they are applying in order to determine what type of letter submission each school will accept (note that some schools do not accept electronically submitted Dean’s Letters). Interfolio provides options for either electronic or hard copy submission.