Want to Make a Difference Within the Justice System? Get There With a Law Degree

Pursuing a law degree is an intellectually enriching endeavor that prepares individuals to navigate the complexities of legal systems and advocate for justice. Aspiring lawyers learn to craft compelling arguments, conduct thorough research, and develop a keen understanding of various areas of law, from criminal to corporate, shaping their ability to make significant contributions to society and the legal profession.

The Ongoing Need for Black Representation in Law

The racial bias inherent in our legal system is costing lives. America needs more Black and Brown lawyers and judges to prevent injustices like those surrounding George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Amir Locke, Patrick Lyoya, and far too many others. However, incorporating more professionals of color into the country’s legal system comes with obstacles. Many non-White young people face barriers to higher education — let alone a career in law — in the form of financial straits, lack of role models, and the absence of other forms of support. 

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) has a solution. Providing a top-notch education and graduating Black students at a far-above-average rate, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are a perfect choice to prepare you for graduate studies and careers in the pursuit of accessible, impactful justice. It’s a great way to follow in the footsteps of lawyers (and lawyers-turned-politicians) like Stacey Abrams, Benjamin Crump, Lonita Baker, Barack Obama, and Kamala Harris, to name just a few.

Are You a Good Fit for a Career in Law?

The essential characteristics of a lawyer or judge aren’t a complete comprehension of national politics or a comprehensive knowledge of the law. If you’re an excellent communicator in speaking and writing and have a stellar work ethic, chances are you’re already a promising candidate for a legal career. 

Careers in Law

Students who graduate from law school and pass the Bar Exam can become attorneys in virtually any field that interests them. Some will become judges, State or US Attorney Generals, and elected officials. Examples of legal specializations include:

  • Admiralty law (governing navigation and shipping)
  • Business law
  • Constitutional law
  • Criminal law
  • Environmental law
  • First Amendment law
  • Healthcare law
  • Intellectual property or patent law


Want to learn more about this possible career path and college major? Have questions about which UNCF colleges and universities offer pre-law degrees? Looking for help with financing this degree? 

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Preparing for Success

Because the path to a career in law is challenging, it’s never too early to start taking steps in the right direction. Look for opportunities in high school and college to join a debate team, which is excellent practice if you plan to work in a courtroom someday. 

Outside of school, stay in the know. Keep up with the news regularly, and check out the American Bar Association to see the current requirements for membership.

While most schools don’t offer law as an undergraduate degree, many have pre-law programs. Ask an admissions counselor to get you connected. Majoring in political science, history, English, economics, criminal justice, or philosophy for an undergraduate degree is not uncommon for future law students. Pre-law programs include a wide range of related course subjects, such as:

  • Political science
  • Anthropology
  • Psychology
  • Government
  • English
  • Philosophy
  • History
  • Foreign languages

UNCF Schools to Consider

To enter the field of law, students must, at minimum, earn a bachelor’s degree. Plenty of great UNCF-affiliated HBCUs offer pre-law degree programs:

Professional Organizations

Many law organizations can provide more insight into some of the specializations in this field. A sample list includes:

Scholarships Available

There’s no better way to start on your path toward a successful career in law than with a solid financial foundation. Fortunately, many scholarships are available through UNCF. Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities and announcements. 

Search for specific scholarships and view those that are currently accepting applications here! Students should also check with each college or university to see if additional scholarships are available to study law.

As you explore your options, use our guide to apply for scholarships and grants. You can also receive guidance by submitting a major interest form for a career in law. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF’s social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!

You can also show your support for students pursuing careers and furthering equity in law by contributing to UNCF member schools. Education is the greatest tool we have in creating a just and equitable society where economic mobility is available to all. Help us achieve this future by donating today!