A pre-law student has many choices where academic majors are concerned. There is no one course of study that serves as a prerequisite for admission to law school. Present-day law students have undergraduate degrees in everything from English, history or management to psychology, nursing, biology, education and communications, to name only a few.
To be accepted into law school, however, a student should score well on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and have a superior grade point average, preferably 3.30 or better. For the more competitive law schools, higher GPA and LSAT are required.
Students within this program have completed internships at many area law firms and at the St. Louis County Attorney's office. Internship credits may range from eight (8) to sixteen (16) semester credits.
Since law schools don't require any particular major for admission requirements, the main guide to your course study at the College should be your own interests and talents. If you have a particular interest in a communication major, a pre-law concentration is available for that major. As you choose your undergraduate courses at St. Scholastica, keep the following goals in mind:
First, a lawyer must be able to communicate effectively, both orally and on paper. In a real sense, words are the tools of the lawyer's trade. Any course in which you will be required to commit ideas or research to memory for speech-making or to writing for rigorous criticism by a faculty member is a course which will prepare you for law school. Computer literacy and word processing ability are essential in the legal profession.
Second, the prospective law student needs a critical understanding of human institutions and values. Here topics such as economics, philosophy, psychology, sociology and history should come to mind. Courses in these areas will provide you with an understanding of the place of law in society. They may also help you assess your interest in the law as a profession.
Finally, a lawyer must be able to reach decisions through creative critical thinking and deductive reasoning. Courses in mathematics, the physical sciences, logic, philosophy, and economic and sociological theory, among others, help develop these analytic abilities.
A student interested in pre-law must declare an academic major and meet its specific requirements. In addition, a typical pre-law student might organize his/her schedule of courses approximately as follows:
Freshman: Courses in composition, speech, basic math, logic, natural science, psychology, history, computing, philosophy.
Sophomore: Courses in basic economics, British and American history, literature, ethics, religious studies.
Junior: Courses in intermediate math, macro- and micro-economics, American government, philosophy of law and other philosophy courses.
Senior: Electives including an internship.
A student interested in the pre-law track of communication will include the following areas in his/her schedule in addition to the required communication courses:
Freshman: Courses in logic and philosophy.
Sophomore: Courses in ethics, political science and American government.
Junior: Courses in technical writing, advanced composition, critical methods, legal discourse, and upper division philosophy.
Senior: Courses in accounting, statistics, and constitutional history. Electives include an internship with capabilities relating to law.