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PRELAW STUDIES PROGRAM

Timothy D. Dillard, Advisor
Office: 200 Clark Hall

While students planning careers in law may pursue a wide variety of undergraduate programs of study, a broad liberal arts education is considered an ideal preparation for the study of law. In the College of Arts and Sciences, prelaw students obtain this through required and elective courses that provide breadth and emphasize critical thinking, and through the selection of a major and minor that give intellectual depth. Because there is no single prelaw curriculum, careful academic planning with an advisor is very important.

Strongly recommended coursework for freshmen and sophomores interested in law includes English composition, English and American literature, American government and general political science courses, principles of economics, principles of accounting, and American history. Also recommended are appropriate courses in philosophy (logic and ethics), English history, political theory, psychology, sociology, and mathematics. Students are urged to select courses that stress the development of oral communication, writing skills, and critical thinking.

Each individual student should consult with an advisor when planning the specific details for a prelaw program of study. However, a typical program for the first two years follows:

FRESHMAN YEAR
First Semester
CourseHours
EN 1013
Mathematics13–4
CH 1014
Social and behavioral sciences and/or
  BSC 114:1152
3–7
___
14–17
Second Semester
CourseHours
EN 1023
Mathematics13–4
CH 1024
Fine arts and/or BSC 116:1173–7
___
14–17
 
SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester
CourseHours
Literature3
Mathematics14
CH 2313
Two electives or physics4–6
___
14–16
Second Semester
CourseHours
History3
CH 232:2375
Social and behavioral sciences3
Humanities3
Elective or physics3–4
___
17–18

When ready to select a major or minor, the prelaw student is advised to choose a major and minor in fields of study found to be personally fulfilling, and to select courses that ensure a broad liberal education. These choices are best made if the student's first two years of undergraduate study are planned systematically to provide a broad acquaintance with recommended areas of study. The second two years of study provide opportunity for advanced work in major and minor subjects and continued development of a broad liberal arts background.

Most law schools base admission on undergraduate academic performance and on scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The test is administered at least four times a year but normally should be taken in the first semester of the final year of undergraduate study. Since admission to professional schools is highly competitive, students should be aware that satisfactory completion of preprofessional requirements does not guarantee admission to professional schools. Therefore, students are advised to plan undergraduate course programs with some attention to alternative career goals.

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