The best preparation for law school is a broadly based program in the liberal arts. That is the advice of the American Association for Law School and the Law School Admission Council. As a student interested in attending law school, you should choose a major that interests you, and include certain recommended courses in your curriculum.
The Pre-Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar recommends that students develop skills in analysis and problem solving, critical reading, writing, oral communication and listening, general research, task organization and management and values of serving others and promoting justice. In addition, pre-law students should develop knowledge of history, political thought and theories of justice, economics, pre-calculus mathematics and accounting, human behavior and diverse cultures.
Students who are selected for this program spend an entire semester in Washington, D.C., studying the criminal justice system, including the role of research, occupational specialties and relationships among the institutions operating in the system. A student may have the opportunity to work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice, a congressional subcommittee dealing with legal issues or a neighborhood legal services program. This will provide invaluable practical experience in addition to the understanding of law and our government, which will give our students a marked advantage when applying to law school.
The pre-law tract in the political science major is designed to give students both a background in legal concepts but also the critical reading and analytical thinking skills to score well on the LSAT. It consists of the political science major along with the following classes:
- Criminal Law
- American Constitutional Law I & II
- Philosophy of Law
- Judicial Politics
Washington Semester Program
As part of a pre-law program, you may participate in the pre-law internship program. As an intern for a local law firm during a semester or during the summer, you will see firsthand what lawyers do on a daily basis. You will also engage in a variety of activities, such as legal research and filing documents as determined by the mentor attorney and faculty supervisors. A pre-law internship provides an excellent introduction to the practice of law and a chance to gain hands-on knowledge and practical experience.
Pre-Law Department Links