We the People.
Program Overview

Pre-Law and Legal Careers

Discover the infinite possibilities of law.

Photo credit: Michael Hartman

Engage in Today’s Most Pressing Issues

Legal professionals have the opportunity to address a wide range of complex problems. Whether in culture, education, environmental policy, human rights, healthcare, or international affairs, many past and present Obies have chosen a career in law to pursue their passion and make a lasting difference in the world. Successful law students and lawyers draw on the broad knowledge, sensitivity and adaptability that is developed through a strong liberal arts training. With a 97% law school acceptance rate, Oberlin’s academic rigor and experiential learning opportunities prepare students to excel in any field of law.

Where Passion Meets Purpose

Law schools want to see the kind of academically serious, socially engaged students Oberlin is known to cultivate. Past and present Obies from every major, from Africana studies or English to psychology or politics, have chosen the law as their calling. Regardless of your own personal curricular and cocurricular track, you can prepare for a legal career with the guidance of a dedicated pre-law advisor and the support of a collaborative intellectual community.

97% Law School admissions rate for graduating seniors for the past five years
4.6 The average number of law school acceptances by graduating seniors over the last five years

Featured Courses

PHIL 121

Philosophy & Morality

This course introduces the discipline and practice of philosophy within the context of ethical inquiry. Questions explored include: Where does morality come from? Is morality relative? What makes a life go well? How do we know which actions are right and wrong? The course also considers several ethical disputes such as abortion and euthanasia.

Taught by
Amy Berg
LAWS 200

Law and Society: An Overview

Law frames the way we live as a society, from providing practical resolutions to contentious issues to guiding policies that affect how we relate to one another. This course introduces students to various types of law and fields of inquiry that examine how law and society impact one another. Film viewing required.

Taught by
Joyce Babyak
AAST 220

Doin’ Time: A History of Black Incarceration

This course considers how a system imprisoning Black men and women in the U.S. has been sustained from the colonial times to the present. It establishes a theoretical grounding for understanding systems of surveillance and confinement, as well as the institutions and practices that sustain what can arguably be termed 21st century enslavement.

Taught by
Pamela (Pam) Brooks
POLT 229

Politics & Power of International Law

From climate change and poverty, to war and repression, we increasingly seek legal solutions to major global problems. And yet, international law has not developed the kind of enforcement mechanism that anchors domestic regimes. The course explores this paradox while examining what international is, and what its impact on global politics can be.

Taught by
Joshua Freedman

Student Profiles

Late Nights and Briefings

Jakheem Wheatley ’19 knew he always wanted to attend law school. After graduating with a double major in law and society and sociology, he is now a law student at UIC John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Jakheem Wheatley.

From Double Major to Law School

At Oberlin, Emily Kelly-Olsen ’19 was a dedicated track and field athlete and politics and East Asian studies double major. She is now a student at the University of Michigan Law School.

Emily Kelly-Olsen.

Next Steps

Get in touch; we would love to chat.


The Memorial Arch on Tappan Square.
Photo credit: Jennifer Manna