In the past decade, Emory Philosophy Undergraduates have gone on to study law at some of the best law schools in the world, including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, NYU, Columbia, Virginia, Michigan, Vanderbilt and Emory, among others. This is not surprising because many students have an interest in law and the study of philosophy provides excellent preparation for the rigors of law school and legal practice beyond. Through the study of philosophy generally one can learn how to make strong arguments, give due consideration to competing points of view and place those arguments in the service of a larger vision. Beyond this, a great deal of the substance of modern law owes its formation to the substantive contributions of philosophers over time to questions concerning the nature of justice and the good life.
Philosophy doesn’t just help students master the kinds of logical inference and critical reading required for the law school admission test (LSAT), it helps students invoke their imagination when confronted with contested and competing interpretations of written texts, and the skills developed are useful whether one is debating the meaning of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, the US Constitution, or Brown v. Board of Education. Finally, there are many opportunities in philosophy to develop the ability to write which is central to both law school and legal practice. Philosophy is a great field of study for its own sake regardless of what your future plans hold. It asks questions at the heart of human life concerning justice, knowledge, beauty and the good. But in addition to this, it has proven to be of high value to those who choose law as a profession.
Our pre-law advisor is Michael Sullivan. In addition to doing a PhD in Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, he also earned a JD from Yale Law School. His work focuses on issues in pragmatic legal theory, jurisprudence, social and political philosophy and critical theory. If you are thinking about going to law school and are interested in pre-law advising and discussing the many ways in which philosophical study can provide you with an outstanding preparation for the study of law, please visit Professor Sullivan during office hours or email him (email@example.com) to set up an appointment.